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Experiences Doublers: How do You Deal With The 'Transactional' Issue?

Idea

The Pun Tyrant The Gif Hydra
I have never done doubling, nor would I want to. It's not as though I have anything against playing multiple characters though, in fact one of the things I typically ask my partners is that they also be able to roleplay multiple characters so I'm not having to run the whole world myself. Rather my problem with doubling is that I just don't see how it could possibly work.

Assuming there is any necessity for doubling (this is, the partner wouldn't accept the pairing you want if offered without doubling) then I don't think I'm saying anything shocking in declaring what each partner wants is different, and what's more likely an entirely different focus of the roleplay. If the players each have interest in their own character then just having them interact is already giving some satisfaction to that interest, but often doubling (to my understanding) isn't something where the two pairs are simultaneously together, but more akin to takin turns in terms of focus. Here's where the problem in this is: Because each player is there because of one of the sides of these turns, at a psychological level even if they want to try to be a good partner and actively attempt to dedicate a fair amount of time and focus on the pairing that doesn't appeal to them, the one they are there for will inevitably get more love, passion, dedication and effort, simply by nature of one being the thing they want and the other not. In many if not most cases, it would seem to me, one of the pairings in the doubling would be the thing a partner is looking for, and the other pairing is the chore they have to put with, or the thing they need to go through to get to the stuff they actually want.

You could say, in a sense, that playing one pairing is a price to get the other. People actively seek to lower the price, and maximize what they get from it, and by a similar logic one would simply not dedicate themselves as much to the thing seen as a price to pay, which is of course assuming both parties entered things fully in good faith. Now, once the results of this play out, partners would feel their efforts were not translated into rewards because each party is putting their effort into the part of the RP that interests and likely affects the other the least. Everyone gets a subpar experience.


Now I'm sure some of you are thinking "hold up, that can't be right" and honestly I'm inclined to agree. While what I just described is a very long-winded way of explaining something more intuitive than it may seem (and I'm not by far the only one who's noticed it I believe), the fact of the matter is people not only double but I have no doubt many enjoy doing it. The issue above is built into the structure of doubling though, with only the underlying assumption it is at all needed for the creation of those RPs (and if it wasn't, then it would be redundant to have doubling). As such, I am curious about how people who do enjoy doubling overcome the issue I described.


So, how do you do it? Do you have some method to bypass this issue? Do you just learn to accept it as a part of doubling experience, and pay this price for what you see as a greater reward? Or am I totally wrong and you just never actually had this issue?


This post is merely driven by my curiosity, but I would love to hear your thoughts!

Have a great night or day.
 

221bakerstreet

Rise up. Because darling they expect you to fall.
Doubling doesn't lessen the experience in my option and to be honest, I'm not a fan of RPing unless I'm doubling. It brings more to the plot and opens far more doors in my opinion. I have plenty of partners where doubling works incredibly well for us. I think that you have to find the right people; because some people definitely just double because they feel obligated. I have never felt obligated to double and if I did, yes I think it would lessen the experience. However if you avidly double and want to, it makes for a great writing experience and the challenge of working and building relationships with multipul characters to see how they fit together and interact.
 

Idea

The Pun Tyrant The Gif Hydra
Doubling doesn't lessen the experience in my option and to be honest, I'm not a fan of RPing unless I'm doubling. It brings more to the plot and opens far more doors in my opinion. I have plenty of partners where doubling works incredibly well for us. I think that you have to find the right people; because some people definitely just double because they feel obligated. I have never felt obligated to double and if I did, yes I think it would lessen the experience. However if you avidly double and want to, it makes for a great writing experience and the challenge of working and building relationships with multipul characters to see how they fit together and interact.

Let me ask: How is this doubling, according to your experience and how you would define it, different from simply playing multiple characters? And what do you feel you gain specifically from doubling as opposed to players just playing multiple characters?
 

221bakerstreet

Rise up. Because darling they expect you to fall.
I've been avidly Roleplaying for ten years, I've always understood the doubling is when you and your partner both play two characters each. It differs from playing multipul characters because you're only playing two main characters each as opposed to playing more than two mains. With playing multipul characters you don't nessicarily have to be doubling you can have several NPCs and that could also be considered playing multipul characters. In doubling you are focusing on playing two main characters each. These characters have different personalities, traits, feelings, and backstories. This forces you to write from different perspective and really get inside a characters head. It gives you the ability to try new things, different realtionships, and interactions as opposed to using one character. You can also do this if you are using multipul main characters. It just depends on if you are doubling with multipul NPCs or Roleplaying with multipul main characters. There are different aspects and ways of going about it.
 

Idea

The Pun Tyrant The Gif Hydra
I've been avidly Roleplaying for ten years, I've always understood the doubling is when you and your partner both play two characters each. It differs from playing multipul characters because you're only playing two main characters each as opposed to playing more than two mains. With playing multipul characters you don't nessicarily have to be doubling you can have several NPCs and that could also be considered playing multipul characters. In doubling you are focusing on playing two main characters each. These characters have different personalities, traits, feelings, and backstories. This forces you to write from different perspective and really get inside a characters head. It gives you the ability to try new things, different realtionships, and interactions as opposed to using one character. You can also do this if you are using multipul main characters. It just depends on if you are doubling with multipul NPCs or Roleplaying with multipul main characters. There are different aspects and ways of going about it.

I see. So it seems to be a different notion of doubling from the one I was talking about. Either way though, thank you for your answers!
 

Hootle

Ascension.
To be honest, when I started roleplaying the whole doubling thing wasn't an issue as it is now. And everyone has their own interpretation of what it means. I've always saw it most done for romantic purposes for main pairings. Someone wants to play for example a female main character but they are willing to play a male secondary character to "even" the odds for their partner. However it's supposed to go. I don't double. I avoid instances where doubling is a requirement or even mentioned.

