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Lydia Lightfoot

Why pre-arrange romantic RP?

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Like a lot of people who posted before, I've done both as well and I've had great experiences with both. Another reason for prearranged romance is that it does take some trust OOCly to get a romance RP going. Like a lot of people mix IC with OOC and it causes a big drama explosion, especially with romance RP so to avoid drama, I sometimes like to pre plan things with RP partners who I trust. On the other hand, it's fun to also have romance develop between two characters with a player you may not know as well.

 

I have two examples of both that are successful. I had pre planned a romance RP with Liara's husband's player and they have a very beautiful story. Liara and Jaja are probably one of the most compatible couples I've RPed. We did hit a rough patch when we had some OOC problems happening between us that had nothing to do with the RP so we took a hiatus from Liara and Jaja for awhile, but we did get back into it and the couple's just as happy as ever. 

 

The other, which wasn't pre planned was Zhara's relationship with Chachan. A few scenes in of them RPing as friends, I wasn't sure where they were going to end up, but they ended up in a pretty good spot. They have their differences from each other but I think they compliment each other very well. Both couples have been active (minus Liara and Jaja's OOC hiatus) for about a year.

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Yay, my topic got a lot of replies while I slept! :D

 

I think a lot of the uncertainty element, at least as a player, can be mitigated by communication. Whenever a character I've played over the years has seemed to be potentially making a romance-possible connection with someone's character, I like to chat with the player of the other character and make sure I'm not misreading their OOC intention. Sometimes a player will just want their character to be flirty or something but not actually have it go anywhere, so a discussion like that assures me that it wasn't, like... the player ended up not liking my writing, or something like that. 

 

If it is something they player is interested in, then the OOC discussion ends up shifting to pragmatic topics. Are our schedules reasonably compatible as players? If the characters did get romantically involved they needn't be attached at the hip, of course, but if we'd only be likely to even get to RP once a week, that may make it difficult for them to have enough face time to actually form that connection. Do we have similarities in our ideals as players? Some players tend to be collaborative with storytelling while others prefer to be very independent; some play a lot of alts and others mostly focus on a main character only or maybe one lone alt; some have an active schedule of activities their character is involved in and so the potential romance interest might have to chase them around a bit, whereas others may be hoping said romantic interest will lead the way to RP events; some may have a stronger separation between IC and OOC than others (and as others have mentioned they may even be hoping their RP will lead to an OOC interest, which is a good thing to be informed about up front, to avoid hurt feelings on their part later when the other person is like "wait what?"); and of course the "adult stuff talk" - do they prefer FTB or not, and if not, to what extent to they prefer it be a focal point of their romantic RP.

 

I've had plenty of situations where after having the OOC chat, the other player and I realize that our interests as players just don't line up enough that this promising thing our characters have led themselves to is just probably not going to be a happy time for us as players - and that's okay to realize that. It's the same in any hobby. You can run a D&D group and enjoy the company of this person from the game store who's just a real hoot, but, the guy just has a hectic and oddball schedule and it's impossible to get him around a table on a consistent basis, so he's not a good fit for your D&D group even if he's a cool dude. 

 

Sometimes, that result means I don't ever really see that player's character around again, and other times I do, but the characters have a fairly organic evolution of their original "hmm, maybe?" thoughts into "mm, friends is good" instead. Or, sometimes other fun results happen, wherein one of the characters ends up harboring a crush or something like that, and as happens in real life, it just doesn't lead anywhere. 

 

I've often thought to myself - is this OOC chat technically a form of pre-arrangement? I don't really feel like it is, because we're not deciding the characters will become involved, we're just determining whether or not if they became involved it would actually be a workable situation for us as players.

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Personally in my experience it's easier to set up the idea that the characters may get together without stepping on toes because my word.. some people are hurt by the smallest of things. In the past some of my more entertaining character relations were with a friend who would brainstorm with me as to what hells to run the pair through after the previous plot was finished.. While fun I have had amazing interactions in the past with random relationships. Pretty few and far between but it did happen.

 

Now a days I only have relationship rps with my husband and his characters. Granted they are all prearranged .. or I guess you could say they are. We still go about the bases of actually making a story and not just writing that characters are married just because. I'm happy with how our characters and stories turn out so I see nothing wrong with setting up ideas for a story.

