Author Kyle Perkins

An interview with text based roleplayers

1. How has roleplaying improved your writing?

Thomas: Honestly it helped me a lot. I had strayed away from writing for quite a few years, leaving my first work, a suspense novel, hanging dry with only around 26 chapters done. I hit a block big time, and couldn’t find the motivation to finish it. Roleplaying popped up one day a few years back, and what started as a casual bit of fun to pass the time, quickly grew into quite an obsession, full of passion.

John: I would say working with other people who enjoy writing has inspired me to step up my game when it comes to the work I’m putting out. Things that I normally wouldn’t pay attention to and little errors I would normally let slide suddenly bother me when I know that other people will be reading it.

Christiana: You receive immediate feedback on how effective your writing is. Did you describe the scene in a clear manner, or was it too ambiguous and the audience is confused? Did you clearly communicate the emotions of your character in such a way that the other RPers respond appropriately? Do they understand what’s going on in the scene? Is the setting exciting or are they bored? Is the element of suspense working? Do your characters have relatable qualities to your audience? The list goes on and on.
RPing also allows you to try out different writing styles, various genres, and in a lot of settings, teaches you the importance of research due to the extensive lore. Nothing is worse than reading a book where it becomes blatantly obvious that the author spent zero time researching.

Jasser: First things first, I have started Text-based Roleplay at quite a young age. I was that odd, introvert kid, who’d prefer the company of books to that of classmates, friends and the likes. I have always gotten myself frustrated when a story wouldn’t go my way, or how I expected it to. Thus as soon as I could put a coherent paragraph together, I was already writing in set settings of various fiction works. Basically writing fanfictions before I understood the term. As I was surfing the net in search of some topic or the other, I stumbled upon a French Roleplaying group that had its own setting, its own lore and its very distinct ongoing story. I was instantly mesmerized. I had quite a bit of trouble with grammar and syntax as French was my second language and I was just a high schooler and it went on for some five years, during which I learned how to paint, with words, panoramic sceneries, action filled confrontations, surreal reveries and most importantly, how to convey my characters emotions to the reader or the –then Rp partner(s)-. Later on, I joined an English based Text Roleplay group that helped me learn how to make group wide enjoyable stories. So overall, I would dare say that roleplay is the one tool that allowed me to perfect my once basic extra languages, taught me how to appeal to readers, hook their attention and format my walls of text in such a way that it would be easier on the eyes.

2. I’d imagine roleplaying would take you a bit out of your comfort zone, did it help you open up as a writer?

Thomas: It did. I was very, very nervous when I began. I’d never shared my writing with anyone other than immediate family, let alone writing with other people being involved in how the story went. It improved me quite a bit actually. See, writing is something you plan, draw out, you take your time. With roleplaying, the vast majority of it is on the fly, as you can’t really plan what the others involved will do with their side of the story. So it forced me to be more creative, to write as if I were playing a game of chess.

John: In all honesty, learning how to rp was not out of my comfort zone at all. I found the first admin I came into contact with to be very helpful and encouraging. He liked my work and offered me a position as his page’s Historian, which also came with an admin title. Learning how to rp was alot of fun for me and I tried my best to put out good work for the group. I’ll tell you what the real nightmare was, that was being an admin and watching others try to rp. In any roleplay group, you will have good writers, people who aren’t that great but try their best, and people who fucking suck but think they’re good writers despite all evidence to the contrary. Writing can be fun, but never forget how much bullshit your admins go through. They have to babysit whiny dipshits who don’t understand the importance of staying within the context of established lore and think the whole group is their personal playground. While creativity and individuality is encouraged, alot of people try to go overboard with the kind of whacky stuff they think of and end up ruining the experience for others. That’s where admins come in. Sometimes they can seem like harsh killjoys, but it’s their job to make sure the group is fair and balanced for everyone to participate. If there was any advice I would give to new RPers, it would be to stick close to your admins and learn from them. Unless you have shitty admins who don’t know what they’re talking about, then find another group.