I just like playing multiple characters to help fill up the world for the sake of adding to the story rather than for reasons "You play this character for me and I'll probably not really play this character for you."
 

Merciless Medic

Walking Pokemon Dictionary
I'm just going to cut apart your post here so I can see what I'm looking at and respond. lol

Assuming there is any necessity for doubling (this is, the partner wouldn't accept the pairing you want if offered without doubling) then I don't think I'm saying anything shocking in declaring what each partner wants is different, and what's more likely an entirely different focus of the roleplay.
Usually, the only reason anyone would double is so that the other roleplayer's original character gets a chance at a spotlight and have a foil with another character, whether that be platonic or romantic. Usually though, it's 99% of the time romantic. XD From what I have seen. One of the few big reasons we do this is because what we want out of it is exploring our character being with another character, whether as a friend, sibling, or in a romantic pairing. Other times, it is to feel validated and accepted from another character or using someone else's spontaneity and differences in ideas and such to have a more enriching experience in a relationship of any kind. Another reason is just to explore what it would be like having a canon character we adore shamelessly fall in love with a character we create because then that means that canon character loves us LOL XD As weirdly obsessive as that sounds, that is another reason.

Though, I wouldn't say it's a necessity for doubling for me, I tend to enjoy RPing with a double more because I don't feel so stifled playing just one character and I can get the feel-goods. I also have ideas I'd like to express and they get expressed better with a character who can actually do it in-character and I tend to get invested in many, many characters at once that end up making it a double anyway.

If the players each have interest in their own character then just having them interact is already giving some satisfaction to that interest, but often doubling (to my understanding) isn't something where the two pairs are simultaneously together, but more akin to takin turns in terms of focus.
Ehhhhh, not really taking turns in focus. In a double I'm in right now, our characters' POVs are consolidated into one post. Right now though, they aren't as one pair is off doing something else at the moment and is in another plane of living than the other, so we have them separated by RP thread at the moment. Sometimes, the pairs come together, other times they are out doing their own thing like real people. They come and go as the plot or character needs are in demand. We don't really take turns on focusing on each character, but we do spend a lot of time pre-planning on the possible plans and growth of our characters to allow them to become better people (or at least change). A catalyst for these changes come in the form of a love interest. Not saying that people can change if they have a love life, but that does end up being the case for a few people (I know I did).

Here's where the problem in this is: Because each player is there because of one of the sides of these turns, at a psychological level even if they want to try to be a good partner and actively attempt to dedicate a fair amount of time and focus on the pairing that doesn't appeal to them, the one they are there for will inevitably get more love, passion, dedication and effort, simply by nature of one being the thing they want and the other not. In many if not most cases, it would seem to me, one of the pairings in the doubling would be the thing a partner is looking for, and the other pairing is the chore they have to put with, or the thing they need to go through to get to the stuff they actually want.
Personally, I like going into an RP and seeing if I can just play the character for someone else (especially if I'm answering someone's interest check). If someone asks me to RP, it's most likely a double right off the bat because I want to focus on my character, but I also want to know my RP partner's character and give them their endorphins and dopamine that I know I'm going to get. I want our characters to become best friends, have fights, punch each other, talk about their secrets, have experiences, and all that. I don't feel obligated to do this - I'm so interested, I'm willing to decrease the effort my RP partners have to make just as long as I'm making sure they have their needs met and the RP lasts. I'm happy with not a lot. Just as long as my character (and subsequently, myself) get a buzz of happiness because the love interest even looks at my character and fucking winks, I'm a happy girl. xD It doesn't take much.

When I ask to do RPs for people, I'm doing it for them. I'm interested in their plots, ideas, and characters first and foremost. Canon characters are easier to get into than an original character I'll have to make unless it's a character I have made before personality-wise. I don't need to do a double, but I prefer including my original character in some way or fashion so we can do other plot ideas that wouldn't normally happen because of the current character's personalities and behaviors barring them from doing certain things.

You could say, in a sense, that playing one pairing is a price to get the other.
Probably for others, but it's not a thing everyone believes in, like me. XD

People actively seek to lower the price, and maximize what they get from it, and by a similar logic one would simply not dedicate themselves as much to the thing seen as a price to pay, which is of course assuming both parties entered things fully in good faith. Now, once the results of this play out, partners would feel their efforts were not translated into rewards because each party is putting their effort into the part of the RP that interests and likely affects the other the least. Everyone gets a subpar experience.
That's why I focus on giving my RP partner the satisfaction because the bar for me is so low in comparison. XD Anything that happens to my character makes me giddy, but I don't shirk my work on the other one just because I'm more interested in my original character. I always put my RP partner first, and those who feel bad not giving me more, I tell them not to feel bad because they are giving me what I want anyway, even if it isn't as detailed as the other post. I live vicariously not just through my characters, but through those that I play as for my RP partner and my RP partner's characters. I get a similar giddy feeling whenever I make my RP partner's character feel special (and hopefully I made my RP partner feel special too lol).

Now I'm sure some of you are thinking "hold up, that can't be right" and honestly I'm inclined to agree. While what I just described is a very long-winded way of explaining something more intuitive than it may seem (and I'm not by far the only one who's noticed it I believe), the fact of the matter is people not only double but I have no doubt many enjoy doing it. The issue above is built into the structure of doubling though, with only the underlying assumption it is at all needed for the creation of those RPs (and if it wasn't, then it would be redundant to have doubling). As such, I am curious about how people who do enjoy doubling overcome the issue I described.
Huh, I think I explained how I overcame the "issues" of doubling. XD Which, I don't see as an issue. If both people are having a subpar experience, the RP will likely drop. But if I am unable to have my own character have fun in the world with the pairing, I'm less inclined to continue RPing and I start to feel stressed and stifled. I don't even need a romantic pairing for that character, but I tend to play like my character is searching for love anyway. lol

Though, while the structure of doubling may not look good on paper, it does do pretty darn well when you actually do it (which I've noticed it seemed - key word there - that you have never doubled before). You have a system and, if the system works, doubling will become not just an experience you'll enjoy, but an experience your RP partner will definitely enjoy and keep coming back for more.