 

Also seeing as it was mentioned.. I've run into some of those who use rp as a dating service... More then a few times. Even when saying I was married it didn't seem to deter them in the least. (yay for blacklist)

 

Ah yep, see? In this case, you're RPing with your husband, so that would totally work, and it's one hundred percent safe. :) If I had a significant other who RPed, I might consider pre-arranging at least in PART, but for me personally, without a significant other, I'm completely happy with things unfolding as they will. I don't plan for my characters to fall for the characters of others, so it happens naturally - or it doesn't. :3

 

That person ignored the fact that you were married? That's pretty bad. >.>

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Yay, my topic got a lot of replies while I slept! :D

 

I think a lot of the uncertainty element, at least as a player, can be mitigated by communication. Whenever a character I've played over the years has seemed to be potentially making a romance-possible connection with someone's character, I like to chat with the player of the other character and make sure I'm not misreading their OOC intention. Sometimes a player will just want their character to be flirty or something but not actually have it go anywhere, so a discussion like that assures me that it wasn't, like... the player ended up not liking my writing, or something like that. 

 

If it is something they player is interested in, then the OOC discussion ends up shifting to pragmatic topics. Are our schedules reasonably compatible as players? If the characters did get romantically involved they needn't be attached at the hip, of course, but if we'd only be likely to even get to RP once a week, that may make it difficult for them to have enough face time to actually form that connection. Do we have similarities in our ideals as players? Some players tend to be collaborative with storytelling while others prefer to be very independent; some play a lot of alts and others mostly focus on a main character only or maybe one lone alt; some have an active schedule of activities their character is involved in and so the potential romance interest might have to chase them around a bit, whereas others may be hoping said romantic interest will lead the way to RP events; some may have a stronger separation between IC and OOC than others (and as others have mentioned they may even be hoping their RP will lead to an OOC interest, which is a good thing to be informed about up front, to avoid hurt feelings on their part later when the other person is like "wait what?"); and of course the "adult stuff talk" - do they prefer FTB or not, and if not, to what extent to they prefer it be a focal point of their romantic RP.

 

I've had plenty of situations where after having the OOC chat, the other player and I realize that our interests as players just don't line up enough that this promising thing our characters have led themselves to is just probably not going to be a happy time for us as players - and that's okay to realize that. It's the same in any hobby. You can run a D&D group and enjoy the company of this person from the game store who's just a real hoot, but, the guy just has a hectic and oddball schedule and it's impossible to get him around a table on a consistent basis, so he's not a good fit for your D&D group even if he's a cool dude. 

 

Sometimes, that result means I don't ever really see that player's character around again, and other times I do, but the characters have a fairly organic evolution of their original "hmm, maybe?" thoughts into "mm, friends is good" instead. Or, sometimes other fun results happen, wherein one of the characters ends up harboring a crush or something like that, and as happens in real life, it just doesn't lead anywhere. 

 

I've often thought to myself - is this OOC chat technically a form of pre-arrangement? I don't really feel like it is, because we're not deciding the characters will become involved, we're just determining whether or not if they became involved it would actually be a workable situation for us as players.

 

Yep, pretty much everything you said there is sensible.

 

The big thing for me is communication. OOCly communication. So many relationships and friendships fizzled out because the other person didn't keep up communication. One person didn't play her character (the girlfriend of mine) for a whole year but was on every single day playing another romantic couple, for that whole year! But she never once had my character's girlfriend write a letter, or talk to me about maybe what they were doing while we weren't actually RPing them.

 

That wasn't a pre-planned romance on my part, but she was pushing hard to get my character to like hers (ICly mostly, with subtle hints OOCly that I can see now as I look back on it), and -eventually-, after months of almost constant interaction between the characters, they got together. Then the stuff above, etc.

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Personally don't endorse it myself, but it can be interesting for establishing partners that have been together for extensive periods of time, that no normal player would have been able to at that time. I'd say the longest I've held is at year 7 after doing it naturally, but a friend and I did plan for a couple that's been together for a few centuries on another game.

 

Suffice it to say, that's about the extent of its usefulness, and mainly serves as an excuse to interact with just the one person instead of getting to know others outside of that roleplay.

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The times when I've had a character become romantically involved with another and it ended up being a fulfilling and interesting element of their overall story, and it lasted long enough to be meaningful and feel even plausibly realistic, it happened organically. 

