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I'm not roleplaying with you, I'm roleplaying at you / Standards


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Ah, yes, ye ole 'shoot, I hope this thread has never been discussed before' that gives me an ulcer. Whatever, here are my thoughts. 


One of the things I love the most about MMO RPing is the real-time, open-world RP sequences you get out of it. This means RPing with countless different people, and being able to meet so many more people!

But naturally, diversity implies things you might not like. Now, nobody say 'bad roleplayers' or the will get punched in the guts. Paradoxically, I know bad roleplayers (ow! my stomach!) have called other roleplayers 'bad roleplayers'. So it's, well, a very, very subjective thing. I might be someone's 'bad roleplayer'...


Be it casual chat, freeform action, a story plot-twist you've been working on for months, roleplay is collaborative writing. Two sides. Ping pong. You give, you receive, and this until exhaustion. Sometimes you receive a little more, because your friend is amazing. Sometimes you receive a little less, because your friend is tired. Either way, you enjoy it.

Now, what I want to talk about to day is when your receive less from a stranger, or a new acquaintance. I'm talking about these long, tedious roleplays when people write to say nothing. I am not talking here about people who do one-liners or do not like paragraph roleplay, what I am addressing here is people not giving.


To illustrate my thoughts, I'm going to write a very easy sample if it's not clear.




Character 1: "Nice axe. Where did you get it?"

Character 2: "Limsan made, my friend! They truly are the best. What about your sword?"

Character 1: "Heirloom, my father gave it to me. I'm not sure, but I think it's Ishgardian...Weird..."


This is not quality banter, but it will be useful. Maybe Character 2 will talk about Ishgard...

Think of it as lego bricks, and you guys have to build the highest tower possible. 

You give a hook, and your partner's reply is made with a portion of yours. You take from them, and you give from them. Easy enough.


Character 1: "A. A?"

Character 2: "A! A. B?"

Character 1 : "B. C..."



Everytime the letter changes, it means a new element to work with has been added to the roleplay, or conversation in this case. And as you can see here, it's small, but everyone is contributing! Letters aren't just questions, or things that have been said. They can be actions, new characters entering the scene, etc. I hope it's not too sloppy...


Now, picture this. You're roleplaying. And...


You: "A! A, B?"

Person: "B." 

You: "B? C, D? E?" 

Person: "E."


You got it. No matter how much you give, this person barely replies. Remember, this is NOT a length count. This is a MATERIAL count. MATTER. THINGS.


Character 1: "Nice axe. Where did you get it?"

Character 2: "I bought it in Limsa." 


Is the same thing as (it's my opinion, remember);


Character 2: Character 2 eyes his weapon, holding it firmly with both hands. They think about all the good times they had cleaving furbles with it. It was one of the first things they ever bought on Vylbrand; they pause, sigh, and finally reply: "I got it in Limsa-Lominsa. I thought it was a nice axe too, I saw it on the market, and then I bought it."



Lit-RP is nice, but most people can not read thoughts. Although it is 'enriching', it still can give little things to reply too if your partner isn't providing enough hooks. Flavor is nice, but make sure to bring a dish in, too...


I am personally exhausted by this kind of situation. I very, very often push it forward, and try to give as much elements as I can. I also draw characters in roleplay, make sure everyone gets to talk in moderately sized RP groups (3-6 characters), but it's not just me. My friends do it too! As it should be. But there are times when the synergy isn't quite there, and you have to push forth about SIX posts to worm material out of the somebody. At this point, it feels like you're either RPing with a wall, or RPing with yourself, or RPing /at/ somebody which is probably the worst feelings in the world. For me, at least.


I don't want to be left out when I roleplay, so I try never let people feel left out. But in the same way, I except people to do the same for me! So I kept on pushing... Until a few months ago. I decided that I did not have the time anymore, so I usually do not seek more role play sessions with some people (even though I probably should). I'm not being a dick about it, I just kinda disappear.


Problem is that people usually want to RP more, and are always up to do it. I've been honest with most of them, but in the end, they always get really, really offended. Because yeah. Some people don't realize it. And I guess it's fine, in a way.


But yes, that could thought of as a RP standard I expect and want from people. I think it's good to have RP standards. Here's a video about it if you're interested.










The thing is that RP is a hobby, my hobby. It's something supposed to be fun, you know? It shouldn't be tiring. I should be able to do it and enjoy it the way I want to enjoy it, if it doesn't bother people I'm RPing with.


In the same way, even if the 'lack of provided material' is IC (the character isn't talkative, for instance), I think it shouldn't be an excuse. Characters who are not sociable can be tricky to RP, but I tend to think that as a roleplayer, you are good when you still manage to keep the collaboration flowing. I might make another thread to complete this one, as I think some characters may be fit for a book, but not to RP... But that is a different matter!



