World Building Do you enjoy researching for RPs?

.MAELSTROM.

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Inspired by recent topics in other discussion threads talking about historical accuracy and culture.

Do you like researching topics for RP? If so, how deep do you go? What's your preferred method? Any favorite topics?

For me, researching new topics for my writing is like...literally my favorite part. I can spend hours going down the Wikipedia and video essay rabbit hole exploring something objectively small - most recently, I got really into hair tradition and why some cultures wear it the way they do. I had a character who doesn't cut their hair for religious reasons and wanted to get more insight into the history behind that ideology. But I also enjoy delving into science and medicine, too. I'm basically an expert on the ethical and practical concerns behind human cloning, as well as neuromuscular prosthetics and why they're so hard to develop.

I feel as though there's a lot to be gained through devoting a couple minutes a day towards learning something new.
 

Rusty of Shackleford

Nine Thousand Club
Hell. Y E S

Researching for RPs is some of the most fun I've had with writing! It helps my inspiration so much, plus I get to learn something new
 

Inno

Forever sleepy.
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I do. I would say I go pretty deep depending on how into the story I am. I want to be knowledgeable for my own sake. I enjoy reading about different cultures, clothing for characters in a Medieval era, households, mythical monsters.
Pretty much anything relevant to my roleplay, characters, even my writing. I don't really have a preferred method. I just do it beforehand.
 

Melpomene

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You can catch a wild Melpomene up at 1 am looking up something about ancient Egyptian culture and how they make beer, or delving into the different mythologies of old. And yes, she very much enjoys her work, to the point she has articles upon articles about culture, time periods, historical studies of gender, ideologies and cultural values taking up space on her laptop. And she needs sleep. But she will never sleep.
 

Jannah

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Depends what I'm researching tbh. If I'm researching history or anthropological type stuff then it's always fascinating reading. I have built plots and even characters around pretty obscure historical and anthropological details.
 

Scoundrel

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Nah, not really.

It's just too much time and effort to put into something that's not going to matter all that much.
 

nerdy tangents

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Oh my god yes. I do a lot of fandom and magical roleplays which people always think shouldn’t need research but my ass is out here looking into folklore and mythology and scrolling through fan wikis or going over the source material with a fine tooth comb.

And when I go into historical roleplays I try to search as much as possible.

The only thing I don’t research is other cultures, I usually just find someone from said culture and ask them a billion questions. I have learned the hard way that the internet is not super helpful when it comes to culture research.
 

Syntra

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Depends! Often, I write in settings me and my partners come up with, so there's no research necessary. I also... don't give a fuck about most kinds of accuracy, to be frank! I am here to have fun, and as long as what I write seems plausible, I am usually content with it.

Then again, I also have my precious pet interests that I absolutely have to be 100% right about all the time. I can go to stupid lengths, to the point I literally learned some Old Norse for my Viking character, haha. Generally, I care a lot about languages so those are going to be correct, grammar and all. It irks me especially when people... don't research names & cultures? I have seen SEVERAL Slavic characters whose surnames don't correspond to their gender, for example, and it looks so bad and so jarring to me, an actual Slav. So, I don't want to commit that sin with any nationality, haha.
 

Vada

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Depends! Often, I write in settings me and my partners come up with, so there's no research necessary. I also... don't give a fuck about most kinds of accuracy, to be frank! I am here to have fun, and as long as what I write seems plausible, I am usually content with it.

Then again, I also have my precious pet interests that I absolutely have to be 100% right about all the time. I can go to stupid lengths, to the point I literally learned some Old Norse for my Viking character, haha. Generally, I care a lot about languages so those are going to be correct, grammar and all. It irks me especially when people... don't research names & cultures? I have seen SEVERAL Slavic characters whose surnames don't correspond to their gender, for example, and it looks so bad and so jarring to me, an actual Slav. So, I don't want to commit that sin with any nationality, haha.
This. A few years back, I became so immersed in learning Hebrew for a roleplay that I was all but fluent. A completely useless skill for me irl, but I loved every minute of it. My ears still perk up when I catch it on tv, and I recognize a lot of words.