 

But yes, the organic and realistic way of developing characters together, who learn about each other as you write them, is a really cool feeling. And it makes the relationship more solid. :)

 

Now I let things flow as they will, and it's great. Sometimes it ends and it's miserable, but at least it's organic and realistic, and doesn't feel forced.

 

[align=justify]For me personally, so much character development occurs through the complex interactions between my character and those written by other people. To skip all the experiences and interactions that may lead to an organic . . . 

 

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I feel that a prior arranged romantic roleplay would rob that creative process of its organic value and in turn, result in a character that feels forced or unnatural. It would affect my immersion.

 

 

Sometimes, that result means I don't ever really see that player's character around again, and other times I do, but the characters have a fairly organic evolution of their original "hmm, maybe?" thoughts into "mm, friends is good" instead. Or, sometimes other fun results happen, wherein one of the characters ends up harboring a crush or something like that, and as happens in real life, it just doesn't lead anywhere. 

 

In this thread, RP Whole Foods. The best RP is fair-trade, free of pesticides and human rights abuses, and non-GMO.

 

As for me, I like my RP processed, packed with unholy preservatives, and using monstrous randomizers that ruin everything and are built on the misery and labor of others. The goal of having natural and spontaneous creative outpourings that result from true and natural development between writers is meaningless to me, and I often find those results to be more predictable than if I had just pre-planned things or brought dice into the equation.

 

There are a number of good OOC reasons why players would choose to engage in pre-planned romances, but since the question is focused on why people would post forum ads looking for pre-arranged romance instead of, say, pre-establishing one with a player the writer already knows and trusts, let's stick with that. And since other people have pointed out the "red flag" issue, let's skip that.

 

Instead, frame these requests in the context of another type of thread we get with some frequency: "Why won't anybody RP with me when I walk up to them?" or its kissing cousin, "Why can't I get a storyline rolling beyond 'shallow' tavern RP?" For some people, this platonic ideal, this organic state of artisanal free-range cruelty-free romance hasn't happened, and for some it seems like it can't happen, because every time they try to do things "organically" they've failed or been ignored, and it's been that way for a long time. When people post these kinds of threads all they're really told is to keep hammering away at the problem. Some people accept this advice, and some decide to circumvent it and advertise what they're looking for. 

 

It seems unfair to disparage the choice when they may well have tried the alternative and not found it to be the immersive utopia it's cracked up to be, either because they couldn't get it at all, or because, as other people have already mentioned, it can get creepy in a hurry when it turns out their partner is looking to develop an organic OOC relationship as well, to the point of becoming outright abusive.

 

And then there are people who don't really see any aesthetic value in the sentiment that it feels "natural" and "unpredictable" or whatever when the roleplay develops naturally. Certainly, it's great when you stumble upon a writer you didn't know before with whom you have a good rapport, and do so largely by coincidence. But as somebody who doesn't value "organic" RP1, that feels less like an ideal form of the hobby and more like a lucky act of networking. I don't romanticize it, or let it inform how I approach my roleplay.

 

1Those of you who know me reasonably well might ask "But Verad, one of the things you like doing is walking up to strangers and selling them garbage IC, how is that anything but organic roleplay?" The terrible secret: my character's sales-pitches are pretty much scripted at this point, and the responses of the players are pretty much predictable, following down one of about four different response tracks. It's as organic as Spam.

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For me, the nature of the method matters less than the specifics of the RPer behind the other screen at the end of the day. No amount of pre-planning OR luck with development via randos over time can really make up for a person, character, and/or RP preferences I simply don't mesh well with.

 

More often than not, I may choose to see where things lead over setting up things in advance. (This is somewhat more due to laziness than cherry-picking for high quality.) But overall, if the other RPer and I have little to no rhythm, there's no point in forcing ourselves to dance.

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I mean, why does anyone pre-arrange any RP? Because they're looking for a certain kind of experience or scenario, and the statistical likelihood of that coming from un-arranged, spur-of-the-moment circumstances is incredibly unlikely.

 

At the risk of some false-equivalency fallacy, do we consider the relationships of people who met through online dating less "organic" compared to those who met as friends first and became intimate later?