Now discuss:



- How do you handle these situations? Are you patient?


- Am I a little too ungrateful? I shouldn't ask for 'that much' from people?


- How do you make sure your RP never runs out of 'meat'/material to play with? Do you bring in new items, like a Limsan axe? (I personally like to give my characters different moods from time to time, headcanon happenings, to get new things to discuss. Though the previous RPs I had with other characters are usually enough)


- Got RP standards? What are they? What do you want/expect from people RPing with you?


That's a long thread. I apologize. Typos might happen. :cactuar:

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I don't get why it's not okay to not like someone's rp or think it's bad. As long as you're not harassing them or spewing hatred about them to everyone you meet, what's the issue?




Anyways, on topic.


There was a really well made character I used to play with who was completely blank to people he didn't know, to the point that my character actually nicknamed him "The Wall." Social niceties or entry conversations wouldn't work to push our characters into interacting, so I invented scenes that would force interaction.


Big things, and little things. One such little thing was that during a short interaction, I had a group of children run by. They went into an alley, and next thing you knew, there was the sound of kids laughing and a dog crying out in pain.


It drew both of our characters out into that alley, and into a point of conflict: the kids had killed the bitch's puppies, and both of our characters had very different ideas about what should happen next.



Some characters are shit with initial conversation -- but in my experience they respond to things happening around them. So, if conversation doesn't work, I try action. If I try action and nothing, then either the other player will try to make it work or I just let it go. Maybe our characters don't mesh, maybe our writing doesn't mesh, maybe we don't like how the other writes! No matter what, it's okay. Sometimes the rp don't work. You do what you can and move forward.

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Honestly, I have a habit of turning into that one-liner, give nothing back rper sometimes. This is usually because I can only handle so much tavern rp before I grow bored and therefore it's hard for me to invest myelf into the rp.


I mean how many times do I have to emote drinking something or commenting on someone's day, or switching seats or adjusting my clothes. If there were more interesting things goin on, I'd be involved a lot deeper.


So I agree with Zhavi, there needs to be something of interest going on that makes you want to invest into the rp. And if that doesn't happen I'll sit around and one-line a bit before excusing myself from the RP.

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If I'm reading this right, you're talking about situations where you're trying to push the RP along to find out more information about another character by tossing out hooks, and the other person isn't responding? I think we've all been there. :) One thing that works for me is the fact that my character is fairly inquisitive -- she'll ask questions directly if she's interested about something or if she thinks someone isn't giving her the information she wants. It can be a little frustrating OOC, though, when even doing that someone just gives brief, perfunctory answers. I'll put in a fair bit of effort, but eventually my character's going to get bored or assume you don't want to talk to her. So, I don't have much advice here other than to do what your character would do,honestly.


I wanted to write a little about this other question, though:


How do you make sure your RP never runs out of 'meat'/material to play with?


I have a number of different tricks:

  • Mention things that happen in the game. L'yhta's a professional adventurer, so duties and levequests are a great resource. If a run goes poorly, she might gripe about these other adventurers she was working with and how they kept screwing up. She's also praised other adventurers who've done well (in her estimation), talked about being out on a leve for the Guild, and gasped at great vistas she's seen while exploring. Obviously, this approach requires a careful touch to ensure that you're using events that are properly generic and appropriate for your character and group.
  • Talk about things in your character's life. Just like us, our characters have ups and downs in their lives. If your character is unattached, he can talk about the trials and tribulations of his love life (whether with PCs or NPCs you conjure up for that purpose). Your character's family might be a source of joy or annoyance. Maybe she scored a great deal in the market, or maybe he got ripped off by a fast-talking Hellsguard trader.
  • Discuss events in the MSQ. While your character almost certainly doesn't have the knowledge that the Superhero of Light does, what happens in the MSQ has implications in the game world. You don't even have to be up to date on the latest patch's plot to be able to talk about the Sultana's unfortunate illness, the recent defeat of the Garleans, the opening of Ishgard's gates, or even Raubahn's missing arm. XIV is blessed with a living world that's great for injecting new elements into RP.

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I am one of those types who just are bad with keeping conversations due to myself as a player unable to think of anything to keep the discussion going, and in the end, I just either excuse myself to go to different conversation with others, or just not bother. But also, if the other person shows the same short term based conversation as I do, I just end up taking the hint that they aren't interested in talking to me.


All aside from that, I also found Diablo 3's main character's conversation with NPCs to be quite intriguing because they ask questions with different types of topics to keep the conversation going and it helps them to know what/how the characters behave.


But when characters have different opinions and personalities, chances are they the characters no longer each other want to talk anymore. Even though the players may want to keep the conversations going.

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This is one of my biggest frustrations and pet peeves in RP. Scarcely anything is more grating to me than trying to do a collaborative RP scene with someone who refuses to collaborate. If I wanted that, I wouldn't bother RPing. I would just write, period.