As far as general research goes, I think I’m more likely to do so once I know the story is cemented. If it feels like it’s going to die after a few posts, I don’t want waste all that time and energy, two things I typically don’t have a lot of. lol

But I also really enjoy settings of my own making. It gives me the freedom to world build any way I want to, and as long as it mostly makes sense, I’m happy. That’s not to say I haven’t fallen down more than my share of fantasy lore rabbit holes in the past. 😅
 

Chordling

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I love finding new information for my roleplays. 🥰 But I don’t find it necessary for every story. Sometimes I don’t even use the information I find but it’s still a lot of fun to discover.
 

GojiBean

That One Fear In My Enemy's Eyes
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Abso-friggin'-lutely!

Research is one of my favorite things to do when coming up with new worlds and lore for potential future stories or role-plays.

The more details I learn about culture, landscapes, flora and fauna, weather patterns, seasonal changes, etc, the more immersive the worlds can and will become to anyone who gets involved!

Sometimes I'll go deeper into it than others. But it largely depends on whether or not I feel the RP has a long lasting value and can either go the distance, or at least last longer than the first 20 posts. XD

Cheers!
 
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Honestly, for the most part, I research as I go, and often just enough to answer a question and to be plausible in my presentation in character sheets and posts. Mainly, this is because...

  • There are no guarantees that the roleplay will last more than a month, and when it does end, I'm not going to know when I'll use the concept again, if ever.
  • I'm easily daunted/discouraged, and this is my way of being mindful of my limits, as well as "deadlines", since my pacing means I'm going to be slower at accumulating information.
  • Even if I enjoy what I'm researching, most attempts at enriching myself pretty quickly pours out the hole in the bucket, so to speak. Sometimes, I'm lucky if I remember to bookmark something that I end up needing again later.

Relative to other subject matters, I try to be more careful when it comes to different cultures, but I'll be one of the first to admit I'm prone to missing/forgetting specifics, misjudging, or, in retrospect, getting too excited about certain facets of a culture to the point that I've probably overused New Orleans or Mexico City slang in the past, for example. Ultimately, if it comes down to it, I'm alright with being shown the errors of my ways as long as the person is being constructive about it.
 

Onmyoji

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When you start reading Wikipedia and then forget what you wanted to write rp post about. Hell yeah!

I even bought (and read!) books on a specific historical period because I had a rp (fantasy and unrealistic) set in that period. Now I know some random trivia about that era XD
I also read blogs and communities dedicated to the culture I like to feature in my roleplays (I'm a wuxia/xianxia fan for bigger part of my life, I rp lots of ancient China. even if I'm not 100% historically accurate I still try to not make it obnoxious).
 

Jannah

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When you start reading Wikipedia and then forget what you wanted to write rp post about. Hell yeah!

I even bought (and read!) books on a specific historical period because I had a rp (fantasy and unrealistic) set in that period. Now I know some random trivia about that era XD
I also read blogs and communities dedicated to the culture I like to feature in my roleplays (I'm a wuxia/xianxia fan for bigger part of my life, I rp lots of ancient China. even if I'm not 100% historically accurate I still try to not make it obnoxious).
Right. I got super into reading about the Ottoman Empire since I wanted to do a RP set during the height of the Ottoman Empire. I still haven't done said RP (mostly because it's hard to find partners for that sort of thing), but I'm now full of random facts about the Ottomans, lol.
 

Onmyoji

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Right. I got super into reading about the Ottoman Empire since I wanted to do a RP set during the height of the Ottoman Empire. I still haven't done said RP (mostly because it's hard to find partners for that sort of thing), but I'm now full of random facts about the Ottomans, lol.
aww where were you 5 years ago, I'd definitely rp that because I had a spark of interest in that subject! But for now my interest moved back to East Asia again 🙃
 

Jannah

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aww where were you 5 years ago, I'd definitely rp that because I had a spark of interest in that subject! But for now my interest moved back to East Asia again 🙃
I was into East Asia for a bit, specifically Korea, but now I'm more into the Middle East. In my defense, though, the Middle East has sort of always been an interest of mine.
 