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As someone who has tried both organic and pre-arranged romance RP, I arch my brow at the notion that either is somehow better or worse than the other when any romance RP - regardless of how it originated - boils down to one thing: the people involved.

 

If you mesh with someone and they have the same idea in mind of what is 'fun' romance RP and what isn't - and they're not a gross abusive creep (which can and has happened in both organic and pre-arranged RP) - the romance RP is probably going to be a blast for that person regardless of how it all rolled out.

 

Additionally - I personally would like it if folks would stop repeatedly attempting to organically grow free-range romance RP with my character. At least in these threads they are upfront and clear about what they are hunting for instead of injecting their desires into all the RP we do, hoping the organic romance will 'spontaneously' occur.

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It just occurred to me there's a significant overlap between the posters saying that pre-planned RP feels hollow and forced in this thread, and the posters saying they have a right to respond to public RP without feeling the need to send a tell asking if it's okay in the other thread about public RP etiquette.

 

How much of this is born from actual confusion over the thread topic itself instead of a general confusion that other people don't like immersive RP that much, and have reasons for doing so?

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Ultimately I find it meaningless to audit other people's preferences. Even if it isn't what you enjoy, it's a big RP community. They will likely find someone who likes to do things the same way they do. As long as they're not hurting themselves or someone else, what does it matter what they choose to do or not?

 

But to address the question more directly: I agree with Verad in that this seems to be more about whether or not you prefer immersive RP.

 

If you like immersive RP, that's great! More power to you! There's plenty of other people who share that preference, so please go forth and enjoy with your fellow players.

 

If you're like me, however, you don't.

 

That's not to say that I don't enjoy organically derived interactions, relationships, or storylines. I certainly do! But I only have so much time, energy, and inclination to RP each week. More and more, I find myself preferring to stick to pre-planned interactions, people I already know, or plots and/or RP communities I'm already part of. Not because I want to exclude people, but because I literally don't have the energy to devote to both my established connections and the sort of immersive interactions these threads have discussed.

 

Immersive RP can take a lot of time, energy, and work to move beyond surface interactions, to build relationships, and to create plots. I've done a lot of it. It was fun then. But now I want different things out of my time.

 

So, if I was looking to put one of my characters into a romantic relationship, I would prefer to pre-plan the interaction and see what happens.

 

Now, I'm not the sort to deliberately look for a romantic relationship for my characters, nor to do any sort of romance RP with strangers. But that's my personal preference, and no one else has to follow it. One approach isn't inherently better than another; they're just different, based on varied wants, needs, and purposes.

 

Finally, Ojene's entire romantic relationship was baked in with my RP partner when we first made the two characters. Her marriage with the guy she's known for over twenty five years. We've been playing this for two years now, and not only has it worked just fine between them, but their interaction is by far the most fulfilling romance RP I've ever done.

 

I can't say my other pre-planned excursions went as well. But- neither have my organic ones. What made this one work where the others did not had nothing to do with planned vs pre-planned, but rather the synergy of the characters; our strong OOC friendship; and our similar approaches, desires, and wants.

 

It all comes down to what we prefer.

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I tend to avoid it because I like for things to happen naturally throughout the course of the RP and let the chips fall where they may. Pre-arranged romances can sometimes feel forced or lacking in depth/detail. But I don't see any harm in it and I can totally understand why others do it. It's not as if the issues with it are inevitable. Just like trying to set up a friendship or rivalry between characters to fill a role you think is missing in your character's life, if things aren't working out, you can always just tell the other role-player. You aren't just stuck trying to force two mismatched characters together because it was an idea you had on a forum board.

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I had two pre-arranged romances and they were absolutely terrible. The characters did not get along at all and they were only together for meta garbage reasons such as the fact it was arranged ooc. Never again.

 

It was also shallow, as you say. Nothing interesting was happening. Sure it's nice to do the romance itself for a while but it gets hold. They actually have to offer something to eachother and I don't think pre-arragements are good for that. You just don't know what character you're getting.

 

I think it's much better if it happens organizally after several months of RP. That worked much better for me.

 

I find pre-establishing of romance to be boring and very hollow in terms of play. Trying to force characters together just seems bland, unfilling, and makes me lose interest fairly quickly.

 

To me, characters are like children. They need to experience the world. They need a chance to grow. They need to experience the ups and downs of life.