That said, I generally like to give someone more than one shot if I think they might be having an off night. That happens to everyone. I know I have my nights where I've probably done this same thing to others because I've been in a funk. But if it's obvious that that's going to be the norm, I try to gradually distance myself.


I also think this doesn't necessarily refer to just people who respond with very little dialogue to go off of, but also too much. I'm sure everyone's been in a scene before with that guy. You know, the one who takes a conversation and makes it 100% about them, and goes on and on about their characters in a monologue of Shakespearean proportion. Or multiple monologues.


I was in one of these RPs a while back. It was the first meeting between our characters, so they were chatting and kind of introducing themselves. But immediately, the conversation became heavily one-sided. The other character droned on and on and on about themselves, and in a way that wasn't conducive of back and forth conversation. All I could do was have Jaliqai ask questions, because if she made commentary on answer, the character didn't elaborate or go with it. Any attempts I made to maneuver myself back into the conversation or insert Jali's opinion or experiences, I basically got an "Oh, cool story." And then they went back to talking about themselves again.


It would be different if the scene was one that was intended to put the spotlight on one character only, like a scene out of a personal plot. But introductions, idle bar chatter, etc.? No. Being RPed at is just as frustrating as RPing at someone a lot of the time, imho. Because at that point it's obvious that you're little more than a character development tool for the other person, rather than another full-fledged, developed character to interact with.

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Meishali y u post threads liek this all the time 1111


- How do you handle these situations? Are you patient?


I'm patient to a degree; but when it reaches the point you are literally throwing hooks left right and centre just trying to fish a decent conversation sparking response from a character I'll try have my character disengage as soon as it seems reasonable in the roleplay. Not a cut and run but usually they grow tired of a one sided conversation rapidly anyway.


Bonus: When people roleplay their IC pets instead of actually talking too, man that gets tiresome quickly. I try get out of those situations ASAP if they seem reluctant to actually roleplay the character.


- Am I a little too ungrateful? I shouldn't ask for 'that much' from people?


you horrible person


But seriously each to their own in the world of roleplay, I roleplay with people I enjoy roleplaying with and talking to a brick wall is no fun. As such when my characters encounter folk like you describe I simply make it a mental note not to actively seek them out for any further arpe.


- How do you make sure your RP never runs out of 'meat'/material to play with? Do you bring in new items, like a Limsan axe? (I personally like to give my characters different moods from time to time, headcanon happenings, to get new things to discuss. Though the previous RPs I had with other characters are usually enough)


I think moods and headcanon is the most important things to make sure I never run out of roleplay material, sometimes having a character behave in a different mood can spark a conversation just from that let alone the background into why they are in the mood itself.


Headcanon wise our characters live in a vast everchanging world, with exception to Alueaux all my characters fit the adventuring category and never have trouble finding a good story as to what they've been up to lately. I think changing scenery often is important too; I'm a fan of ping ponging the RP location back and forth between my regular contacts, keeps you on your toes and sometimes lets you find some true gems and throws event ideas in your face.


Ultimately though its creativity and not burning myself out on a character, I just make a never ending stream of events no matter how small and try to RP with new people frequently to keep things turning.


- Got RP standards? What are they? What do you want/expect from people RPing with you?


No OOC in /say /em. Unfortunately its a little pet habit I bring from my past roleplaying MMO's but it really seems to kill my mood for arpe, the same as long ooc conversations while things are ongoing, knocks me out of character fairly rapidly.


Other then that, a decent level of English, healthy amounts of text (Not to be confused with endless fluff in emotes to make them bigger) and work from the otherside to help things along, if I'm putting effort in I want to know the other side is putting effort in. Oh and lore abidey-ness. I'm all for slightly 'Out there' characters but ones that make no sense, blatantly abuse lore gaps or specul warrior of light allowances to play certain things grind my gears.

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Generally, I enjoyed reading your post, Lucy, and respectfully disagree with certain portions.  I consider you a great roleplayer and respect where you are generally coming from, but I'll highlight a few minor thoughts below:


  • RP is obscenely subjective to the point there is very rarely "bad roleplay" or "bad roleplayers," unless it borders on the verge of being incomprehensible, trollish in nature, or violates fundamental RP etiquette (godmoding/meta/etc.  Individual RP'ers, however, can possess valid personal preferences regarding the style and content of RP they enjoy.  There is nothing wrong about devoting more time and energy to roleplaying with individuals who share your style and content preferences.  In my view, it's more about spending time with RP you find personally enjoyable than avoiding RP with "bad roleplayers."   Even then, it is beneficial to RP with individuals with different styles and content preferences from time to time, as it inspires creativity and promotes better writing. 