I wouldn't say that doubling is redundant compared to RPing as multiple people, though. Doubling is slightly different. RPing multiple people doesn't always guarantee romantic pairings, but it is fun. I love doing this. xD But doubling in and of itself is completely different because you have the focus on two characters and their potential character interests (platonic or romantic). You can have multiple characters, hell the RP you have may end up being a double without it intending to be. A double is more of a planned thing of what you are looking for, and it's usually for romance, slice-of-life stuff that may or may not have other genre stuff throughout.

So, how do you do it? Do you have some method to bypass this issue? Do you just learn to accept it as a part of doubling experience, and pay this price for what you see as a greater reward? Or am I totally wrong and you just never actually had this issue?
Honestly, the only issue I have ever had in doubling was when my ideas for my pairing were ignored. I don't mind hauling the reins around in my pairing and leading the RP with my character's pairing (especially if there isn't so much heavy dragging for the other pair and we interchange between leading and following like a very intricate dance) because I expect that, but I do mind when my ideas for my character's pairings are ignored and that makes feeling my end of things really dull and boring. I don't need a whole lot (literally a reaction would do and I'm so happy with that, you don't even know - ..... I may be attention-from-canon-characters-I-really-like starved). I've only had that happen a few times, but they aren't for me and they likely just didn't like doing the dynamic. XD I'd like for my RP partners to be invested in my character too, otherwise doubling wouldn't be so successful. But if people are more character-driven and get invested in every "main" character (which is about two), then there is more of a chance for the RP to survive, even if there is a short hiatus.

I think that's it. xD lol
 

Idea

The Pun Tyrant The Gif Hydra
I'm just going to cut apart your post here so I can see what I'm looking at and respond. lol


Usually, the only reason anyone would double is so that the other roleplayer's original character gets a chance at a spotlight and have a foil with another character, whether that be platonic or romantic. Usually though, it's 99% of the time romantic. XD From what I have seen. One of the few big reasons we do this is because what we want out of it is exploring our character being with another character, whether as a friend, sibling, or in a romantic pairing. Other times, it is to feel validated and accepted from another character or using someone else's spontaneity and differences in ideas and such to have a more enriching experience in a relationship of any kind. Another reason is just to explore what it would be like having a canon character we adore shamelessly fall in love with a character we create because then that means that canon character loves us LOL XD As weirdly obsessive as that sounds, that is another reason.

Though, I wouldn't say it's a necessity for doubling for me, I tend to enjoy RPing with a double more because I don't feel so stifled playing just one character and I can get the feel-goods. I also have ideas I'd like to express and they get expressed better with a character who can actually do it in-character and I tend to get invested in many, many characters at once that end up making it a double anyway.


Ehhhhh, not really taking turns in focus. In a double I'm in right now, our characters' POVs are consolidated into one post. Right now though, they aren't as one pair is off doing something else at the moment and is in another plane of living than the other, so we have them separated by RP thread at the moment. Sometimes, the pairs come together, other times they are out doing their own thing like real people. They come and go as the plot or character needs are in demand. We don't really take turns on focusing on each character, but we do spend a lot of time pre-planning on the possible plans and growth of our characters to allow them to become better people (or at least change). A catalyst for these changes come in the form of a love interest. Not saying that people can change if they have a love life, but that does end up being the case for a few people (I know I did).


Personally, I like going into an RP and seeing if I can just play the character for someone else (especially if I'm answering someone's interest check). If someone asks me to RP, it's most likely a double right off the bat because I want to focus on my character, but I also want to know my RP partner's character and give them their endorphins and dopamine that I know I'm going to get. I want our characters to become best friends, have fights, punch each other, talk about their secrets, have experiences, and all that. I don't feel obligated to do this - I'm so interested, I'm willing to decrease the effort my RP partners have to make just as long as I'm making sure they have their needs met and the RP lasts. I'm happy with not a lot. Just as long as my character (and subsequently, myself) get a buzz of happiness because the love interest even looks at my character and fucking winks, I'm a happy girl. xD It doesn't take much.

When I ask to do RPs for people, I'm doing it for them. I'm interested in their plots, ideas, and characters first and foremost. Canon characters are easier to get into than an original character I'll have to make unless it's a character I have made before personality-wise. I don't need to do a double, but I prefer including my original character in some way or fashion so we can do other plot ideas that wouldn't normally happen because of the current character's personalities and behaviors barring them from doing certain things.


Probably for others, but it's not a thing everyone believes in, like me. XD


That's why I focus on giving my RP partner the satisfaction because the bar for me is so low in comparison. XD Anything that happens to my character makes me giddy, but I don't shirk my work on the other one just because I'm more interested in my original character. I always put my RP partner first, and those who feel bad not giving me more, I tell them not to feel bad because they are giving me what I want anyway, even if it isn't as detailed as the other post. I live vicariously not just through my characters, but through those that I play as for my RP partner and my RP partner's characters. I get a similar giddy feeling whenever I make my RP partner's character feel special (and hopefully I made my RP partner feel special too lol).