Christiana: I think there’s always the fear of judgment, that secret paranoia that whispers in your ear, “They think you suuuuck”. You get over it, though. At least you should. RP attracts a very diverse group of people and levels of talent. Sometimes you find that you’re the one being a Judgy McJudgington, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Silently editing other people’s writing also helps you learn what works and what doesn’t work so you can bring that critical eye back to your own work.
There are also the exceptionally gifted writers who make a story really come alive and inspire you to take writing risks, to get better, to be better. Always try to find someone who is a more skilled writer than you. They’ll make you work harder.

Jasser: Indeed, as an introvert, my writings usually hold within their lines my naked self, my fears, my hopes, my successes and failures. They are a very real part of me and exposing them to the judgement of others is always a dreadful thought. However, roleplaying allows one to compare his own style and approach to others, it encourages one to “have a go at it” without really fearing that their work would be torn to shreds by a know-it-all editor, critic or the rest of the ruthless grammar/Syntax/content Nazis. In a way, text-based-roleplaying is a safe environment for unsure start up writers.

3. A lot of people would consider text based roleplaying as “not real writing”, what would you say to those people?

Thomas: That they are full of it, and have obviously never been involved in that community. Over the few years of being a part of roleplaying, I’ve made a great deal of friends through it. And a handful of them regularly planned very detailed and great stories. As a matter of fact, one of the novels I’m currently writing, is loosely based off of my main character and his life’s journey in one of the roleplay groups I was a part of. What started as just someone to play around with in some stories, became so much more. I began to care about him, to write him, living a life one could only dream of. It took a lot of planning and a couple years worth of writing, to take him to his ending. If that’s not real writing, then I don’t know what is.

John: I’ve actually been writing a Fallout-themed fanfic based on a story I started with my co-author in a Fallout RP group, and I’ve had someone tell me before that fan fiction is a “waste of time for good writers”. I would say that it’s not so much about what’s “real writing” or not so much as how you feel about it yourself. Is writing a Fallout-themed fanfic or roleplaying in a Fallout-themed group any more a waste of time than playing the actual game? Neither of those actions necessarily produce any tangible benefits to society, and yet many people enjoy them. If you like video games, play video games. If you like movies, watch movies. If you like roleplaying, do some roleplaying. It’s not about being the best writer in the world (so long as you don’t completely suck donkey balls at it), it’s about releasing your creativity and sharing your stories and ideas with others. I would submit that the assertion is entirely irrelevant, whether it were true or not. Roleplaying is a hobby and is not meant to be taken as anything more than that. Whether it’s “real” writing or not is completely beside the point.

Christiana: To each his own. Creativity is creativity. At the end of the day, writing is about creating art with words. Whether you are building a world from scratch out of your own imagination or using someone else’s preexisting one, we are all out to bring to life a character in a story. Isn’t that what writing is all about? It allows us to take our audience on a fantastic journey, a guided tour into the impossible, the improbable, the hilarious, the tragic, the horrifying. That world is your oyster and you get to play in it. How amazing is that?

Jasser: After quite a few years in various text-based-Rp communities, I would say that I can see their argument. Text-Based-Rp settings and communities differ, very few keep it to real quality writing and many are about furry and my little pony fetishes while those in the middle of the spectrum have different levels of regard towards grammar, syntax and content quality. Yet, I cannot agree to this opinion as both of the communities in which I went active had a solid setting, strict and upheld rules of conduct and content and had people overseeing it all in a very serious manner. In both communities, Roleplays were well thought out storylines, with compelling characters and appealing writing styles. What defines “real writing” if not those three?

4. In what ways does roleplaying set you back as a writer?

Thomas: Oh lord, many to be frank.. For example, once I had begun putting more effort and detail into my writing in the role plays, and it sparked my interest in beginning to write again, I found absolutely no time to actually write the novel… I was spending all of my free time I could have been writing, finishing up plans and stories for the characters I had going in the roleplaying groups. But at the same time, I force myself to look at the glass half full so to speak. It did give me a chance to pre write it, and get the general idea of where I was going with it, rather than to end up with the horrid block as I once had before.

