Turning Down RPers

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Alexa Ray, Oct 25, 2014.

  1. This is just a question that came to mind, if it isn't too much. If we don't directly refer to any websites of anyone, I'm sure it'll be fine. Have you ever had to turn down another RPer because they (obviously) did not meet your expectations as a roleplayer yourself? I've had this come across a few times, mainly because a person could not follow proper rules of grammar, capitalization, punctuation, and other things. So, this also leads to another question. Do you think it's mean or rude to turn down someone who is actually interested in your roleplay idea?
  2. I think it is important that you DO turn down people that aren't up to your level. If you roleplay with someone that's not meeting your requirements then you're not going to enjoy it, and it's just going to go badly from then on.

    You need to be polite about how you do it "lol ure shit" just doesn't quite cut it, even if it is what you're thinking. The thing is, if you've put up your roleplay request thread, and you've asked for partners of a certain standard, or with sufficient knowledge of a fandom (or any other demand, really) then the people replying have to be able to match up to those requirements. If they don't, then you're fine to tell them that, no, you don't want to roleplay with them.

    The biggest problem is when you come across someone that thinks they might be an "advanced" or "prestige" roleplayer, but when you look at the way they write, you just can't see it. It's really tough to tell someone that, not only are they not good enough to meet your requirements for a partner, but they're also not nearly as good as they think they are.

    In some ways, I think the "writing level" section of your roleplay resume should be peer-rated, so that people can rate you out of 10, and each number will correlate to a level, so that a 10/10 average is a "douche", a 9/10 is a "prestige" and so on. I'm well aware of how flawed that system would be, and how easily it would be abused by people, but I also think that letting people decide their own level leads to the same problems. Especially when the people concerned are too arrogant to accept criticism, and too anosmic to smell their own shit.

    Kind of turned into a rant there, sorry. It's just something I've had to deal with recently. <_<
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  3. Nope, it is not cruel at all, and in fact is better for both you and them. Sometimes a player just doesn't mesh well with you or your roleplay. It could be anything from the writing style being too different, to there being a lack of chemistry as roleplay partners. There's absolutely NOTHING wrong with this and it's not a terrible thing. O_O

    As long as people are respectful and clear about the reasons why they are turning down a partner, then there shouldn't be any problems. Most people are very understanding, and even if their feelings are hurt at first, they'll still get it and move on to find something that will fit them.

    If someone says something like "Your writing sucks, I don't want to play with you." that's a really shitty thing to say and doesn't help anybody. >< Compared to saying "I just can't understand what you're writing because your grammar and sentences are confusing, and I can't help teach you myself." which would be a MUCH more polite and constructive way to turn someone down.
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  4. If someone doesn't fit with the tone/idea of the game, it's totally okay to tell them so.

    Just, y'know, don't be a cunt about it.
  5. Bunches of times. I try to be respectful about it. Telling someone they write at the wrong level, or that they don't meey my expectations sounds uppity; like they're not good enough for me or something.

    I usually say something along the lines of that our styles don't mix well, or that I don't think we'd get along, which is the truth. If I can I try to hook them up with other options
  6. All the time. It happens. Everyone just isn't compatible.
  7. All I want to say is make sure you tell them and not just flat out stop responding. I've a had a few people disappear on me, and I'm not sure if it was them actually disappearing, losing interest, or just me being a shit writer.
  8. In my games, I typically have a fairly comprehensive list of rules and standards that look scary, but it's usually common sense stuff I expect most people to meet and to keep things in line with lore and the setting. I usually critique the sheets that are submitted to me and offer suggestions and point out things I find off. I don't mind working with somebody if they are willing to change things that aren't up to snuff, but other stuff is so out of nowhere that you have to say no.

    As others have mentioned, it's better for both parties if you turn down somebody who doesn't meet the game's standards or your expectations, because nothing is as jarring and awful as trying to do an RP when the players are all different writing levels and have completely different interpretations of what to do with the game.