Huh, I think I explained how I overcame the "issues" of doubling. XD Which, I don't see as an issue. If both people are having a subpar experience, the RP will likely drop. But if I am unable to have my own character have fun in the world with the pairing, I'm less inclined to continue RPing and I start to feel stressed and stifled. I don't even need a romantic pairing for that character, but I tend to play like my character is searching for love anyway. lol

Though, while the structure of doubling may not look good on paper, it does do pretty darn well when you actually do it (which I've noticed it seemed - key word there - that you have never doubled before). You have a system and, if the system works, doubling will become not just an experience you'll enjoy, but an experience your RP partner will definitely enjoy and keep coming back for more.

I wouldn't say that doubling is redundant compared to RPing as multiple people, though. Doubling is slightly different. RPing multiple people doesn't always guarantee romantic pairings, but it is fun. I love doing this. xD But doubling in and of itself is completely different because you have the focus on two characters and their potential character interests (platonic or romantic). You can have multiple characters, hell the RP you have may end up being a double without it intending to be. A double is more of a planned thing of what you are looking for, and it's usually for romance, slice-of-life stuff that may or may not have other genre stuff throughout.


Honestly, the only issue I have ever had in doubling was when my ideas for my pairing were ignored. I don't mind hauling the reins around in my pairing and leading the RP with my character's pairing (especially if there isn't so much heavy dragging for the other pair and we interchange between leading and following like a very intricate dance) because I expect that, but I do mind when my ideas for my character's pairings are ignored and that makes feeling my end of things really dull and boring. I don't need a whole lot (literally a reaction would do and I'm so happy with that, you don't even know - ..... I may be attention-from-canon-characters-I-really-like starved). I've only had that happen a few times, but they aren't for me and they likely just didn't like doing the dynamic. XD I'd like for my RP partners to be invested in my character too, otherwise doubling wouldn't be so successful. But if people are more character-driven and get invested in every "main" character (which is about two), then there is more of a chance for the RP to survive, even if there is a short hiatus.

I think that's it. xD lol

I see. So, allows me to attempt a summary and correct me if I'm mistaken, but essentially you don't face the issue because you naturally become or just start out already quite invested in "your patner's side" of the pairing, and your expectations for your own side aren't therefore that high to begin with. You didn't come into the roleplay for your own pairing so much as your partner's, though you still value your own side enough that you wouldn't think the RP would be about as good without it.

If I were to summarize it like that, would you agree? Did I get the rough idea?

Either way, thank you very much for your response, it was quite insightful!
 

nerdy tangents

Elder Member
So if it helps ya out Idea Idea im gonna give ya two different words, since I have run into the same issue as you and I find it best to use different words then doubling. As most of the time doubling is like literate, it means such different things to individual people it’s hard to answer the question.

1. Pairing Ratios : this is the transactional version your talking about. Where Person A wants to do a Male x Female pairing (or something specific like it). Person A really wants to play a Female but considers Male characters to be undesirable. So they offer to play a Male Character for person B to make up for the inconvenience.

2. Four Protagonists : this is literally when a story has four main characters. A good example is a current project I’m doing which has a plot based on a game. The game has four players that compete in two person teams. So thus my partner and I each play two protagonists a piece.


In my experience Pairing Ratios don’t work in much the same way 1x1x1 roleplays don’t work out. It’s usually a simple problem of math tbh. The original requester (Player A) puts a value on each character in a relationship. With one character (say the OC) being more desirable then the other ( say the Canon). The problem is twofold in that case :

1. Making more characters doesn’t mean you suddenly value each character equally. That’s more of a four protagonist situation. Instead it just means each person plays one desirable and one undesirable character.

2. The assumption is both partners are going to find the same character (or character role) desirable. Which leads to a lot of frustration in general I have found. As personally I usually prefer the Male/Canon character role anyway so I have no need to play a second “more desirable” character.

I find in general that if your doing four protagonists it’s either a plot that specifically states there are four protagonists or in the course of plotting you figure out additional characters you want to play.

For Ratios the problem is you are essentially assigned roles based on what the original poster deems “desirable and undesirable”

Which is why it doesn’t work. Because your basically just playing that persons pairings out twice.
 

Idea

The Pun Tyrant The Gif Hydra
So if it helps ya out Idea Idea Idea Idea im gonna give ya two different words, since I have run into the same issue as you and I find it best to use different words then doubling. As most of the time doubling is like literate, it means such different things to individual people it’s hard to answer the question.

1. Pairing Ratios : this is the transactional version your talking about. Where Person A wants to do a Male x Female pairing (or something specific like it). Person A really wants to play a Female but considers Male characters to be undesirable. So they offer to play a Male Character for person B to make up for the inconvenience.

2. Four Protagonists : this is literally when a story has four main characters. A good example is a current project I’m doing which has a plot based on a game. The game has four players that compete in two person teams. So thus my partner and I each play two protagonists a piece.

Hmmm... I can't say I've ever heard those terms, but hey thank you anyway, your tip is appreciated :)
 

nerdy tangents

Elder Member
Hmmm... I can't say I've ever heard those terms, but hey thank you anyway, your tip is appreciated :)
Oh I made them up. But it’s easier then using “doubling” and then have to continue be “no that’s not what I’m talking about. I meant (describe pairing ratios for the fifth time)”
 

nerdy tangents

Elder Member
So to kinda clarify my point I think the problem in “transactional” pairing ratios is specifically that it’s a transaction.

In every single case I have run into when I tell the person “Hey I don’t mind playing the undesirable character in the pairing” they immediately drop the idea of a second pairing.

Which tells me they never wanted to play two characters. They just assumed both of us would have the same “desirable character” and wanted to make sure I got to play one as well.

So if it’s a male x female pairing the assumption is the female character is who we both want to play. And they are trying to be nice by making it so we both get to play females and males.


This is different to the times when a person was like - hey can we flesh the world out with some more protagonists? Or even “Ugh I can’t decide between these two characters I want to play, can I do both?”

