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Aerden [userpic]
A Question Regarding RP

To what extent is editing allowed in a written role-playing game?

I have always gone with the theory that, if your character does something stupid in an RP, the player is expected to have some balls and roll with the punches, to get his character out of trouble or else to gracefully accept the consequences of the player's stupidity in-game.

But what about when the player's ineptitude makes the character do something that is ridiculous or out of character for the character?

I was in such a situation once, and I felt so embarrassed and ashamed by my own ineptitude that I could not finish the joint post. The more I wrote on the JP, the less and less I liked it, to the point where it just became disgusting to me, to have my character appear to be so stupid and unprepared for something that, in retrospect, he should have been prepared for. It was also glaringly clear in the JP that neither my co-writer nor I had planned the thing or discussed it beforehand; we had simply begun writing it. That in itself was the MOST stupid thing. My co-writer presumably thought that I was as smart as he was and, well, I'm not. By the time my co-writer started his character's part and I saw the vast difference in our characters' reactions, I was so embarrassed at having been an idiot, that I could not bring myself to say to my co-writer, "Whoa, wait a minute. We need to stop this and coordinate things better."

That bit of weakness was my fault. I saw a problem and didn't feel confident enough to stand up for myself and for the story. I felt that, because it was RP, I had to accept the consequences of my own foolishness, even though those consequences killed the joy of the story for me.

The writer in me, though, was extremely dissatisfied with that. I wanted to say to my co-writer, "Look, this is turning into crap. Can we please stop this, agree on how our characters are going to handle the situation, and then re-write it so that they act in a unified and coordinated fashion?"

But are you allowed to do that in RP? Can you re-write without seeming like a weenie who can't take what is dished out?

Current Mood: curiouscurious

I guess it'll depend on who you're writing with and if backpedalling would affect any other characters besides those directly involved in the scene. And also if your objective of writing is to put together a good story or to move a plot/char dev along. How much of your co-writer's char dev will have to go if you two backtrack? Is he willing to sacrifice that?

It's quite possible that he, on the other hand, is going along well. But y'know that if you plan on writing with him on a regular basis, he's gonna have his bad days too. *g*

You can do anything you want

It's your life, live it the way you want. Speaking up might conflict with some stupid urban legend of how you should do things, but why should you be miserable. Most likely, your co-writer isn't smarter than you, he's probably just done this before. If you've never done this before -- or gotten into this kind of situation before -- of course you probably make some mistakes.

Also consider your writing partner might be geeked about different things. They might enjoy having a character wallow around and be lost and stupid when it upsets you.

Talk to you co-writer. He'll probably let you rewrite -- and if he doesn't then don't forceful to do something that's driving you nuts. Life is short, do what makes you happy.

I completely agree with the above.

I've only played in one game, and what we always, always do before hand is hash out such things. We put it as a question. "What if we did thus and such?" "How would your character react if mine did this?" If characters are supposed to be reconciling, in my mind, anyway, and the other character doesn't play the scene out that way because we didn't have time to hash out plot details before hand, I'll ask them in a private email why they didn't just do that, and then think up another plot where it could be plausibly tried again. Usually, if you're in a good group, as I am, the other person will then agree to do it the second way.


I find it very difficult to stop a roleplay halfway through and start again in the same situation - to the degree that I'd not end up roleplaying through something twice, I'd wait until something had changed and start afresh. Obviously that's not always possible.

But you also have to bear in mind that I can't plan for shit. Not reactions to events, nor events themselves. I'm too... I don't know, unthoughtful a writer. I suck at plot.

I will say though: roleplay is a game, you are a gamer, and although we all play different, we're still all playing.

Rich--Actually, I think more like a writer than like a gamer, and that might be part of the problem. My concern is that the story be done well and logically. The situation above distressed me in part because I felt that the need to 'play the game' was ruining the story.


I think what I meant was if it's not making you happy, don't do it!

- Rich

Planning things out beforehand and talking the RP's direction over with any involved gamemates is probably your friend. I don't tend to do it beyond "OK, so your character's here doing this, mine is there doing that, this is the backdrop, let's do this thing", as I'm not a writer and can't plan these things to save my life, but yes, it really sounds like you could stand to do more planning in future. Think of it as a learning experience. :)

The only time I was in a situation like yours, I was RPing over AIM, and we had had to cut the scene off halfway to go to sleep; I was feeling horrid about how OOC and generally dumb I'd had my character act, and we eventually decided to scrap the scene.