    Plus, as a GM, you have to put up with some pretty insane ideas that you wonder how or why somebody thought it was appropriate for the game. In my Elder Scrolls game on the other site, I had somebody apply asking if he could make a half-werewolf, half-dragon character. My confusion was very palatable.
  9. Yup.

    Nope. *insert echo chamber*

    You can't measure someone's 'grasp of complex themes' without being subject to personal interpretation. Also the concept of prestige is just silly to me, because the description on-site actually makes you move away from the concept of roleplaying itself. Not that any of that matters though, because you don't have to tell people they're not 'as good as they think they are' when you can just tell them you don't like their writing style or whatever. Same message, but without the hierarchical feel to it.
  10. Well, maybe I'm just a dick then, because I tell them both things. If they think they're at the top levels, and they're clearly not, then I see fit to tell them (in as polite a way as this blunt goat knows how) because they're clearly just setting themselves up for a fall anyway. If someone thinks they're an "advanced" roleplayer and no-one ever tells them that they're actually more of an "intermediate" instead, then they're going to keep on thinking that they're writing at an "advanced" level. If their partners tell them that they don't mesh and then leave, there's a few interpretations of that, but if they got told in plain English that they're simply not good enough for the level that they claim to be, then they might lower their standards a bit and stop being so stuck up about it.

    But as I said, there's a very strong possibility that I'm just a dick.
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  11. Well, here's my issue with that. What quantifiers do you use to determine a thorough understanding of genre, themes, story elements, and character dynamics? How do you measure this consistently?
  12. There's no consistent way of doing it. I never said there was.

    I don't follow the terms for "writing style" religiously. Basically, I block them as; absolute beginner, beginner, intermediate, experienced, with about two-to-three of the style terms in each of my categories. If someone says that they're at the top tier, then I expect them to be capable of understanding a story and progressing it. I'll talk through a roleplay before starting it, so that we can both decide on what kinds of elements we want to include, and so that I can get a feel for their understanding of the genre elements. If they then don't work to those ideas and guidelines, that's when I'll start to tell them.

    Like I said earlier, there's no objective way of doing it, so it's done case-by-case. My standards are always higher for a OneXOne, because then the two people involved really need to click together, but if one person claims to be an average roleplayer that's drawing their medieval fantasy knowledge from the LotR trilogy and they stick to it, then I'm not disappointed. If someone else claims to be an "elite" roleplayer that knows everything about Greek mythology and they then refer to the God of war as "Mars" and don't know what a Satyr is... well, that's when I think people aren't displaying a thorough understanding of the genre.
  13. @Disgruntled Goat

    But here's the irony, if we're talking on a case-by-case scenario where standards vary, how is that any different from asking for a 'literate' partner?

    Also because there is no consistent way of describing someone's level, the definition of levels remains vague. You can't say "You are." but are forced to stick with "I think." for that very reason.

    Don't get me wrong, I think you're well within your right to ask for someone who know their shit about medieval life or Greek mythology. Heck, personally I think it's absolutely fine to point out someone lacks basic understanding of the setting when they don't recognise something so common as a Satyr. However, I feel the system you go by to do so is flawed. Because maybe they don't know Greek mythology as well as they think, but are well-versed in Norse. Meaning this example player would be 'adept' in one RP, and 'advanced' in another. Which is silly considering the brush-strokes the level system works with.
  14. This is why I talk to people before starting to roleplay; the system here just doesn't allow for it. Even if we allowed people to rate themselves be genre, it's still not going to work, because both Norse and Greek mythology would come under a "mythology" type genre. If the system was in-depth enough to differentiate between the different types of mythology then it would have about a billion genres (especially if it included fandoms) and then it's too much of a mess. Like you said, the level system has wide "brush strokes" that only serve as a guide.

    That said, whilst one person may know more about some genres than others, they're still going to be roughly equal in terms of writing ability. Sure, "genre knowledge" will vary, but their ability to write an interesting, compelling character shouldn't change much from one genre to another. If a person doesn't know anything about a genre, then they really should warn you about it first, I mean, if you're an experienced "medieval" roleplayer, but you've just signed up for a sci-fi fandom you know nothing about... well, I think it's just good manners to tell the other person that.