  • The vast majority of roleplayers are good roleplayers, irrespective of their styles. Some of the best roleplayers I know rarely post over 3 lines.  Others post multiple paragraphs.  Some RP "at me."  Some I RP "at."  It all depends on the characters at issue.  I usually employ a paragraph style of roleplay that emphasizes atmosphere, dialogue, and emotion.  Some people dislike that style, and I respect their preference.  A common trait of excellent roleplayers is the ability to anticipate, accept, and promote valid hooks, irrespective of individual RP style.

  • Sometimes minimizing the involvement of certain characters in group scenes is a sad and necessary evil for both OOC and IC reasons.  It can be exceptionally difficult reacting to all members of a group roleplay equally do to time, length, and post order restraints.  I generally perceive that each roleplayer in a group has the burden of injecting hooks and facilitating their own participation.  With this said, I agree it is good form to throw out as many hooks and promote involvement where possible.  

See answers to specific questions below in red: 


- How do you handle these situations? Are you patient?


Absolutely.  It is important to show great patience in roleplay and try to make RP partners enjoy scenes as much as possible without completely butchering character integrity.  


- Am I a little too ungrateful? I shouldn't ask for 'that much' from people?


Characters who act like brick walls sometimes serve a valid purpose and are skillfully roleplayed in that capacity.  You may want to consider changing how you perceive of interacting with such characters.  I believe you should always be thankful and grateful to someone who is taking time out of their life to share in collaborative writing with you, regardless of how enjoyable that writing may be.  With that in mind, there are many valid OOC and IC reasons to prefer RPing with certain individuals or characters.  On an OOC level, it may be because an RP'er is more perceptive to hooks and has a similar style.  On an IC level, the personality of the character can often be used to justify prioritization of roleplay.  Sigurd, for example, tends to grow extremely bored and wander off if characters fail to hold his attention. 


- How do you make sure your RP never runs out of 'meat'/material to play with? Do you bring in new items, like a Limsan axe? (I personally like to give my characters different moods from time to time, headcanon happenings, to get new things to discuss. Though the previous RPs I had with other characters are usually enough)


I've never ran into this problem, personally.  I find that an easy way to fill content gaps is to introduce other players and characters, and RP in a group dynamic.  It adds a really interesting level to the RP.  With that said, I sometimes add new quirk's or plot device material to Sigurd to fill in gaps.  But other RP'ers, first and foremost, drive most of my content. 


- Got RP standards? What are they? What do you want/expect from people RPing with you?


One primary standard - I hope people who RP with me are having a fun time, no matter if the scene is comedic, murderous, or mundane.  Other than that, I have basic RP etiquette standards (no godmode/meta/etc), and do not expect much else.  The only other expectation is a decent responsive posting time.  However, I do enjoy (and prioritize) RPing with people who share similar RP styles and content preferences.   But in the end, almost all RP is enjoyable RP. 

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Ow, my eyes. That's a lot of red text.


But to answer the questions...


How do you handle these situations? Are you patient?

I have a "three strikes" system. If I have three encounters with someone where it feels like I'm trying to squeeze blood from a stone, I give up. It could very well be their character is amazingly detailed and great to interact with, but for some reason we have bad chemistry. It happens. Not everybody is going play perfectly off one another. You just gotta find the people who draw out your creativity and vice versa.


- Am I a little too ungrateful? I shouldn't ask for 'that much' from people?

We're in the same boat. Anyone thinking anyone else should be grateful for the time? THAT would be weird. We all have lives outside the game, and we should all try and have the most fun we can have out of the game.

- How do you make sure your RP never runs out of 'meat'/material to play with? Do you bring in new items, like a Limsan axe?

I try to throw as many balls into people's courts as I can, even the stone wall sorts. The "three strikes" thing is really more like "three entire games of baseball" so it's not like I give up that easily. But when there's just nothing I can comment on, or they keep responding with "that's nice" there's only so much I can do.


I have two methods for generating material, Gara's healer for hire work, basically whatever she's doing when I'm logged out, and the fact she's over 40 and has gobs of life experience where practically anything can trigger a memory. If things get slow, she'll suddenly remember a based of a snippet of a comment, which will lead her to go "you ever see/do that" to the others involved. It's led to a lot of interesting exchanges and sometimes even I'm surprised with where her mind goes.


- Got RP standards? What are they? What do you want/expect from people RPing with you?

People trying to blatantly god mod my own reactions is pretty much the only thing that'll get me to peace out immediately. Being told I do this? Feel that? Think the other? Haha, no. I can roll with a lot of things, but that won't fly.

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I totaly get this.


Well I will RP with most people, but what makes me come back is this lego blocks so that together we can build a house, space ship,you name it. 

  • If the responses are weak I will try some more but it is unlikely I will be back.
  • If the blocks don't fit together I will also probably avoid or at least try and meet them half way

That's why I love free-form open RP and just seeing where it goes. If I want scripted/limited responces I'm go play a solo RPG.

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