In that case it’s not about a transaction so much as it’s just expanding the world with more characters.
 

Jewel

devotion that corrupts
Idea Idea

I don’t double. I have had the exact train of thought that you expressed in your original post. I have nothing against playing multiple characters, I have no qualms about introducing an NPC cast and incorporating them into my 1x1s, and I’ve even participated in roleplays where I’ve had more than one “main” character. But doubling, in the terms you originally described it, feels immensely disingenuous to me in a similar way you expressed it was a bargain never fully equal to either participant. I’ve never had any desire to supply a second character separate from my main character solely for the purpose of romancing my partner’s character. And I’ve never asked anyone to do that to me—I would feel displaced in that situation, especially if the whole ordeal was accompanied by an expectation that I would do the same for them.

That isn’t to say it doesn’t work—but it’s definitely not for me. If I want to play a particular role and I find that my partner wants to play a particular role that I find unappealing, I’d rather forfeit participation in the roleplay and say we’re not a compatible match than propose that we each make a second character to cater to each other’s interests. To me, that feels like work.

This is an entirely different fish from simply playing two characters at once. In the terms elder member nerdy tangents nerdy tangents put it—four protagonists. The intention is different. The goal is not to be subservient to the wishes of your partner. But, as Merciless Medic Merciless Medic called to attention, some people don’t mind serving their partner this way. Some people like providing that kind of relationship in a transaction form and it is fulfilling to them. There’s no right way to roleplay, and what works for some may not work for others. If the pair are incompatible, the roleplay will drop. If the doubling system works out for both of them, makes them feel valued and makes them feel like they’re providing a valuable service, the roleplay will likely continue.

But this also makes me wonder if there are situations where, like Merciless Medic mentioned, both participents are invested in one relationship and the other is left to dwindle. I suppose that in order to have a balance both participants must be equally invested in serving the other, while remaining equally invested in sustaining what would be “their” pairing. Also, the concept of each partner having “their” pairing is probably worth expanding upon, I’d be curious to know how that usually goes down.

I definitely agree that in situations where, say, for example, two female-preferring writers each create a male character to serve as proxy for each other’s love interests despite neither wanting to play a male character at all, situations like that don’t make a lot of sense to me. But in the same way, in a 1x1 without doubling, roleplay between theses same roleplayers would not work out, just they could come to that conclusion much more quickly. But I also think that doubling can create additional unforeseen issues that non-doubling roleplayers don’t have to deal with. Merciless Medic mentioned having their wants ignored for their pairing. Which totally ties back into your original post about participants preferring to put more effort into the pairing where they play the desirable character, leaving the other pairing unattended to, and while the other participant does the same, and the roleplay is unsustainable.

There are certainly situations where a person takes on an undesirable role merely to appease their partner, even in non-doubling roleplays this is not uncommon. But in the same way that in non-doubling 1x1s partners create characters they both enjoy playing and their partner enjoys playing with, so everybody wins. Which is where the line between pairing ratios and playing four protagonists gets kind of blurry, I suppose.

Will be curious to see the opinions of others added to this thread.
 

Merciless Medic

Walking Pokemon Dictionary
I see. So, allows me to attempt a summary and correct me if I'm mistaken, but essentially you don't face the issue because you naturally become or just start out already quite invested in "your patner's side" of the pairing, and your expectations for your own side aren't therefore that high to begin with. You didn't come into the roleplay for your own pairing so much as your partner's, though you still value your own side enough that you wouldn't think the RP would be about as good without it.

If I were to summarize it like that, would you agree? Did I get the rough idea?

Either way, thank you very much for your response, it was quite insightful!

Yup yup :3

I still come into the RP to explore my characters, but I don't put too much need for that side to be perfect. I do this because I understand that's a lot to write and if I want it to be better on my side, I can always make fanfiction. Most of my partners write multiple paragraphs and have a life of their own, so having one pairing get 6+ detailed paragraphs and mine get 1-3 decent paragraphs are fine. XD I specifically tell them this. The only time that my side gets more paragraphs is when I do it and when my RP partner is comfortable with doing more than what's expected.
 

Merciless Medic

Walking Pokemon Dictionary
Merciless Medic mentioned having their wants ignored for their pairing. Which totally ties back into your original post about participants preferring to put more effort into the pairing where they play the desirable character, leaving the other pairing unattended to, and while the other participant does the same, and the roleplay is unsustainable.

Yes, for my side of things, I don't mind that my posts there are "lackluster" in the details. It becomes more casual. The preference of putting more effort into one pairing over another is so that people aren't overwhelmed with making even larger posts and so posts can be done daily and multiple times a day in a timely manner. I have had RP partners who have said it gets troubling to continue the RP because they want to put the same amount of effort for both pairings, but it gets so stressful that the RP may drop because it's becoming less fun and more like a chore. So, I let them know that my side of things (in terms of my character and the love interest my RP partner is playing for me) don't need the same level and care and to just relax and maybe do reactions instead. I get a high from reactions just as much as I do get a high from the canon (always a canon) doing something unexpected.

I don't consider characters and stuff being "desirable". More so "I have a character I want to play because I'm their same gender/preferred gender/love interest is opposite gender than my character". Yes, to some it is a matter of desirable vs undesirable. For me and others, it's "what pieces do we have on the board right now, and what do we need to add?" because I don't have a preferred gender and I find both sides in every pairing "desirable" to me. XD from what I have found, it's more of "I have a specific character(s) I want to play and they happen to be female/male/this specific role." XD

At the point by what you described about it becoming more about one pairing over the other, the other pairing can be dropped to continue the pairing with the most attention. The other pairing has become so much like background noise, that there is no care to the development of the characters or their relationship, so its best to drop that pairing until both RPers can bring them back and put a bit more care into them.