    As I said, though, this is why I talk to people first. I take the writing levels as a guide, and if the specific genre/fandom is listed on their roleplay resume as one of their favourites, then that's a good starting place. By talking, I can find out what sort of roleplay they're after and maybe checking out some of the other roleplays they're in can show their writing ability to fill in the gaps.

    A recent example I had was talking to someone about a medieval fantasy roleplay, where we were both knowledgeable on the subject, and from their other roleplays, I felt that we were equal in terms of writing ability, too. They wanted to do a large-scale story full of political intrigue, focusing on the noble families of two kingdoms and the war between them, whilst I wanted to go on an adventure, with a small group of characters setting off to save the world from some great evil force instead. Everything was right, we liked the same genre, and we wrote at a similar level but we still didn't "click".

    That's why the guides are just guides, and I prefer to talk to people first. You can't find out any in-depth knowledge from the roleplay resume, but it does work as a starting point, that's all.
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  15. Aight, that's cool. That's really all I needed to know.
  16. You raise a really interesting point here. Rating yourself is at best unreliable and such a tricky thing to do. For example, I've set myself as an intermediate writer, but that may be more what I aspire to be than what I actually am, and I'm regularly asking myself if I should change my writing level to elementary, or even beginner. Needless to say, the current rating system (of love/like/...) can't be considered as a very reliable mean to rate yourself because of how biased it can be. Some people abuse it, some never use it, others use it for everything their friends post.

    So, I know that I would appreciate honest feedback telling me where I really fit, and what would be even better would be to know why, and what I should work on to actually improve. And while I've been lucky enough (and new enough) not to have it happening to me yet, I'd prefer someone honest, telling me frankly that I'm not good enough for them and why, rather than disappearing or pretending that I'm great but that it's just not going to work because of reasons. Because I'm going to automatically assume that I wasn't good/interesting enough anyway and I'd be left to my own devices trying to guess what I could have done differently, and how to become a good/interesting roleplayer, or at least a better one.
  17. I've had to do it plenty of times - on this website and elsewhere. The key to being a good GM is to be firm but open - if someone doesn't cut it, tell them that they are out BUT welcome to fix their character sheet (if the RP hasn't started) OR warn them that their play is sub-par and that unless changes are done, they are excluded (if there's stuff going on already). But never be afraid to turn people away - one bad apple spoils the rest, and it becomes less enjoyable for everyone.
  18. This discussion has been quite helpful.

    There is usually a massive gap in what I think and what I am willing to say: I hate making other people feel upset; but I often rant rudely about them or their stuff in a private skype with friends where I know they won't see it; and then I feel just a little guilty ;-;

    Most of the time my default response is to trudge through posts and wait for them to disappear on me, but that's kind of unproductive, probably for both of us... but now I have ways of avoiding this!

    So yes; this thread has been helpful. ^_^ Thank you everyone.

    One thing that I have come up with in the past that has not been addressed, though, is a player who changes; or a player you've misjudged. That's often frustrating. You start out, and they're great, and then gaps start forming either in effort levels, or their style suddenly starts changing, or they come up with a bunch of plot points that you're not entirely sure you like; and then you try to help them, maybe give them tips, but they're not responsive enough to them! Dx I still have no idea how to deal with this >.< Especially since they were so great before, and suddenly you want to disagree with everything they do, but you don't because it'll make you feel like an asshole.

    Honesty vs. Kindness; how do you balance this??? D:
    (that turned rantish... oops)
  19. Honestly, the best way is to be just blunt and direct without adding any comment. Either the player will let you know that something went wrong in their life/they're trying something new/they had an idea for the RP and it's temporary or negotiable, or they will get all offended. I've found it's almost impossible to deal with those who get completely offended and defensive, and as such I recommend that if an arrangement has not been met in reasonable amounts of time/posts (they aren't budging), it's time to take steps to remove them from the RP.