John: Dealing with other writers can definitely set you back. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had an rp with such great potential get completely ruined because of one dipshit who forgot how to “English”. Bad writers have a tendency of dragging everyone else down with them and sucking all the fun out of a good story. The same can happen with an entire group. Sometimes there are too many rules and you find yourself restricted on what you can do, and it can be difficult to find your voice when your creativity is on a leash. RP groups aren’t like fanfiction, you can’t just make up any wild stories you want and expect that to be okay. It’s a whole community of writers and sometimes you have to set your big plans aside when things in the group don’t go the way you wanted them to. On the other hand, you can also have groups with Laissez-Faire admins who will let anything slide and you end up with a bunch of retarded bullshit being established as lore, bringing it to the point where you can’t follow what’s going on and you don’t even know what genre you’re in anymore. Finding a good group with good admins and good writers is essential to enjoying yourself when roleplaying.

Christiana: Allocation of time. The time I spend on RP is time I could be spending working on my own independent project.

Jasser: It is time consuming, very time consuming. Especially when set in a setting that is not fruit of your own imagination, it takes loads of time reading source material in order to adapt your own ideas to the setting. One more things puts me off of it, is that once an idea is used for a Roleplay storyline, one can never go back to it for their own writing further down the line.

5. How long have you been RPing, and how much would you say you’ve improved as a writer since you started?

Thomas: I would estimate, a bit over three years. And as I said before, it’s improved my writing and my creativity tenfold. I found a positive way in them, to form my plots and characters, before I ever began to make a finished product. It showed me that while some may use it just to play, it could be used as a planning board. It made it so much easier to put the words down in several stories, along with added creative thoughts from others, to shape where I wanted this guy to go in his story.

John: I’ve been RPing for about two years. I started out in an Elder Scrolls group and then transferred to a Fallout group after half a year. I spent most of this time as an admin of some group or another, so I had to balance my own desire to RP with keeping up with other people’s stories and helping make decisions for the group. I would say roleplaying has made me a better writer by the same principle as being thrown into a pool for the first time makes you a better swimmer. You learn by peer pressure and desperation. I wanted to do well and to impress people with my writing, so I had the drive to double and triple check my work to make sure it was perfect. I based my standards on the writers that I admired and sought to immitate them, eventually learning to find a voice of my own once I knew the basics. It can be an exciting adventure, and I’ll never forget the first time I wrote something and the head admin complemented my skill, and how honored I felt when he asked me to work with him. Being part of this community can give you a sense of purpose and belonging, and I wouldn’t trade my experiences for anything.

Christiana: A little over a year. I feel like I have improved significantly. I could be wrong. Maybe I epically suck and am living with a false sense of growth. What I do know is that I look back at my writing when I first started and cringe a bit, so that that has to say something, right?

Jasser: I started on the French roleplaying forum at about fifteen years old. Now I am closing in on twenty eight and am still learning new styles be it in French or English. How much I improved is rather easy to say, being a gamer I hope you get the following: Plebian for a year, casual for three, no lifer for two and now Ascended. That last one not in a “I have nothing more to learn” manner but more like “I should do something more with what I have learned”.

6. I know you guys are gamers, considering the world your RP groups are set in. Do you think gaming helps with writing creativity?

Thomas: Oh for sure. To me, I use gaming as an escape from reality. To feed my inner desires to be in some distant land or another time. I mean, who wouldn’t want to live in the age of dragons, haha! Gaming adds a lot of thoughts and ideas to your mind, as the two novels I’m working on right now are both loosely based off of two separate video games that I adore.

John: Absolutely. I’ve always told people that video games are another form of art, just as any book, painting or sculpture. It’s art that you can live in, not just as a passive observer but as an active participant. They may be newer forms of art, but you cannot belittle their influence on the heart and mind of the individual. I have played games that made me laugh, made me cry, made me masturbate, made me cry while masturbating, you name it. Just as books, movies, and priceless sculptures can inspire people to bring the best out of themselves, so too can a good game.

Christiana: Absolutely. It introduces you to an interactive world of discovery around every corner. It can almost train you to “enter” your own independently creative world and walk around. While you’re walking around your world, you can refer back to the exciting bits of that game. What made you jump? What made you feel a sense of awe? What parts of the game do you remember and why? You can then take those answers and work on giving that same experience to your readers using words.

