Jump to content

Need Help with Running a RP FC with Mostly Disagreeable Characters


Recommended Posts

So, here is the situation. We have an RP FC that sometimes runs a dark on topics and is filled with characters that may not be the most social people in the world. We run the risk of losing members because of this, but at the same time we don't want to completely change our characters. Like, there is only so far they can bend, right?


They are people who can accept others and do have friends, don't get me wrong, but it takes a lot of time and effort. And not many would be willing to put in that time and effort to get to know someone who curses like a sailor at you. And when they do manage to make friends, they tend to stay near their friends.


What I am hoping to know is if any others who have FCs like ours have been able to find a good balancing act. Like, being able to not shut out newbies with unsociable characters, but staying true to character as well.


I have tried more friendly alts. And there have been attempts to slowly shift characters to open up more. But these things can only go so far, because the former doesn't seem to help, and the latter is also a slow process.


So, anyone with any ideas?


((FYI. I am only a year into RP. And I still consider myself a noob.))

Link to comment

Unfortunately there isn't a simple answer for you when you're dealing with so many individual people and unique characters. Some questions to consider...


What is the theme of your FC and how many people are involved? Does everyone get along well OOC? If this is a large group I would worry about cliques keeping newer members from integrating well.


Do they have a need to work together? Is there some sort of central theme? Sometimes characters need a little push to get along. If there's no need to interact, why bother making friends if their personalities clash?


What do your members want out of RP? Are they happy living in their little bubble? Do they want new people to be recruited? You need to know your members well. There needs to be contributions from all sides in order to make things work out. If their characters are so hard to get involved with, what can be done to make things easier? At the end of the day, the story is only what everyone else makes it.


You shouldn't be the only one pushing for change. Friendly alts is not always the answer. The main characters need to find a reason to get along with others and be social if you want there to be something more than people splitting off and doing their own thing. Have the members ask themselves "What does my character get out being antisocial/dark/edgy/brooding/etc? What is my character's goal? What do I hope to gain from RP/What direction do I want to take my character?"



In my personal experience, everyone needs to swing for change. I'm not saying that the characters need to change. That's something that can happen through RP with time. The people behind the characters need to put a little more effort into making a more social environment work. What's the point of being in a RPFC and recruiting more members if the current group is happy with how things are?



(It's still early and I've not had coffee, I'm sorry if some of that doesn't quite make sense)

Link to comment

being able to not shut out newbies with unsociable characters, but staying true to character as well.


I would think that, unless someone is RPing a truly anti-social hermit character, everyone has a more... 3-D nature to their personality (for lack of a better word, I too need coffee yet) than just being grumpy & unpleasant. Usually, even the worst people have soft spots. For example, my crazy, manipulative character recently became very close to someone who is very violent. She seeks to use him, of course, but by all outward appearance they are good friends. A couple other dick-ish (I'm still waking up -_- ) characters in my FC have been hired on as bodyguards by another member. In that case, skill (and their greed) trumped attitude IC. The interactions between these characters has actually been really hilarious, so it's a lot of fun. Most people have something they care about; if they don't, they're really not giving others much to work with.


But too... are the FC members actually interested in RPing with the rest of the FC? Some folks just seem to prefer taking their RP out of the house and stick with their friends and LS.

Link to comment

It can be a tough situation to be in, and one that has happened in the history of my own RP guild. Heated IC conflicts - especially often - can put a damper on OoC enjoyment of the RP if it's all just let loose without any rules or mitigation.


Something that helps my guild out in such times is one of our core Guidelines, which states that people should never cross the line between IC and OoC. It's woven into our guild Guidelines that one shouldn't "blend" the two and assume that IC actions represent the OoC thoughts or feelings of the player. IC drama should not equal OoC drama. If someone is feeling OoCly put-off by actions done ICly, then that's an indication of "RP bleed" and that's a good point to take a step back and reorient one's perspective: this is just a game, and we're all just here to play pretend and have fun doing it!