Walliver

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I love love love researching for rps!
I love history, medicine, all sorts of stuff!
I remember reading a particular interesting article about “ASL in the Apocalypse” (basically words like “contagious”, “corpse”, “weapon”, etc.) so I could have useful signs for my deaf character to use.
Learning more about a certain topic or even just learning about an entirely new concept always adds an extra level of fun to the rp
 

Idea

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My interest and fun in research has to do partially with the topic, but also partially with the level of trust with my partner.

Don’t get me wrong though, this doesn’t mean I don’t research, or that I never get lost in research, going deeper and deeper into the rabbit hole, but I guess like with a lot of things, I tend to look more at the end product of it than a particular enjoyment of the process.

This is admittedly a little weird considering how much I live worldbuilding and that I do love learning, because of my curiosity. However….

A) Effort for effort’s sake doesn’t satisfy me.

B) Researching out of a feeling of obligation rather than interest, especially when in a hurry, is just frustrating rather than pleasant.

C) I like to keep a separation between fictional and real. When you start bringing too much reality, it can cause arguments, tip expectations that you will be realistic about things that you never meant to be realistic or scientific about or might invite a complexity that people can no longer disassociate from once it’s been introduced in the narrative. I don’t want to research something if it’ll just cause people to be pendantic about obscure details because I am not an expert in the subject, I am not interested in researching something just for them to try to exploit some other thing that might maybe work in real life, or to try to better understand a source of inspiration only for someone to take that to mean I am trying to make an analogy.



On the other hand, times when I did enjoy researching I was doing sow right room to breathe, working with partners for whom I wanted to go the extra mile, and whom I could trust to take the final product as the narrative enhancer it was intended to be, nothing more, nothing less. It was on things that helped me develop my settings or about topics I really enjoyed learning about, but there were also times I enjoyed topics I was less personally interested in because they could enrich my vocabulary and understanding. I will have tabs and tabs, find different sites, talk to some contacts of mine for advise, go through my books, sometimes even make stuff or find a community to ask the questions…


But the key point remains - for the narrative, just for the narrative. If you start telling me that the research or lack thereof , is somehow implying anything beyond that support it gives to the construction of settings, characters and plots, then it starts drifting from an interesting contribution to my knowledge and the roleplay into a chore, or worse, a time bomb.
 

bastion

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My brain really isn't suited for research. I can't even handle researching my obsessions, because reading long texts is really draining. I do very specific research for my roleplays as subjects come up, such as "Japanese military rations" for a Naruto RP, and my recent struggle with research into the basics of cellular replacement for a character that heals using it (that had not been very effective.)

I really wish I could do more detailed research, but it's exhausting to read more than a few pages at most.
 

Edric Blight

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Not really. Too much work for something I consider a causal hobby. I write to relax and escape work, not to do research.

That’s why I do no historical RPs too.
 

Jannah

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Not really. Too much work for something I consider a causal hobby. I write to relax and escape work, not to do research.

That’s why I do no historical RPs too.
I do almost exclusively historical RP, but I can definitely understand why some would not be into it. If you're not super into history and don't research it extensively like I do (and yes, I research it for fun) then it can definitely be a bit of a chore.
 

Edric Blight

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I do almost exclusively historical RP, but I can definitely understand why some would not be into it. If you're not super into history and don't research it extensively like I do (and yes, I research it for fun) then it can definitely be a bit of a chore.
That’s interesting. I have a certain level of respect for people who do Historical RPs and get super committed to their roles and do a lot of research.

Sadly tho, it’s personally not for me since I’m definitely a moon and a casual rper.
 

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