 

For me personally, so much character development occurs through the complex interactions between my character and those written by other people. To skip all the experiences and interactions that may lead to an organic connection between them is to deny my character what I feel to be genuine development and progression within the world. A large part of the creative appeal of roleplay for me, as opposed to writing on my own, is to watch my character develop through unpredictable situations and engagements with others.

 

I feel that a prior arranged romantic roleplay would rob that creative process of its organic value and in turn, result in a character that feels forced or unnatural. It would affect my immersion.

 

If the characters did get romantically involved they needn't be attached at the hip' date=' of course, but if we'd only be likely to even get to RP once a week, that may make it difficult for them to have enough face time to actually form that connection[/quote']

 

A lot of this goes back to the question, how much time have your characters actually previously spent together, not only ingame but also in your writing for each other (forum RP threads, etc.)? Do they adventure and travel together? Or is one of them maybe a highborn type, or a courtesan type, or an inn owner type who rarely travels but regularly gets letters from / is visited by the other? Would they terribly mind if one is off cavorting with the sMol in Azim Steppe, while the other is back home running a cafe in the Lavender Beds?

 

Slight blurring is inevitable. How much is OOC affection for someone being reliable and chill and helping you progress your leveling, versus how much is IC affection for their character paying attention to yours? Especially in a game like XIV, where a lot of later content is walled off by MSQ and dungeons. Healers gradually falling for their tanks and vice versa is a trope for a reason. This being an FF game, I also wouldn't be surprised at players who want something similar to Squall x Rinoa, Tidus x Yuna, Quina x food.

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I've taken both approaches, though not strictly in a romance-focused sense. 

Romance is almost never a major priority for any of my RP. If it happens, that's alright, but I tend to make characters with significant challenges or goals they need to overcome, and romance is the last thing on their minds. However, I have worked closely with friends and collaborators to establish a bond between RP characters before a campaign started. These were people I trusted and whose writing I enjoyed, so I wanted to try out working with them instead of having our characters be independent. It presents problems when people flaked out, but ultimately, just because of how compatible we were writing wise, creating a relationship beforehand just codified what would have likely already happened; our characters tended to, coincidentally, mesh well together as a rule. I've also had impromptu RP romantic relationships emerge too, but these didn't really always leave a lasting impression on me, and they were almost always initiated by the other player.

 

Usually when these character relationships were established, they were intimate, but not romantic. I've honestly always had more interest in writing about familial relationships, sworn siblings, close friends, rather than romance. In general I can't really wrap my head around it, especially marriage RP. It feels like a difficult restriction for me personally to write around, while providing little enjoyment to me for its own sake. Unless it involves conflict or tragedy in some way, in which case my innate maudlin streak takes hold. Why, I can't really say; I'm not in a huge hurry to get married IRL, maybe that has something to do with it? Or maybe it's because I don't feel I understand how to write a well-adjusted family. Take that as you will. 

 

But I've definitely been in a lot of RP while, maybe there might not have been a full-on relationship developing, I've still been perfectly willing to play along with unplanned tension, and I could see something growing out of that if the campaigns lasted longer. On the other hand, I've been in campaigns where the GM tried to pair characters off forcibly, through the use of plot devices native to the setting or "destiny," and that turned out very poorly, but that had a lot to do with the innate incompatibility of our characters and the fact that we were strangers. The manner in which the romance is set up is pretty irrelevant, I think, but everyone already mentioned that. What mattered to me was that I was able to write about things I knew I could entertain others through, and working with people who shared the same desire. If I don't really understand my RP partner, how can I establish a relationship they'll enjoy writing about?

 

On another note, I personally think immersion is a buzzword, meant to describe a variety of factors that affect enjoyment rather than anything concrete, and too subjective to be a useful measure of quality. But that's a discussion for another time. Certainly, I don't think pre-planned RP in general has any less innate worth than spontaneous RP.

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When I first role played Gin me and a friend who I had met decided to arrange a plot where my characters father was marrying my character off to another character (another pc) for both political and monetary reasons. Not only was the roleplay very enjoyable, it was more so because the characters were forced to engage with each other when normally they might not have.

 

Eventually these two characters formed a very strong bond based on trust rather than instant attraction and OOC me and this player have been friends ever since.