That being said, there are certain ways to play a jerkish character that can still make it fun and engaging for the RP partner/s. This is a bit more tricky, as it dips into one's personal RP style, but the "mean" members of my guild are pretty great at this. They do a little bit of OoC mitigation when someone is first introduced to their character, sending out a quick /tell or OoC message to assure the new player that they hold no bad feelings toward the other person and are just playing a rude character. OoC friendliness does wonders in relieving the "harsh edge" of character interactions.


As an even more 'micro' bit of advice, I'd recommend to always keep in mind the OoC enjoyment of your RP partner during any given scene. A theoretical question might be, "Narratively, are you giving them much to react to, or are you just shutting their character down?" I think sometimes people get caught up in being so 'true to their character' that they forget the more collaborative element of RPing, and don't really leave any openings for a good response from their partner. Sometimes posts can be presented in an overbearing way that makes the RP partner feel like they can't really do or say much. On the opposite end of the spectrum, posts that don't offer much put all of the responsibility on the other person to carry the scene.


None of this means that you have to change your character's actions or dialogue in any way. I'm just talking about the way things are framed and delivered. Even if the freshly-delivered box contains fire ants, people will be more likely to open it if it's wrapped in nice-looking paper. ;)


Disclaimer: These are just my thoughts and no one is under any obligation to listen to them or take them into account if they don't want to!

Link to comment

Gee, I would love to know the magic answer to this as well, lol. Instead of being long winded, just be sure to always stay polite OCC and remember that IC =/= OOC. Be upfront with people about the mature theme of the company and don't bend yourself to get more members and try to make them all happy; it leads to people fighting among themselves and pulling you into it when you've supported both sides. As far as cliques in FCs go I have no idea how to prevent it. People like their safe zones, it's a lot like high school.

Link to comment

One possible thing to do is to perhaps have some form of story arc within the FC that winds up entangling the 'wall-flowers' into it, resulting in the group overcoming a challenge and thus forming a bond. It's the RP equivalent of the sitcom cliche when characters get stuck in a malfunctioning elevator and come out of the silly ordeal with a stronger relationship and better understanding of each other.

That would at least help things internally. Getting NEW members with a group such as that, well, your group should make some OOC connections. Typically, when I make friends OOC with someone, they tend to tolerate my shy/obnoxious/crude characters a bit more and that sort of helps breaks the ice to others in the community, thus letting them hop in. And of course, as what RiniKett and Maia said, make it clear to others that IC does not equal your OOC. It SHOULD be clear, but some people do need that clarification.


Also, to make you feel a bit better, being in this situation doesn't make you an inexperienced RPer. This sort of situation happens to the best of us from time to time. Besides, I'd say after a year you're not a noob anymore! :thumbsup:

Link to comment

There will be:

  • Annoying people
  • Quiet people
  • Complainers
  • People with big ideas
  • Times when there are too many
  • Times when there are too few
  • Breakaway splits 
  • Time you can't be bothered 

In short a right old mixed bag.


Throughout this the only things that lead to longevity are:

  • You want to run an FC for others not yourself
  • You like the ooc organising 
  • You have a vision and stick to it
  • You focus on your members 

Success is survival not pleasing everyone.


To be honest my advice is avoid the pain of running an FC unless you are really up for it. Advice I keep forgetting myself.

Link to comment

I co-run/own a RP FC with my partner. While everyone is pretty awesome together OOC, IC can be a new ball game.


Anyways ours is set up as a for hire company, so as the "owners" we can keep a good bit a bay. We have set up a hand full of rules and made it clear what we expect before we "hire" someone IC/OOC. We also run events twice a week, that helps bonding. It often give them a problem that would help bond or at the very least work together.


Now on the flip side. We have alts that no matter how we would try to make them work, they are not for our main FC. So to solve the problem of the more evil/dark natured characters we made an alt FC. That FC is going to be a lot more hands off, biggest rule there will 1.) Don't be brats to each other OOC'ly. How it will be set up is a somewhat shady Inn. So all manners of life will be welcome there.

Link to comment

Thanks so much all of you for your replies. I will be taking more things into account and working with the other leaders to see how we can go about making some slight changes. We might need to implement a more common goal, set up events that would impact everyone, or make more smaller events happen. I was also thinking of limiting recruitment to a few new members at a time so we can give them the time we need to rp them and integrate them more into the story. Again, thank you for the input. If any of you think of something else, please feel free to make a reply or send me a PM!

