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Building an RP

As a relative newcomer to the world of role play, I was wondering how people go about constructing their RPs.  Do you plot out a storyline?  Do you contact other characters who might be interested in playing a role?  Can you insert your character into an ongoing role play, or is that like hijacking?

Just curious about everyone’s methods and preferences. Thanks!

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  1. MichaelD Mannonen MichaelD Mannonen August 17, 2010

    Still trying to figure that out, myself. Thanks for asking!

  2. Mr Underby Mr Underby August 17, 2010

    I sometimes have plotlines planned out months ahead of time, but I tend to keep them very loose as I like an element of spontaneity to enter the plots whenever possible.  I plan with other principle people in the plotlines, where the story should head and what outcomes may happen, but often new people become involved and the story changes.

    I personally find its not great to hold a plotline too tightly, trying to make certain it comes out just as you had planned, though it may work differently for others.

    It can be difficult, though, if you have something in mind which you think should slowburn for a week or longer and someone uninitiated wants to solve the “mystery” that very moment.  This recently happened to me.  It’s difficult, but it isn’t fair to the person trying to solve the story to suddenly say “Oh, I’m sorry, I have this plotted with someone else solving the story a week from now.”  Where is the fun in that?  I jimmied it so that story couldn’t be solved that very moment, but there was still valuable pieces of the puzzle which were revealed, and I kept that person in the loop for further developments… hopefully that was a happy medium.

  3. Mr Tenk Mr Tenk August 17, 2010

    Don’t hold the reins too tight.

    Avatars have a mind of thier own when it comes to destiny.

    The mayor might know how to get you there if you have a goal in mind, but the journey may be unexpected.

    Vacation plots rock. They have an end date.

    Babbagers demand a higher class of villian.  Measure up or you will be laughed out of town on the evening train.

    You can’t hide anything from the urchins.

  4. Gabriell Anatra Gabriell Anatra August 17, 2010

    I’ve never actually been the main planner behind an SL RP so I can’t say a lot about that. I have helped plan them before, but that’s quite different.

    I’ve walked onto RPs before and it worked out well. I’ve had it fail too. It’s like getting your toes wet I’d say. Go slow at it and let them take as much of your character as they want. It works well for relative background characters at least. I wouldn’t try it with one of the prime characters as that would probably come across as hijacking.

  5. Cyan Icewolf Cyan Icewolf August 18, 2010

    I personally haven’t constructed one as of yet but have participated.

    Have fun with it and go with the flow.

    Don’t overplan as plans go to the wayside sometimes but do have a good story/destination in mind.

    If something you say in a big group doesn’t get noticed don’t get upset about it just continue onward.

  6. Mr Tenk Mr Tenk August 18, 2010

    Here’s a good entry level rp: build something.

    no, really. build something unusual, then make a fuss over it or leave it somewhere sort of obvious to let it be discovered (and tell me so i don’t return it). People may or may not react to it. observe what happens. was there anyone that responded that yuo can work with in the future? what went right? what went wrong?

    • Grace Toussaint Grace Toussaint August 18, 2010

      Hmmm…. I have been eyeing a parcel or two with some ideas in mind.

  7. Doctor Obolensky Doctor Obolensky August 18, 2010

    Well, I tend to leave the actual plotted RP to every once in awhile.   But when I do do it, I find it always good to have a conclusion in mind, and just sort of free-form your way to it.

    Contact the people you think might be interested, and run it by them OOC. Communication between the major players is the best way to keep the scene from exploding into mass chaos or arguments.

    And if you’re planning on your RP to be entertainment for the masses, take pictures, and keep your plan simple.

    And lastly, remember it’s for fun!