Jasser: This ties in neatly with my last reply. Plenty of games out there that are filled with mind bending, creativity sparking content and details. Those that definitely had an impact on my writing in the role play groups are mostly lovecraftian (As in H.P. Lovecraft) of background.

7. What has roleplaying taught you to stay away from?

Thomas: People. Haha! Roleplaying can be…. Very nerve-racking at times. Sometimes, you come across someone in the groups, that just wants to watch it burn. Sometimes those people want nothing more than to destroy the stories you’re building with your friends. See, all of the groups I’m in, and have been in have strict rules as far as what we call, God-modding, auto-playing, and killing someone’s character. God modding is basically, getting out of an inescapable situation by being a magician, pulling weapons or even in some cases infantry out of nowhere. Auto-play is exactly how it sounds, forcing someone’s else’s character to do something or move a certain way, or take a hit from a sword or bullet. Now to the trickiest…. The death rule. See, the ruling is that you cannot kill another persons character unless you have they’re permission. Which of course, no one would freely give. But, there is a clause to this ruling, if ones character is trapped, in an inescapable situation, then you can kill them. I watch so many people lose a lot of work because some kid wanted to be an edgy troll and trap, then kill, their characters. So I adopted it into my writing, in an attempt to keep my characters and my years of work, from ending on my “planning board”. And it worked great. I had many attempts, but I stand currently 23-0 on my roleplay k/d ratio. Another good one, is it taught me to stay away from short paragraphs. I used to be absolutely horrid at writing out short and sweet, to the point, paragraphs in my stories.

John: Dipshits. It’s really that simple. Use common sense when you’re roleplaying. If someone is a shitty writer to begin with, the chances are they won’t improve much in the short time it takes to ruin a story arc you’ve been working on for months. Do not be afraid to tell bad roleplayers you’re not accepting new people right now, no matter how excited they seem or how badly they want to join in the fun. All it takes is one numbskull to make a wrong move and your hard work pays the price for it. I’ve seen it happen far too many times. Do not take a chance on bad writers, you will be burnt every time.

Christiana: People who can’t separate fiction from reality. There are people who use their characters as avatars and will get emotionally invested to the point where those character emotions spill into real life. Run from those people. Run away very fast. Characters are fiction, they are not you.

Jasser: People. Sadly, even though I found respite in Text-based-rp from mandatory human interactions that make me very uncomfortable, it turns out that there are many people who end up crossing that very clear line of “fiction/reality”. Social drama ensues and it is such a boner kill when your rp partner starts getting flirty because your characters had a moment or the other partner went bat-shit crazy at you publicly for taking away a key position from one of their characters. The list of the fuck noes goes on but I’d rather just skip through this part.

8. So, with your groups, anyone can join. I imagine everyone that comes in isn’t as seasoned as you are, so in what ways do you help them improve as a writer?

Thomas: Oh I’ve helped a great many, and couldn’t help many more than that. Simple things, like encouragement, assisting on their short stories, or just talking to them in private about planning larger stories. It was a great way to help them be more involved, and dump more passion into what they were writing. There is a type of role player we refer to as ; “walks around with red eyes”. They can absolutely not be helped. Many of us would try to help, but these individuals would only one line their roles in a story, forcing it to be extremely bland. And in most cases, if we attempted to help them out or give them pointers, they would rage on us all, then leave the groups, or say things that would force the admins to ban them.

John: As much as writing is an art, it’s also a gift. You have to enjoy writing and have a passion for good work in order to be successful, both as a writer and an RPer. There are lots of new people who want to do well, but don’t have the experience needed to really make it. By all means, help them out if you can. Just don’t let them in on the really important stuff until they’ve proven themselves. I find that you can tell the bad writers from the good ones pretty easily just by reading examples of their work. A good writer will generally not produce shoddy work, and a bad one will rarely produce a gem. If you read just three of their submissions, you can generally get a pretty good sense of where they stand. Some people have potential and just need a little direction, and others are hopeless lost causes. It’s up to the individual’s discretion to determine which is which. Proceed with caution.

Christiana: Giving them constructive criticism. Let them know what part confused you as a reader, what parts worked, and the why of both. I love it when people offer that to me. I can’t grow as a writer if I have no idea what works and what does not.

