“You really love RP, don’t you?”

If you’ve ever hear the word roleplaying then chances are you’ve also heard the stigma associated with it; creating judgments that encompass anyone associated in their sweeping generalizations. Some of these even label those involved as perverts, and genuinely believe it’s all about sex whether thinking of those couples who dress up for a little excitement or that those doing it online are just pretending to be someone else as they write smut one-handed with someone else doing the same on the other end. Granted, sometimes, there might be some truth to these assumptions, but in most causes this is not true. Quite simply: We are writers.

When we are roleplaying we’re creating fascinating characters to weave into plots with other roleplayers; essentially we are co-writing a story that could take our characters to Hell and back, and watching how they grow from these experiences. Some of these tales can evoke power feelings that put you on an emotional roller-coaster. I admit fully that I’ve cried on more than one occasion while a writing a scene or a reading a log – a transcript per se – of characters that belong to others. Their characters just as real to me as my own in the sense that any character is “real” to a writer; we put in their creation a piece of our soul as if they are our own child put down on paper, and then we have to watch them go through these experiences and watch them weather each one without interfering.

One of my favorite things about roleplaying is the unpredictability of other players characters. You can have an idea of how you hope something might go, but due to the involvement of others it might go differently whether playing one-on-one or with multiple people, or in a large group session – which is very entertaining. Each experience is different, each story is different, each setting is different yet the chance for a sudden twist, or change, that is completely unexpected is always a possibility.

The reason I decided to write this entry, that an itch was created that made me need to write it, is someone asked me “You really love RPing, don’t you?” and simply put: I do. It is a hobby, something I do for fun, but it is important to me as well. A creative outlet that connects me to others, that helps me knock through writer’s block, and that allows me to relieve stress; whether I’m RPing via instant messenger, forum, email, or  mix of all three. It is something that I have done for 12 years, and I really don’t see myself stopping any time soon, that lets me stretch the creative fingers inside my brain; massaging my brain to release ideas that let me create detailed characters with depth and put them into different settings to have experiences that allow them to grow even more than I imagined.

I’ve written so many great characters, and weaved so many great tales, with other talented players that each one has become embedded in my mind in some way. I didn’t do it for the money, or the attention, or the desire to be someone else. I did it for the sheer pleasure of just writing and interacting with other writers; making that connection of shared interests, and hobbies, and bonding through these amazing tales or wonderful characters.

I guess I want to wrap this up by simply saying that if you’ve ever given a sweeping generalization, or made a disgusted face, at hearing the word “Roleplaying” please remember this post. Please remember that some of what I post on here comes from roleplaying sessions. Roleplayers do not deserve the stigma attached to the word for we are simply writers that choose to write in a different way.

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10 thoughts on ““You really love RP, don’t you?”

  1. As an old roleplayer–Call of Cthulhu, 2nd Edition, from 1985, was my first game, and the first one I played–I used gaming to help develop my storytelling abilities. If you run games for any period of time, you need a good storyline and a lineup of character to bounce off your players, and you end up being as much of an author as a game master as you are if you’re sitting down to create a novel.

    Creative people should take a game, any game, and try their hand at creating a story within that universe. Then find people who want to join that universe. They’ll be surprised how much fun it can be–and how much work it is putting it all together.

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    • I’m really glad that you enjoyed the post! That is exactly what I find it helps me do as well. Creating my own little story within a set universe can help expand your writing, and creating, abilities, and another thing I love doing is making my own setting for others to write their stories within; letting them create within my universe and seeing how their stories change it. World building is something I enjoy quite a deal and in RP you can world build to your hearts content without worrying too much about how it’ll detract from the story, because in this case you’re making a setting for others to write stories instead.

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  2. What game(s) would you recommend for an RP virgin? I tried D&D years ago but didn’t fit in with the experienced players. Then not too long ago, tried a different game (don’t remember the name) and it was the same thing, they didn’t have the patience for me to learn the basics so I brought the whole crew down.

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    • Honestly, I’ve never done any tabletop – not for my lack of wanting to though, but cause I don’t have anyone around me to get involved in with that kind of deal, but I do know that some people I know likes stuff such as Vampire the Masquerade. I’m not sure of some other ones though off the top of my head. Honestly, I think the best bet is to find people who’d be willing to teach you or learn with you as you learn to play something like D&D or VtM. What I do is online roleplaying via forums or instant messenger groups nowadays. It can be a little up and down, and most of it is just free form with basic rules like no powerplaying or god-moding (ie controlling the actions of other peoples characters is power-playing or god-moding), and stuff like that, and most of the rules are explained neatly. The only thing is sometimes a group might close or an RP partner might disappear, et cetera, and things like that, but you adapt pretty well. I can direct you to some online RPing places, but otherwise that’s about all I can do.

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      • Cool. Thanks for the information, I wasn’t aware that I was talking about two different types of gaming, lol. I think I’d prefer the table top version. But we’ll see. I’m going to look for the vampire game you mentioned. Let’s see if I can round up a bunch of other novices and make a go of this. 🙂

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    • It really depends on what sort of genre you’re interested in, Diva. Just as with writing, you have games that are into horror (Call of Cthulhu, Don’t Rest Your Head), paranormal, (World of Darkness, Vampire, Mage, The Dresden Files), science fiction (Eclipse Phase, Shadowrun, Cyberpunk). There are even rpgs based upon your favorite movies and TV shows (Star Trek, Star Wars, Stargate, Serenity/Firefly, Doctor Who). And the nice thing is, nearly all of these can be found online in PDF format, so if you don’t like hauling around a ton of books–like I used to–put them on a hard drive and take a tablet.

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