  8. Grendel Footman Grendel Footman August 18, 2010

    I usually just have a basic idea, work out the backstory, and let people roll with it and react how they will, when the ending comes, I’ll have a basic idea, and leave people involved to work out the rest with their reactions, but will sometimes work out with other people involved how to wrap it up.   in some cases, when I’ve had a large group and some sort of conflict, even used meters, mostly to prevent arguments of “I shot you!’ “no you didn’t”, but not everyone in babbage is of like mind with those

    it can be pricey, but sometimes owning land in Babbage helps too, I built my plant and cemetary primarily as RP locations, and going along with Tenk’s advice of build something strange, will usually start out an RP by leaving out some sort of wierd thing (or wear it in the case of avi’s) half  my RP plots usually involve some sort of machine or creature anyway, I worked with Arwen back when she was still in SL to be a wandering raptor, and othertimes use my general purpose alt, Zombie Ohare when I need a monster 
    if you just want to be in an RP though without really starting one up, I’d suggest joining some of the different Babbage groups, like te Militia, or keeping track of the Not-a-Ning

  9. Wiggy Undertone Wiggy Undertone August 18, 2010

    [color=#000000]Very good comments from everyone.  The only thing I can think of to add is that you never know what will be a hit with people, so just go with the flow.[/color]



    [color=#000000]  One time I spent about 10 seconds on a plot, and about two hours building this really bad fish.  I mean the scuplts are horribly amateurish, the texture is a public domain ‘dinosaur skin’. As soon as I posted something about finding the fish, it just took off.  Someone nicknamed  it ‘Wiggyfish’, and it’s turned out to be the single most recognizable thing I’ve contributed to New Babbage.   I’m still getting RP mileage from that ugly fish *grin*![/color]



    [color=#000000]On the flip side, I’ve spent a lot of time and resources creating some RPs, only to realize that it was just not working.  I was smart enough to cut my losses and let the whole thing die.[/color]



    [color=#000000]There is one more thing I can add:  Make your character simple and flawed.  I don’t like having to remember reams of background information about someone’s character, and RPing with a character that is all powerful, or super-mystical is not appealing either.  I like to brag that Wiggy is the only perfectly ordinary (and quite dim-witted) character in all of New Babbage.  It’s great to have a detailed bio about your character in mind,  just keep it to yourself *grins* .  Boil it down to one easy to remember sentence like:  “Former air-pirate turned gardener who now grows prize-winning roses”.[/color]

    • Bookworm Hienrichs Bookworm Hienrichs August 18, 2010

      Hey, I’m perfectly ordinary, too!

      Though hopefully not quite so dim-witted. *grins, ducks, and runs away very fast*

  10. Queer Hermit Queer Hermit August 18, 2010

    I am very impressed in how our citizens share with others so much; it is a reason why Babbage is so wonderful!  In that spirit, I would say having finished up a multi-month RP that you can not really have a storyarc without using the Ning (or Not Ning or Na Na Ning).  It is how I kept my fellow players in the loop, allowed for interaction with NPC’s, included comments from others, and improved my writing and typing skills.  Definitely include pictures!  They improve the story so well!  Stay flexible.  By doing so you will be able to include other citizens and make the RP so much more fun for everyone.  If you have a backstory to your avatar, please include that also.  And…include me!!  I love doing role play in Babbage!!

  11. Lia Bilavio Lia Bilavio August 18, 2010

    I’d have to agree, staying flexible is a great thing to do. You never know when someone or something new is going to come along and influence a story at random. These are often the best developments.
    Also, you want to make sure you talk enough with the people involved (brainstorming is always fun) but leave some things mysterious.

    • Grace Toussaint Grace Toussaint August 19, 2010

      Thanks for the link Mr. Tenk, and thanks to Dr. O for writing it!  I’ll have to work on Grace’s character….  *ponders the possibilities happily*

  12. Clara Corryong Clara Corryong August 19, 2010

    Of course you could do what ah did when creaing a character, start with a Mary-Sue and then de-refine it, gritty it up.

    This of course only works if you’re playing a joke character you don’t want to be taken seriously

    • Ceejay Writer Ceejay Writer August 19, 2010

      Clara, you keep saying that but I don’t think you really, really mean it.  You’ve worked too hard on who you are to simply start dismissing it recently.  What happened? Was there an incident?  A problem?  