Link to comment

Besides what people already said above, there is one thing you also want to consider:


I think you can paint two kinds of villains: grey realistic humans with dark tendencies, and dark, mustache twirling villains. While both can reasonably be measured in terms of evil, there is a world of difference between both. 


Someone that seems to act evil by our current standards (and the usual alignement standards), can actually have lots of reasons to do so: pragmatism, selfishness, etc, you name it. Some of those might even be worthy ideals. They however rarely are pure creatures of evil and remain human. I would even argue that they do not necessarily lack qualities. Remember that scene in Gladiator when the son Commodus kills his father? Saying he too has qualities, but not the ones his father expected? There, you have it: a villain that remains human, even if he turns to be kind of a psycho.


Then you have the pure creatures of evil, often chaotic evil in nature. The ones that have not very much left of their human side, if not at all. The ones that will maim, kill, or whatever, just for fun, or because it's evil and that's what they do. We have some of those in FF, and most of the time they are voidsent and the likes. 


You might see where I'm coming at, but the simple portrayal of a dark character can play a huge role in how the character in question can get along with others. A dark character can still be extraverted for example. A dark character can still need to interact with others, even in spite of what he would actually like. 


If your character however is designed like the latter, with absolutely no redeeming traits, well... you will have a hard time indeed. It's like playing introverted characters or exiles and pariahs, but here all of those mixed up together at once. Play a lonely, brooding character with cannibalistic tendencies? Well, don't be surprised that the character eventually get shuned even more and gets tremendous difficulties to actually have decent interactions, if not at all. Everyone will just want to get rid of it.


That, and on the OOC level people might just get put off by him/her. The more you remove the human side of a character, the less attraction your character will exert on the audience OOCly. The less people will be able to identify to the character, and the less they probably will find interesting to play with. If it's too alien... Well yeah.

Link to comment

Thanks so much all of you for your replies. I will be taking more things into account and working with the other leaders to see how we can go about making some slight changes. We might need to implement a more common goal, set up events that would impact everyone, or make more smaller events happen. I was also thinking of limiting recruitment to a few new members at a time so we can give them the time we need to rp them and integrate them more into the story. Again, thank you for the input. If any of you think of something else, please feel free to make a reply or send me a PM!


Bringing in a few at a time is a good idea, something we also do. We really don't plan on going over 20, but may make exceptions from time to time. We usually bring in one to two at a time at the most. We also have a process. As I mentioned we are a for hire company, so we usually have a hunt trial or something of that nature for them. Lets them RP with us, see how we do things as well as allows us to get an idea how they would mesh with our group.

Link to comment

Hello there! Assuming that there are no OOC issues going on here (people taking other character's attitudes personally OOC, people using a character's mean attitude to vent OOC nastiness, etc.) and that this is the actual problem (there are a lot of issues that can happening in an FC, a dark/evil themed one especially), I'd say that since this a problem that stems from IC interactions, the key to fixing it is largely IC.


Assuming your FC also functions as some sort of group or organization IC, whoever is in charge probably wants to amass more members and doesn't want people bailing all the time. Whoever the IC leadership is needs to tell their FC mates to play nice and be welcoming with the fresh blood so they don't scare them off. IC rewards could be given to those who follow the rules, and punishment dealt to those who don't. On top of making some leeway in solving the problem of turnover, it could also give you some RP opportunities.

Link to comment

I was part of a Dragon Cabal in The Secret World where we played sometime terrorists who may or may not have been doing bad things for the greater good. It did not work out well.  There wasn't much in the way of OOC drama but it got increasingly hard to stay motivated to be grim dark negative (in a grim dark negative game).  Add some unfavorable IC interactions and it made the problem worse.  I abandoned the cabal (and the game) not long afterward.


I think it might have worked better if I were Rp'ing with people I knew in real life.  It would be a lot more difficult to be upset with them and it would be easier to keep each other motivated.  That's a fairly tall order though even for a game as popular as this one.

Link to comment

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in

Sign In Now
  • Create New...