Jasser: For one I offer anyone help with any sort of questions they might have, the team I’m part of made sure to carve solid rules, very detailed rules and regulations that could be exhausting to read through but once digested, always help any sort of writer get a hang of what is viewed as good content and what is not. How to help them improve? We hold beginner Roleplays where new members or unaccustomed new writers take part and learn by example how the game is played.

9. Obviously you didn’t start out as amazing RPers, did you do anything in the beginning that you’re embarrassed about now?

Thomas: Oh god yes haha! I remember my first RP character. I named him Saieed, after a character from the popular tv show, lost. I literally made this guy to be a hunter of a faction of characters, but had no idea how to do anything. I picked a fight with one, and ended up facing three powerful mages who used lighting storms to bring the roof in on my head. I still to this day have no idea how I got him out alive.. Another one I’m not particularly proud of, is in one group, I ran a custom faction. There were a couple people in it that didn’t pay much attention to things, and had key roles given to them, as they wanted them. One was a buddy named Richard, who had a female character that was my guys love interest. *cringing* he went awol for a couple days, leaving our factions story, that included seven others excluding myself and him. So, for punishment, I had my character rape his haha! It was only for satire and to get him back into involvement, which it did. The scene ended up being trashed and removed from it, but I still don’t live it down.

John: In the beginning, I didn’t really know what roleplaying was. So instead of writing everything in present tense like I was supposed to, I decided to have my character keep a journal and tell every story from the past tense in log form. It was not the proper way to RP, but the head admin loved it and thought it was unique, and asked if I’d like to write articles like that for the page. That’s how I became the Historian in my first group. It wasn’t long before I got the hang of real RPing, but I always look back on that first moment where the head admin complemented the noob, said he had a job for him, and took him under his wing. It’s one of those embarrassing but still good moments that you can’t help but look back on and smile.

Christiana: Ha! Of course, but that’s just part of the learning curve. No one is perfect and we all do things that are epically cringe worthy. You think Tolkien came out the gate with The Silmarillion? I’m betting his mother could have shown you some See Spot, See Spot Run stories he did early own that he face palmed over.

Jasser: Most certainly. My very first character and storyline was a rip off of Dragon ball GT mixed in with some Tyrant –by Isaac Asimov- storylines. I had also copy/pasted a poem (not to say plagiarized) by Tolkien from the lord of the rings that depicted Minas Tirith in order to depict a certain city in a certain setting. My first year was a shameful display.

10. Do you consider text based roleplaying as educational to writers? Why, or why not?

Thomas: Yes, very much so. It helps spark not only creativity, but creativity at the drop of a hat. You have to constantly be at the edge of your keyboard, ready for anything that may happen. You create enemies by doing things within the worlds, some real, some with no choice but to come after you because of their laws and your actions. I mean if one doesn’t care about what they are writing then it’s of no concern, but with everyone I’ve wrote with, it’s a big issue not being able to quickly think of a battle strategy, or pre-plan an escape scenario just in case. It also opens up your mind to new things. For instance, in one group, it was an elder scrolls based roleplay, so things had to stay close to lore, and a lot had to be worked out so that we didn’t trash the video games. But I was able to create an idea for a spell, by combining a couple lore spells. Now that’s not possible in games, and not in lore, but we all saw that it made things more realistic rather than just writing a video game play-through. I don’t think I would have ever came up with the idea had I not been a part of the community.

John:  I would have to say that just with any other skill, it depends on who your mentors are. If you have talented people to observe and write with, you will learn how to put your very heart and soul in paragraph form for all to see. If you’re watching people that don’t know what they’re doing and barely understand the English language, then you’re going to learn how to be just like them. In short, you’re going to learn how to suck at roleplaying. Choose your mentors wisely and stick with the people whose work you admire.

Christiana: Yes, and for all the reasons I listed in the first question. Again, it isn’t everyone’s cup of tea and people have varied learning styles. As long as it helps you improve as a writer, it’s a good thing. If writing poetry helps you, do it. If writing a screenplay helps you, do it. If you improve through fan fiction, go for it. If you enjoy RP, embrace it. It’s all writing, it’s all about communicating to the reader.
Even if the only thing you learn is what NOT to do, you’ve learned an invaluable lesson. Most of the lessons we learn in life are various methods in not fucking up royally. Writing is no different.