      • Clara Corryong Clara Corryong August 19, 2010

        Ah’ve always intended to be over the top and silly.

        I do have an unhealthy obsession with anime that makes me annoying to several people however.

    • Grendel Footman Grendel Footman August 19, 2010

      if certian lapines gave you greif about your character, just ignore them, (and if you still want a steamjack armor, IM me sometime

  13. Jimmy Branagh Jimmy Branagh August 19, 2010

    I like to introduce a location and/or avatar, and maybe a smidgen of premise, and see what people create around it.

    More heads are better than one. :)


    • Wiggy Undertone Wiggy Undertone August 19, 2010

      Ah, that’s a thought!  Maybe someone who wants to introduce a new character would post only the briefest description and let the rest of us flesh out the character here in the -not ning-. 

      • Mr Tenk Mr Tenk August 19, 2010

        *whistles tunelessly*

        you’d be surprised how well that works…

  14. Mr Tenk Mr Tenk August 20, 2010

    Let’s look at some roleplays that were less than successful for lessons learned:

    1: accessiblilty: be easy and obvious

    The best thing i learned from street performing is ‘no one cares.’ This means you better make yourself as accessible as possible if you want them to pay attention to you. I saw one very well planned (and potentially very scary) story fall flat because the blog narrative was conducted on an outside host instead of the community website (Hey webteam, will we get RSS so we can feel our blogs from the outside?). The result? No one knew what was going on because no one cared to go read a blog outside of the Ning.

    2. You have to give something to get something.

    Ah, yes, that sullen broody fellow over there, a man of few words, so dark, so … silent.  You’re not giving us anything to work with. Don’t care, moving on…

    And on the same note, don’t expect the other person to go automatically along with your outcome expectation. You might loose a leg.

    3. TL:dr

    Save the long posts for after you’ve established
    yourself. Even then, chances are only your friends or those that were in
    the scene are going to read the whole thing. More than the length of a
    screen is more than most folks will sit for.

    Second life is a visual medium. Pictures, pictures, pictures!
    Leading in your blog with a photo makes is much to read, because it
    primes your reader with the context. No digging around. your reader
    might be sneaking a peek while at work and doesn’t have time to think that hard about it.

    4. Who?

    A long obscure introduction to a character no one has made a connection to inworld is going to fall flat or be ignored.

    Likewise, don’t expect people to be aware of your previous or ongoing adventures elsewhere.

    and finally:

    5. Don’t be icky.

    You’ve probably met this guy or girl
    somewhere– they aren’t asking to engage in anything obscene, but there is
    something about it that makes you feel like you’re being asked to feed
    something. Ew, no.

    • Ceejay Writer Ceejay Writer August 21, 2010

      I’ll feed a fantasy, I’ll feed a boredom, I’ll feed a curiosity. I won’t feed a bottomless pit of emotional need. If I sense I’m being succubussed to fill that sort of gap missing in someones RL… I run.   I am not emotionally capable of doing that, nor do I want to.  We can do a lot in SL, but we can’t fix a RL. 


  15. Grendel Footman Grendel Footman August 21, 2010

    there’s a good kind of icky and a bad kind, good= zombies and slimey monsters from beyond the stars.  bad= slimey monsters with tentacles you’d possibly see go after certian anime schoolgirls, at least in public



  16. Stargirl Macbain Stargirl Macbain August 21, 2010

    I think the only advice I could possibly give that would help a budding scenario-runner that hasn’t been said explicitly so far is this:

    Hang out with us. 

    Behind our characters we are (in theory…I haven’t proven it yet so I may be wrong) actual people.  We like to make friends and through those friendships we gain each other’s trust, which makes it possible to do terrible things to each other in future scenarios.  You want the people you play with to be people you trust and you want them to trust you.  It also helps in that you can figure out who to drop clues in front of to ensure that they get mentioned on the not-ning (in the form of journals) and fed to the populace at large via the vast (and impressive!) network of gossips in the city. 


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