Sometimes, it's okay to take a break from RPing two pairings to RP one pair before bringing back the other pair. It's not like the other pair will disappear forever. XD you can always bring them back and it isn't the end of the world. XD
 

Idea

The Pun Tyrant The Gif Hydra
I don’t double. I have had the exact train of thought that you expressed in your original post. I have nothing against playing multiple characters, I have no qualms about introducing an NPC cast and incorporating them into my 1x1s, and I’ve even participated in roleplays where I’ve had more than one “main” character. But doubling, in the terms you originally described it, feels immensely disingenuous to me in a similar way you expressed it was a bargain never fully equal to either participant. I’ve never had any desire to supply a second character separate from my main character solely for the purpose of romancing my partner’s character. And I’ve never asked anyone to do that to me—I would feel displaced in that situation, especially if the whole ordeal was accompanied by an expectation that I would do the same for them.

That isn’t to say it doesn’t work—but it’s definitely not for me. If I want to play a particular role and I find that my partner wants to play a particular role that I find unappealing, I’d rather forfeit participation in the roleplay and say we’re not a compatible match than propose that we each make a second character to cater to each other’s interests. To me, that feels like work.

This is an entirely different fish from simply playing two characters at once. In the terms elder member nerdy tangents nerdy tangents nerdy tangents nerdy tangents put it—four protagonists. The intention is different. The goal is not to be subservient to the wishes of your partner. But, as Merciless Medic Merciless Medic Merciless Medic Merciless Medic called to attention, some people don’t mind serving their partner this way. Some people like providing that kind of relationship in a transaction form and it is fulfilling to them. There’s no right way to roleplay, and what works for some may not work for others. If the pair are incompatible, the roleplay will drop. If the doubling system works out for both of them, makes them feel valued and makes them feel like they’re providing a valuable service, the roleplay will likely continue.

My personal philosophy in this matter is to search for partners who want me to play what I want to play, and who want to play what I want them to play. In fact I go further than that, I want us both to be people who roleplay in the way the other wants their partner to roleplay. People fulfilling the things people want and they want to do, at the same time, without contradiction, by seeking compatibility. That is the method I favor.
 

Lucyfer

My Power Will Grow Like Grapes On The Vine~
Because each player is there because of one of the sides of these turns, at a psychological level even if they want to try to be a good partner and actively attempt to dedicate a fair amount of time and focus on the pairing that doesn't appeal to them, the one they are there for will inevitably get more love, passion, dedication and effort, simply by nature of one being the thing they want and the other not.

This isn’t always the case.

tl;dr: I can't do single pairing RPs because the world feels too small and I feel stifled in expanding it because nothing matters outside of the "main pair". Doubling allows me to feel left stifled, there are two main pairs, and it's easier to involve even MORE characters that can become important down the line because most partners that double, compared to those that don't (my experience), are willing to tell adjacent tales that weave back into the main story.

Long Story:

Look, I’m someone who WON’T RP without doubling, even if offered a “preferred” pairing. Why?

The story ends up boring me to tears. I’ve tried. Multiple times. I’ve tried with great writers who share many of my interests, but quite frankly, I don’t enjoy stories that don’t have multiple characters, and the best way around this is doubling – and expanding from there if it works, which it usually, naturally, does.

There are some people who view it as a transaction. They’re usually not the people I seek to RP with, but I’ve definitely stumbled upon them. There are also people who just don’t “get” the concept.

So I’ll offer a few examples of RPs that I’ve done this with, to show the many, ah, flavors of doubling.

+++Off-site, Game of Thrones RP, my “side”, as it were, is a pairing with Tywin Lannister, the other side is a pairing with Rhaegar Targaryen, wherein I play Rhaegar Targaryen. More often than not, the Tywin side gets “dropped” for a bit, so the Rhaegar side can continue on without running into problems with the timeline. The stories are running parallel, and very close together, but not always in the same area, so to speak. They’re usually in the same city, or same general location, so we can’t get too far ahead. Very often, the scenes with Rhaegar end up naturally extending, and the scenes with Tywin end up naturally ending.

One could say I’m getting the “short end” of the stick here, but it doesn’t feel like it, and I very much enjoy writing Rhaegar in these moments and extending them beyond the other scene, which given the character of Tywin, is naturally likely to end sooner, more often. Very different dynamics of the romantic Rhaegar, and the pragmatic Tywin.


+++On-Site, my beloved Final Fantasy RP started out…fuck, quadrupling? Not really “paired off” in the traditional sense, and there’s only one relationship currently blossoming, but we definitely paired things off for villains, and for characters and character types that would interact with each other, so I consider it “doubling” or “doubling adjacent”, because we still talked about the characters, the roles, and who they’d be paired against, or paired alongside, and from there sort of natural pairings have grown of platonics, lovers, foils – and the cast has grown to 13 mains strong (damn you Elcid), though they all feature differently. Rather than play them all at once, we set up times to “jump” to other sides in the overarching story, so while the hero party may be in play for a bit, eventually it jumps over the villain party, and so on and so forth.


+++On-Site, I have a Star Wars Rp where I’m doing TWO pairings for a partner, with ONE for me, because the third relationship between two OCs just naturally came together, and it didn’t feel right to leave it as a side story, so they’ve started to get the same love as main characters.

I suppose the gist of it is, if it feels like a transaction, don’t do it. It’s probably one of the main reasons I drop RPs, is we just don’t “mesh”, and the story is all about the Pairing, and not, in fact, a larger overarching story that brings characters either together, or against each other.

Doubling isn’t for everyone, just as single pairing RPs aren’t for everyone. I’m not here to force anyone to change their mind, but I do wish some people would stop thinking doubling is inherently a transaction.