 

From this standpoint, I can understand it. But coming back into a pre-decided relationship I think can be straining.

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In my experience, pre-arranged RP only works well when one or both characters are mostly unformed, or if two concepts just happen to mesh really well (which is more random than "pre-planned" imo).

 

But it can work, and I have had several that did work very well.

 

I've had many more that didn't work out at all, for various reason s(sometimes OOC, sometimes IC). But I've also had many started-as-random relationships that also never got off the ground. So YMMV.

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There is one thing I think people might be overlooking.  Threads that say looking for romance don't always mean prearranged romance.  Sure the poster might be looking for that, but those threads can also just as easily be "Hey, I'm looking for a love interest for my character, let me know if you're interested.  We can get some RP in and see how they get along."  In a case like that, the forum post more acts as a bar, a place to meet prospective partners, not something to outright prearrange things.

 

That aside, I tried a prearranged relationship exactly once, in a different mmo, and it was an absolute train wreck.  It was with an in-game friend of mine.  She just got clear of a drama bomb and asked me to put my character in a relationship with one she just made.  It didn't take long to learn what sounded good on paper just didn't play out well.  The romance crashed and burned spectacularly.  The warning signs were there.  Had we even played them as friends for a month before getting them together, we would have seen it wouldn't work.

 

So, lesson learned.  To tie back to the start, I am not adverse to seeing how characters RP with mine, if they spark or such, but I will never, never again just outright prearrange a relationship.

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Different strokes for different folks

 

I mean, this is the answer to your thread right here. Thread over.

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Different strokes for different folks

 

I mean, this is the answer to your thread right here. Thread over.

 

Almost any question of preference could be shrugged aside in the same manner. It's been a very pleasant forum thread to read through, though, and people have expressed a lot of interesting perspectives, ones which probably wouldn't have been shared if I hadn't presented the topic in the first place.

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I've seen the spectrum on this personally over the past 10 years of RP.

 

I've had "whole foods organic" relationship RP that lasted for years and was full of ups and downs and was fantastic.   I've also had organic relationship RP that's been a freakin dumpster fire of annoyance and frustration OOC, no matter how well the characters seemed to get on.

 

My arranged relationship RP?  Same thing, only often with less OOC trouble since both parties are going into it with a particular expectation. Sometimes it works out amazing IC and can make for a fun will-they-or-won't-they story of learning to love one another, especially if the arrangement is ALSO an arranged relationship IC, too.  Sometimes, it turns out to be the worst idea ever conceived - the characters do not get along well at all despite what you expected (and not in the fun rivalmance sort of way) or even worse, the two characters are just freakin' boring together. 

 

These days, I would say more of my RP falls into the latter camp for romance, arranged over un-arranged.  I do take chances on the crazy random happenstance romance RP here and there, but usually the ships that I do at least a decent amount of pre-planning OOC for tend to work better and longer for me.  The whole "dating and falling in love" segment of romance RP is fun, but I think I have more fun with the part that starts when the Disney movie ends and my characters find out what it's really like to be partners in life. That usually requires an RP partner that's 1) in it for the long haul, 2) isn't living vicariously through their character to the point that they'll be upset with ups and downs, and 3) a degree of trust and maturity that I'm not likely to find out of a random someone whose character just happens to fancy mine. 

 

Romance RP is always kind of a gamble, though.  No matter how well you take the odds into consideration and count the cards, sometimes you still walk away from the table with nothing because it's a bad hand.  While other times you just dump change into the slot machine and it spits out a jackpot out of nowhere.  You just never know!

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I've seen the spectrum on this personally over the past 10 years of RP.

 

I've had "whole foods organic" relationship RP that lasted for years and was full of ups and downs and was fantastic.   I've also had organic relationship RP that's been a freakin dumpster fire of annoyance and frustration OOC, no matter how well the characters seemed to get on.

 

My arranged relationship RP?  Same thing, only often with less OOC trouble since both parties are going into it with a particular expectation. Sometimes it works out amazing IC and can make for a fun will-they-or-won't-they story of learning to love one another, especially if the arrangement is ALSO an arranged relationship IC, too.  Sometimes, it turns out to be the worst idea ever conceived - the characters do not get along well at all despite what you expected (and not in the fun rivalmance sort of way) or even worse, the two characters are just freakin' boring together. 