Jasser: Eh, I could write an essay on this alone. I’ll keep it light. As stated above, text-based-roleplay can be very educational when circumstances converge. You need a good team of applied and serious administrators. You need you rules of conduct and content to be all-encompassing, preemptive, detailed and easy to digest and you also need not allow any exceptions to the said rules. On occasions, some rules might need to be edited, changed, cancelled but that is always a community decision. Then and only then, can a text-based-roleplay be a step up for start-up writers. Some published writers also still do roleplays here and there under different nicknames and pen names but shush hush.

11. These communities are close knit from what I’ve seen, have you made any lasting and real relationships?

Thomas: Definitely. I’ve a great many I call friends, and a solid handful that I call family. People that I hope to actually meet in person one day. It really is a great community.

John: Yes, I’ve made alot of friends and had alot of fun. Most of them are just internet friends that you can pal around with, but I have made real friendships as well and made real connections. I would say that those people are just as equal to me as any other friends I’ve ever had, whether I know them online or not.

Christiana: I’d like to think so.

Jasser: Tough one. As an introvert, I have always seen that long lasting relationships are futile. I only took interest in people when I had something to learn, something to gain or that it was convenient for my little self at a given point of time. Yet, I have come to care for a fair few people that were at first intriguing/interesting to me. I think the following saying would say it all: “Birds of feather flock together”. When reading a lot of what people write in these communities, one learns to take a peek into the writer’s mind and self. It usually leads to a “meh” reaction. But, on occasions you find folks that are worth the time to maintain the relationship and maybe even on fewer occasions, those for whom I’d go the extra mile.

12. Any enemies?

Thomas: Too many to list haha! As I said before, my role-play k/d ratio leaves a lot of people’s characters dead, and mine alive. Not one of them took it well. As they shouldn’t. But, I was always taught to never start a fight, to end it. And I did, several times. It’s also impacted me in other groups, as their grudges have twisted into manipulating others into thinking I’m a bad person or am only there to wreck their group and story. When in actuality, I was the one who was the intended victim, I just planned and wrote better than they did. Which is most likely what a great many of them are upset about.

John: Oh, yeah. Both as a roleplayer and as an admin. Any admin who isn’t making any enemies isn’t doing his job. Making “enemies” should be a badge of honor for an admin, it means you’re not afraid to stand up for your principles and do what you think is best for the group. As for being your average roleplayer, it depends on what you’re doing. If you’re an important person like the leader of a faction, you can bet you’ll make enemies just like an admin would. If you’re just the average roleplayer, it depends on who you interact with and how you behave yourself. You’ll find that interacting with people in a group is alot like in real life. Follow the rules, don’t be an asshole unless they deserve it (and if you decide to be an asshole do it in a way that doesn’t break the rules), and be nice but not to the point of being a pushover pansy. Common sense is your best friend on facebook just as it is in real life.

Christiana: I’ve certainly met some bat crap crazy people (see #7)

Jasser: On my end? No, not really. As long as they don’t get personal, I give no one a second thought. If they do, then it’s as simple as a block and a move along peasant. Still no second thought.

13. Does rp politics ever stand in the way of friendship, or a good story?

Thomas: Very much so. One of the few I call family, we’ve clashed several times because of stories. As I’ve said, it can be nerve-racking to say the least. But it’s nothing that two adults can’t work out with level heads. Once steam is blown off, you fix it, as you do with any relationship in life. And we have, several times haha!

John: Definitely. There have been alot of times where I had perfectly laid out plans foiled because I was too late implementing them and the atmosphere of the group changed or the admins made a new rule. I’ve also had people I once thought of as friends grow distant to me based on tensions between our factions. It can be tough sometimes, there can be alot of drama in rp groups and alot of times you’re going to end up butting heads with people you used to like. It happens. But just as friends in real life sometimes fight, so too can online friends fight. The important thing is to remember that at the end of the day, it’s just a make-believe fantasy and you should try not to take things personally.