For me, I suppose it is mostly this: it’s a way to tell a story with characters I want to see – because if I agree to play a character for my partner, it is because I like that character and want to expand on their story – in ways I wouldn’t ordinarily imagine. My partners bring plenty to the table, and expand the possibilities of what I could imagine on my own. That’s why I RP in general, though. I know how to write, and I enjoy writing, personal things. RPing is about the interaction and collaboration, the reactions and the surprise, even when it’s plotted out – things can be plotted out, but SEEING IT in the moment, is something else.

And I love that.

With doubling itself, I find it works better for me, because single pairings feel like they never expand, or rarely expand, beyond that pair. The world feels small, the chance to let the cast grow naturally feels stifled, because if it doesn’t immediately revolve around the main pair, then it doesn’t MATTER, even if it could matter down the line. I don’t enjoy that mindset of RPing, of a single focus – but I also don’t like it much in many stories?

Like Witcher – yes, it’s mostly about Geralt, but we also see the stories of Yennefer, of Ciri, of Jaskier, and others fleshed out. Not the best example, but it’s the one that came to mind since Season 2 made it feel more like a show about the other characters, where Geralt participates in their stories. Their tales are interwoven, and the show allows focus to leave Geralt and Ciri, to show them.
 

Idea

The Pun Tyrant The Gif Hydra
This isn’t always the case.

tl;dr: I can't do single pairing RPs because the world feels too small and I feel stifled in expanding it because nothing matters outside of the "main pair". Doubling allows me to feel left stifled, there are two main pairs, and it's easier to involve even MORE characters that can become important down the line because most partners that double, compared to those that don't (my experience), are willing to tell adjacent tales that weave back into the main story.

Long Story:

Look, I’m someone who WON’T RP without doubling, even if offered a “preferred” pairing. Why?

The story ends up boring me to tears. I’ve tried. Multiple times. I’ve tried with great writers who share many of my interests, but quite frankly, I don’t enjoy stories that don’t have multiple characters, and the best way around this is doubling – and expanding from there if it works, which it usually, naturally, does.

There are some people who view it as a transaction. They’re usually not the people I seek to RP with, but I’ve definitely stumbled upon them. There are also people who just don’t “get” the concept.

So I’ll offer a few examples of RPs that I’ve done this with, to show the many, ah, flavors of doubling.

+++Off-site, Game of Thrones RP, my “side”, as it were, is a pairing with Tywin Lannister, the other side is a pairing with Rhaegar Targaryen, wherein I play Rhaegar Targaryen. More often than not, the Tywin side gets “dropped” for a bit, so the Rhaegar side can continue on without running into problems with the timeline. The stories are running parallel, and very close together, but not always in the same area, so to speak. They’re usually in the same city, or same general location, so we can’t get too far ahead. Very often, the scenes with Rhaegar end up naturally extending, and the scenes with Tywin end up naturally ending.

One could say I’m getting the “short end” of the stick here, but it doesn’t feel like it, and I very much enjoy writing Rhaegar in these moments and extending them beyond the other scene, which given the character of Tywin, is naturally likely to end sooner, more often. Very different dynamics of the romantic Rhaegar, and the pragmatic Tywin.


+++On-Site, my beloved Final Fantasy RP started out…fuck, quadrupling? Not really “paired off” in the traditional sense, and there’s only one relationship currently blossoming, but we definitely paired things off for villains, and for characters and character types that would interact with each other, so I consider it “doubling” or “doubling adjacent”, because we still talked about the characters, the roles, and who they’d be paired against, or paired alongside, and from there sort of natural pairings have grown of platonics, lovers, foils – and the cast has grown to 13 mains strong (damn you Elcid), though they all feature differently. Rather than play them all at once, we set up times to “jump” to other sides in the overarching story, so while the hero party may be in play for a bit, eventually it jumps over the villain party, and so on and so forth.


+++On-Site, I have a Star Wars Rp where I’m doing TWO pairings for a partner, with ONE for me, because the third relationship between two OCs just naturally came together, and it didn’t feel right to leave it as a side story, so they’ve started to get the same love as main characters.

I suppose the gist of it is, if it feels like a transaction, don’t do it. It’s probably one of the main reasons I drop RPs, is we just don’t “mesh”, and the story is all about the Pairing, and not, in fact, a larger overarching story that brings characters either together, or against each other.

Doubling isn’t for everyone, just as single pairing RPs aren’t for everyone. I’m not here to force anyone to change their mind, but I do wish some people would stop thinking doubling is inherently a transaction.

For me, I suppose it is mostly this: it’s a way to tell a story with characters I want to see – because if I agree to play a character for my partner, it is because I like that character and want to expand on their story – in ways I wouldn’t ordinarily imagine. My partners bring plenty to the table, and expand the possibilities of what I could imagine on my own. That’s why I RP in general, though. I know how to write, and I enjoy writing, personal things. RPing is about the interaction and collaboration, the reactions and the surprise, even when it’s plotted out – things can be plotted out, but SEEING IT in the moment, is something else.

And I love that.

With doubling itself, I find it works better for me, because single pairings feel like they never expand, or rarely expand, beyond that pair. The world feels small, the chance to let the cast grow naturally feels stifled, because if it doesn’t immediately revolve around the main pair, then it doesn’t MATTER, even if it could matter down the line. I don’t enjoy that mindset of RPing, of a single focus – but I also don’t like it much in many stories?

Like Witcher – yes, it’s mostly about Geralt, but we also see the stories of Yennefer, of Ciri, of Jaskier, and others fleshed out. Not the best example, but it’s the one that came to mind since Season 2 made it feel more like a show about the other characters, where Geralt participates in their stories. Their tales are interwoven, and the show allows focus to leave Geralt and Ciri, to show them.