 

[snipped]  

 

Romance RP is always kind of a gamble, though.  No matter how well you take the odds into consideration and count the cards, sometimes you still walk away from the table with nothing because it's a bad hand.  While other times you just dump change into the slot machine and it spits out a jackpot out of nowhere.  You just never know!

 

Represents my thoughts and experiences pretty well.  I enjoy it, and even if I don't have a character actively looking to get into a relationship I usually hope it happens and keep them open to it.  It can be a great way for a person to develop and a story to get an extra aspect that entertains and provides hooks for all.  

 

These days, I don't mind some pre-arrangement.  Not to say "yes, they're together now." but to set up the possibility where both parties are keeping it in mind that something could happen. It's communication, it keeps things from devolving into a hot ooc mess, as with any other form of RP.  I've honestly had much better experiences this way than the whole foods approach.

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I can never pre-plan or do organic RP cause I don't RP as everyone so painfully reminds me ;_;

 

I'M TRYING SIXTEEN!

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I've pre-arranged dysfunctional romance (can't get enough of it) and close platonic relationships. Most of the time these are with people I've rped with for a couple years, but occasionally someone comes along who surprises me.

 

I think something to keep in mind with any sort of pre-arranged rp is that there's a difference between tightly controlled micro-managed rp and loosely controlled macro rp. I think a lot of people are thinking about micro-managed rp in this thread, where you plan out every little detail (where the idea of things feeling forced or like you're stuck on a track even if it falls to pieces) and try to sort of correct for any changes that occur outside of the plans.

 

To me, when I pre-arrange dysfunctional relationships or those tightly knit platonic relationships, I only focus the micro attention to the stuff that happens before the rp occurs. Once that's out of the way, whatever happens in the rp happens. If things don't go the way I'd hoped, oh well. I don't feel disappointed, and I've never had anything crash and burn in a way that felt bad to me (though keep in mind I usually enjoy the crashes and burns in rp, haha). What I like most about rp is that sometimes it surprises, and no matter what the theme of the rp was supposed to be, unexpected directions are always a delight to work with, not something I frown on.

 

As to the why -- well, usually I have certain things I wanna write about, and I create characters that allow me to do this, and sometimes contact people about their characters to allow me to work with them on specific themes or plots. I don't see how romance would be any different to that kind of arranging. I only have a limited amount of free time, you know? I wanna spend it doing stuff I think is fun.

 

And sometimes putting two people in a sappy sweet relationship and then watching it slowly fall apart in a magnificent burst of awfulness is fun!

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Hmm. I can see how sometimes it'd fit the purpose, like setting up a backstory, or maybe a couple just wants to stick together. Makes sense!

 

I personally try to avoid it, because it just has to be a spectacular ship for me to be on board. I am a huge fan of characters impacting one another and being a catalyst for growth. I don't think I could rp slice of life romance, not that there is anything wrong with it! 

 

What I could see working out for prearrangement may be like... One sided love! Like you make sure the person is ok with your character crushing on them, so it doesn't get weird.

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My personal opinion is that I don't walk into a game wanting my character to get into a romance so FOR ME I prefer the happy accidents.

 

However, I think there's valid reasons for pre-planned:

 

~ Most pre-planned RP I've seen are couples IRL. Romance RP can be... drama pretty easily, and some couples actually like, you know, acting like a couple in RP too. So you kinda avoid people trying to go after your SO's character while being happy RPing together. This usually works pretty well, honestly.

 

~ Only romance RPing with trusted friends. I have some friends who preplan RP together as they are long time RP Partners and trust each other not to cause drama. I totally get this, because even though I like "Happy Accidents" I still have a very strict set of guidelines OOCly before I'll get into a romance with someone. Some people just don't wanna deal with that at all.

 

~ You don't have a lot of time. Building a relationship, or even finding a character who your character connects with, takes time. A lot of time. And if you're looking for a partner for your character, it was be frustrating if you don't exactly have all the time in the world. We all go into RP for different reasons and some people believe that their character and/or stories don't have as much depth without some kind of second half involved.

 

It's not always love driven, desperate young people who want to blend OOC and IC to pretend they have an SO in the real world. That is definitely a thing, but there are people who do it just because they wanna cut out the middle man and believe romance is an important aspect of a character.

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