Work in progress

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Saito Hajime, Apr 18, 2015.

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  1. Yeah, so I was trying to think of a good discussion thread to post, but I couldn't, so I'll put up this thread for now and get back to it.

    No really, that's it.

    Okay, yes, I'm just kidding.

    You have surely encountered one RP or the other that had a person that submitted a character sheet that was as of then unfinished. Maybe it was just the template, with nothing at all yet added. Maybe they put a name down, and submitted it just like that. Maybe it had a few details written down, but not all of them. The point is that they just threw an unfinished CS into the thread for some reason or the other.

    My question is simply why? Why do people feel the need to post WIP character sheets?

    I suppose in the situation where there was a specific part of the CS that would be scrutinized more than the rest, I could understand it. If your sheet will be dismissed based on something you included, then it might feel like a waste to launch into the backstory before you have approval for the crux of the entire sheet. If your character has some iffy superpower that is otherwise integral to your concept, you might want to be sure you can have it at all before writing your several paragraph long bio. Although I would wonder why you can't just ask if something was okay rather than posting a CS, but I suppose it doesn't really matter much.

    Then again, that would be to assume all WIP CS' are just there to okay a piece of the sheet before making the whole thing. I have seen more than a few CS' that have nothing more than a name, or nothing at all, or a name and a picture or whatever other combination of trivial information. These baffle me, because I really can't see the point in doing that. Maybe if they had never considered the possibility of storing their sheets in a word document or wherever else, it could be understandable. I can't imagine anyone would need to occupy a specific place in a thread with their CS either, because that doesn't really make a lick of difference to whether you'll be accepted or not (unless the GM is some kind of nut????). I would also think that having it waiting somewhere where it might be buried in a day or two of posting would only make it harder for it to be noticed in the long run.

    So in a nutshell, can anyone shed some light on why WIPs seem to be worthwhile to some people?
  2. I think sometimes people can use them to serve as placeholders, say perhaps to get "first dibs" on a particular character 'class' or concept. I don't know I've personally ever seen one fail to be completed, though. Even if the aspiring player is late to the party or slow-moving, they'll usually lay the finishing touches on a CS before presuming to participate.
  3. I can think of a few reasons for posting WIP sheets, some of which I've used myself.

    First, just to reserve a post for your sheet with a very barebones info. Some people (myself included) like to have their character sheet on the first page of the OOC thread. Personally, I like having a first page post because then even if the OOC gets super long I can easily navigate to my CS by just going to the first page (which is always a visible option of the thread page navigation buttons) and scrolling down. I don't like putting links to my characters in my sig as some people do, plenty of GMs don't bother putting links to character sheets in the first post of the thread along with whatever other player info they have, and sometimes even when GMs do this I'd rather just be able to quickly skim down the page until I see my avatar rather than having to comb through a big post to find the link. It's just a convenience thing.

    Then there's another thing dreamshell mentioned already, putting your character type out there for others to see. Some may see it as placing dibs on the type, but I think of it as letting other players know what kind of character you're going for so they can avoid that if they don't like having a character similar to other players. If I don't have the time or desire to work on a CS further than just making those archetypal decisions at that moment, then I'll pop it up as a WIP CS so others can see. If I'm gonna keep chugging away at the CS after making the choice, then I'll just make a post saying "hey guys, I'm planning on making X type of char, just so you all know." It's a courtesy thing. In a lot of the roleplays I join there's a need or strong encouragement to have a decent balance of skills and abilities among player characters, so I make my choices known quickly so others can with with or around them.

    There's also the simple matter of having to stop working on a CS before you're finished and wanting it to be saved somewhere simple. I'd have to guess that I'm not alone in using the site text editor to type up character sheets, which may be a large contributing factor for why WIP sheets happen. It's a lot less of a pain in the ass to just make the sheet here with BB Code tags as needed, or by using the formatting buttons of the rich text editor, than to type something up in a text editor program and then try to copy and paste it here. There are almost always errors and missed formatting problems when you try to do anything complex to make a CS look nice, and trying to copy the BB Code marked text from here to a notepad or Word document and then back the next time you want to work on the CS also has troubles, so it just makes sense to a lot of folks to start it here and save it here if you can't do it in one shot, thus the WIP CS posting. It could always be saved in a blog post, or using the site's Characters feature thing, but why bother posting it elsewhere when it's just gonna end up posted in the OOC thread anyway? Having a WIP CS sitting there does no harm, so whatever, may as well leave it in the proper thread.

    Once in a while I'll see people post a WIP sheet to get GM feedback or approval on something, which you mentioned as a possibility in the OP, but that is a rarity in my experience and is generally paired with one of the above reasons of post reservation, letting other players know your ideas, or being done working on the sheet for the time being. I have found it far more common for people to just post asking a question about "is so and so allowed?" than to post a WIP sheet with some questions about it appended about whether or not a thing is okay. Oh, and a couple of times I've seen people post a brief CS shell with requests for general feedback or worries that the character might not fit into the tone of the setting or may have far too many personality clashes with other characters or whatnot, but again I see this done far more frequently as a normal post rather than as questions appended to a WIP CS.

    It all comes down to a personal preference thing. Some people see the above as good reasons to post a WIP CS, some people don't.
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