Christiana: Depends on the group, really. Anytime you get more than one person together you are inevitably going to run into conflict. We all have our different ideas of how to do things. Some people are dead set on their way being the only way and everyone else can suck it. That won’t fly in the writing world. As an author looking to be published, looking to make sales, you will get sucker punched in the face by criticism and rejection and just plain pettiness. You’ll be judged, sometimes unfairly. If you choose to have an epic tantrum over petty politics in some RP group, you are in for a world of shock when it comes to the world outside that community.
In RP groups, you have GOT to learn how to play well with others. The story is completely dependent on the cooperation of at least two people. Even if one person decides to be a primadonna, it ruins the story for everyone else. Of course, that also leads to some real creative tap dancing to get the story back on track. Sometimes you just have to embrace the suck and know that people are just friggin’ weird.

Jasser: A good writer will know how to juggle around with that. A bad writer will get personal and emotional and earn themselves a ban.

14. What have you learned about yourself through roleplaying?

Thomas: That I’m more likely to create a villain protagonist rather than to write about a hero saving the day. I have came to feel that’s why a lot of people get board when reading. A lot of it is the same old, same old. Like horror films, you know they’ll run upstairs, and that the virgin lives. And you always know that they should t go in that basement. To me, books are the same, they mainly all are about a nameless hero saving the people from some insane danger. I’ve learned that’s why I got stuck in my first novel. Because I quite frankly, got bored with the main character. I now make villains, but I twist it. I make the reader care about him, I give him good intentions, but a twisted fate. I as well as many who have read my role plays love the idea of it.

John: I’ve learned alot of things about myself in my time roleplaying. Some of these things I’m not proud of, and it’s okay to admit that. I’ve let myself down sometimes, I let other people down sometimes, and I let the group down sometimes. But there are both high points and low points to anything in life, and if there’s one thing I’ve learned about roleplaying it’s to appreciate the good times and the high points with your friends, and learn to hold onto them when trouble starts brewing. You learn how to hold your own in a group of people, and stand out from the rest. You can create something beautiful and unique that’s all your own, and have other people enjoy your work. There is rarely a better feeling than a perfectly synced team of experienced roleplaying friends creating a story together, and you learn to appreciate that.

Christiana: I would call it more of a rediscovery than anything else. I rediscovered my love for writing. I also learned that the unpredictability of RP is a bit addicting. Who knew? It’s like a Choose Your Own Adventure book, only you totally can’t cheat and start over when you choose the wrong option.

Jasser: That I wasn’t as much of an introvert and a social cripple as I thought I was. It also shown me that the more effort one puts into something, the better the result.

15. How do you deal with trolls?

Thomas: Easy, I troll better haha!! The only way to deal with a troll, is to beat them at their own game. And it isn’t hard at all to figure out their angle and exploit it. If they openly troll your stories and terrorize them, you show them true terror. I once had a couple guys, decide that they were going to sweep town to town in the hold that I reigned over, and burn farms down. So, I captured them, and literally tortured them. Broke bones, used axed with heated blades to sear wounds shut, and castrated them. And in doing so, warded off future attempts. Well, future open attempts, a few tried to do some shadow trolling, but it never works out for the troll in role-play.

John: Goad them into doing or saying something stupid, then get the admin to kick him. Out troll the troll. It’s pretty simple.

Christiana: Virtual goat sacrifices. If that doesn’t work, the “Block” button.

Jasser: Depends on my mood at the time. It can be a swift furtive ban and it can be a public shaming session where my inner troll claws its way to the tip of my fingers and starts hammering the keyboard in a shameless manner that I always regret afterwards. You don’t troll a writer we write better.

Want to read more from these guys?



0 Replies to “An interview with text based roleplayers”

  1. Reblogged this on sjwolford and commented:
    Great article! Some solid points about text based RP, I can agree with these. I RPed for a while and it kind of switched the writer part of my brain back on after a serious bout of writer’s block. It also helped me get over my paranoia of other people reading what I had written. I’d definitely recommend it for those who are struggling with similar issues (or if you’re just looking for a really really fun hobby).

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