What's new

Other Long-Running RPs

Shireling

A Servant of King and Country
Recently I've taken a job at a factory, and although I've been looking for other employment, I'm stuck there for the time being. In the afternoons after work, I'm usually too tired to do much of anything but I occasionally get a spark of creativity that I want to channel into role-playing.

My dilema is simply this, people don't like RPs that run at a snails-pace. At least, most people don't. Most people, myself included, enjoy fast-moving and dynamic adventures. I have, however, found that this is one of the greatest reasons RPs die. People cannot keep up with the breakneck pace desired by everyone else.

I've been doing this a great many years, and in my experience online role-playing has two distinct time formats: short and long form. Looking back over my years, most of my RPs have been short form. However, the most successful ones have all been "long-form."

So what makes a long-form RP? While I realize that this is mostly an arbitrary category and no story can be completely categorized as one or another, long-form stories usually have the following traits:

1. A Small, Close-Knit Group of Collaborators

The secrets of success that have marked my best RPs have mainly boiled down to who is involved. It was almost always the same people, people who had built a reputation with one another and were comfortable with the plot stalling for even months at a time if a certain member couldn't post.

2. Dedicated to the Story

In most groups, people are dedicated to their characters. There's nothing wrong with this, but this kind of attitude usually leads to frustration when someone is holding up the plot and wasting time that you wanted to spend developing your character. People who put the story first, however, are content to sacrifice that extra bit of polish they could put on their characters in exchange for keeping a story going. These sort of RPers start with the end in mind. In this area, they're much more like authors than RPers. A good author must know where the story is going before they start writing it. Similarly, a good RP group needs to know what the goals are (at least in the broadest terms) and set about getting the characters there.

3. Deeply Invested

This really isn't something you can make yourself. To be deeply invested, you really have to honestly care about the story, the setting, the characters, and the art of storytelling.

4. Characters Need All Sorts of Relationships

What I find is a major driver of long-form RPs is the level of complexity to the relationships between the characters. This includes romantic entanglements (even the dreaded love triangle if used in a diluted form very sparingly), spousal relationships, mentor-student relationships, parent-child, friendships, and especially animosities. Any story that is lacking at least a majority of these different relationships will generally have characters that seem unnatural. It is also good to have a mixture of old and young and male and female when the setting allows.

There are more, but these are probably the major ones. Leave a comment below if you think I missed something or if you think I'm off the mark about something. If you read this and you would like to try to put together an RP built on these premises, PM me and I would love to discuss some of your ideas.
 

Tedronai

Member
I think you've pretty much hit the nail on the head. It's one of my greatest frustrations when people flake out of a promising story (first world problems, I know) but really that's the key. RPs last only so long as people are interested, and they'll stay interested so long as the story stays interesting.
 

Shireling

A Servant of King and Country
I think you've pretty much hit the nail on the head. It's one of my greatest frustrations when people flake out of a promising story (first world problems, I know) but really that's the key. RPs last only so long as people are interested, and they'll stay interested so long as the story stays interesting.
Thank you. And yes, that's about the gist of it.
 

Beckoncall

World-Weaver and servant to the most-holy PC
Supporter
I have my RP running over a year now and all the above said is true. I also think it's important to take breaks -- or "Seasons" like a show -- if things get too intense or lag too much after a long run, and you have the invested core you have aformentioned, everyone should agree to take a break for a couple/few months. (shorter or longer your milage may vary) because of this, My game is moving onto it's third "Season" and will likely stay healthy for the forseeable future.
 

White Masquerade

QuirkyAngel's Red Oni
I would add

5. Simplicity. As someone who's done lots of leisure reading, a fair bit of hobby writing, and doesn't know how roleplay works, it lets me see this topic in a critical yet objective perspective. Unless you're doing something purely for yourself, the best critic is someone who has no understanding of your craft whatsoever. What I find is long-form RPs that keep things simple are best. Complexity doesn't equal quality. Ignore the allure of having 10/15 different powers to choose from. Pick 5 and flesh them out well. Ignore the charm having 10/15 different stats to put points. Pick 5 and have them work in a variety of ways. Ignore the excitement of 10/15 different factions to choose from. Pick 5 and throw your best ideas into them.