So if I'm understanding correctly, to you doubling doesn't feel like a transaction because something fundamental to you is that in a sense the story doesn't just revolve around the "main" characters and you feel players who double are more prone to expanding beyond that than players who don't. Am I in the ballpark?
 

Lucyfer

My Power Will Grow Like Grapes On The Vine~
Idea Idea , that is more or less the idea, yeah. There's a want to explore multiple angles and stories, and I feel like doubling is a better way to do that, and more naturally lends to building the world, side characters, and much else.
 

Idea

The Pun Tyrant The Gif Hydra
Idea Idea , that is more or less the idea, yeah. There's a want to explore multiple angles and stories, and I feel like doubling is a better way to do that, and more naturally lends to building the world, side characters, and much else.

An interesting perspective. Personally I'd think one could do that by just playing with partners who are willing to play multiple characters as opposed to doubling specifically, but I guess there's a difference in opinion or experiences there. Either way, thank you very much :)
 

Lucyfer

My Power Will Grow Like Grapes On The Vine~
Yeah, sadly, anyone I've tried who says "does multiple characters", does "side characters", or promises to add more later on has never fulfilled on that. Otherwise I might be more lenient about it, but I'm not anymore.
 

Idea

The Pun Tyrant The Gif Hydra
Yeah, sadly, anyone I've tried who says "does multiple characters", does "side characters", or promises to add more later on has never fulfilled on that. Otherwise I might be more lenient about it, but I'm not anymore.

I'm sorry to hear that.
 

minmi

[she/her]
I don't do 1x1s anymore, for a number of reasons. But when I did, I felt as though the only way to make doubling non-transactional and make it more suited to the nature of the rp was to never do a fandom 1x1 where the pairings were Canon x OC(or a Canon x Canon ship that I personally don't like). Usually in the thread, it feels as though one person wants only for you to play the canon character and them to play their OC and fulfill their fanfiction dreams. It usually means avoiding any 1x1 fandom with canon characters. I also avoid 1x1s where the opposite person typically only plays one gender(especially only cis heterosexuals of said gender). That's usually the other situation in which doubling feels transactional, because often times it comes off as "I only care about playing a girl, but I'll 'try' rping a guy for you if it means you'll shut up and do what I want with my girl character, who I will put much more effort into than the guy".

In general, 1x1s with only one character each makes the thread feel very stifling and bland, so I like the idea of playing more than one character in a 1x1. But those are the two situations that I straight up will not do, because more often than not those types of rpers just make it difficult for me to want to stay engaged with the thread. I don't want to help someone write their fanfic. I want to write a collaborative story together, without it totally servicing one person over the other.
 

Jannah

I suppose I'm back. Hello again.
I have never doubled in the fandom sense and never will since I only play OC's in fandom RP's. However, I will write multiple characters in pretty much any setting if the story warrants it. I will write characters I want to write, though, rather than characters I'm writing just for the sake of my partner. In turn I allow my partner to do the same.
 

TerrorKitty

◢ Kitty ◤
Helper
I personally do not care, in fact, I have the opposite problem where I sometimes end up having 3-5 if not more side characters (especially if the world-building comes from my own preposition) I don't want to accidentally overwhelm my partner with a bunch of characters while they're just trying to maintain the relationship with their one or two characters.

In my current 1x1 I myself have
Chinmi Tae - Princess and Sovereign Ruler of an entire Empire, as well as Princess and Highest Blood of the Vampire Race (Primary Main)
Rin Sun-woo - The Princess's closest ally and a Vampire with a rare Telepathic ability (Major Side)
Bo-Mi Tae - An adopted Werewolf daughter of the Chinmi Tae (Major Main)
Christopher Tae - Vampire, and Older brother of Chinmi Tae, no claim to the throne (and doesn't want it), a dorky lanky man and traveling volunteer EMT and Paramedic (Minor Side)
Bi-Hwa Hyeon - The former Princess of a Witch-Hunting cult, now a Witch with an affinity and fondness for plants (over people) (Minor Side)
Tessa Vindictus - Chinmi's Vampire fiancee, they're only marrying to get power from the other, has a rare ability to be seen as 100% sincere regardless of truth (Major Side, Antagonist)
Elijah Lewis - TransMasc British Werewolf Orphan, leader of a band of Werewolf orphans living in the Witch capital city Athame, and budding love interest of Bo-Mi (Major Side)
Bram - A large Norwegian Werewolf Orphan, he's an asshole. Part of Elijah's patchwork pack (chosen family essentially) (Minor Side, Antagonist)
Camille - A tall Greek Werewolf Orphan, one of the few Werewolves with fledgling Witch status, Part of Elijah's patchwork pack (Minor Side)
Mei-Xing - A small Chinese Werewolf Orphan, the oldest of Elijah's patchwork pack (Minor Side)
Alex Black - A Mad Expirmentalist Witch who was excommunicated from Witch society for taboo magical practices, currently funded by the Tae Royal family (Major Main)
Samantha Black - The amalgamation of a Vampire's Corpse and a Porcelain Doll, infused magical organ that allows her to perform magic, a sentient assistant to Alex (Major Main)

While my partner has like 2 characters
Witch - Chinmi Tae's love interest with an affinity for (forbidden) death magic with a Raven familiar (Primary Main)
Witch 2 - Witch Supreme; leader of the Witches Council, older sister of the other Witch and also hilariously/embarassingly has a human for a familiar (Major Side, Antagonist)


So you can see how it can sometimes be a problem, as while I end up having a lot of interactions with my own characters, I have to make sure to center and focus on my partner and essentially treat their character be the stories, main protagonist of the entire RP because spotlight anywhere else would be troublesome. I personally don't mind it, but it does mean I have to be very careful and not go overboard. (Like the last 2 haven't even been properly introduced yet, god forbid I make anymore)
 

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