This is my opinion, but having lots of choices is a cop-out and cheap way of not doing anything at all. Instead of detailing a few good points, you get to skimp because you have 25 other options instead. It's example 1 vs example 2.

RP #1: Powers to choose from
Telekinesis
Fire Manipulation
Water Manipulation
Steel Manipulation
Time Control
Wind Manipulation
Sun Control

RP #2: Powers to choose from
Force Mastery
Telekinesis
Barrier Formation​
Elemental Manipulation
Wind
Fire​
Miracle Intimation
Time Rewind
Resurrection​

RP two is a better fit for a long-form roleplay. This goes for plot too. They have don't have 5 different storylines at one time if that can't be managed. The best work goes into 2-3. This leads to each feeling engaging, unique, and distinct.


6. Point. They have a point. They are not being done to "pass the time" , "try something out" , or worst of all "just because". The RP was created to explore something. A feeling. A concept. A journey. Character growth. Fighting injustice. Discovering new worlds. New modes of thinking. There is always a point to long-form RPs. A universal thread that drives the events through the story. If that's not there, good luck understanding why you're doing what you're doing.
 

Idea

The Pun Tyrant The Gif Hydra
I may be being a bit repetitive here, by yeah, you pretty much got it right. However, I would argue one detail against the crowd here: That there is nothing you can do to make your stuff inherently investment worth. In reality, in practice, it all boils down to people. Every roleplay is gonna have it's down moments and if people are not willing to work through that and invest prior to having fun , then it's gonna die. All the things you say are kinda boiled down to it. Either you are committed or not, and no one can MAKE YOU be committed
 

Mx.Trinity

Pro Stranger
Recently I've taken a job at a factory, and although I've been looking for other employment, I'm stuck there for the time being. In the afternoons after work, I'm usually too tired to do much of anything but I occasionally get a spark of creativity that I want to channel into role-playing.

My dilema is simply this, people don't like RPs that run at a snails-pace. At least, most people don't. Most people, myself included, enjoy fast-moving and dynamic adventures. I have, however, found that this is one of the greatest reasons RPs die. People cannot keep up with the breakneck pace desired by everyone else.

I've been doing this a great many years, and in my experience online role-playing has two distinct time formats: short and long form. Looking back over my years, most of my RPs have been short form. However, the most successful ones have all been "long-form."

So what makes a long-form RP? While I realize that this is mostly an arbitrary category and no story can be completely categorized as one or another, long-form stories usually have the following traits:

1. A Small, Close-Knit Group of Collaborators

The secrets of success that have marked my best RPs have mainly boiled down to who is involved. It was almost always the same people, people who had built a reputation with one another and were comfortable with the plot stalling for even months at a time if a certain member couldn't post.

2. Dedicated to the Story

In most groups, people are dedicated to their characters. There's nothing wrong with this, but this kind of attitude usually leads to frustration when someone is holding up the plot and wasting time that you wanted to spend developing your character. People who put the story first, however, are content to sacrifice that extra bit of polish they could put on their characters in exchange for keeping a story going. These sort of RPers start with the end in mind. In this area, they're much more like authors than RPers. A good author must know where the story is going before they start writing it. Similarly, a good RP group needs to know what the goals are (at least in the broadest terms) and set about getting the characters there.

3. Deeply Invested

This really isn't something you can make yourself. To be deeply invested, you really have to honestly care about the story, the setting, the characters, and the art of storytelling.

4. Characters Need All Sorts of Relationships

What I find is a major driver of long-form RPs is the level of complexity to the relationships between the characters. This includes romantic entanglements (even the dreaded love triangle if used in a diluted form very sparingly), spousal relationships, mentor-student relationships, parent-child, friendships, and especially animosities. Any story that is lacking at least a majority of these different relationships will generally have characters that seem unnatural. It is also good to have a mixture of old and young and male and female when the setting allows.

There are more, but these are probably the major ones. Leave a comment below if you think I missed something or if you think I'm off the mark about something. If you read this and you would like to try to put together an RP built on these premises, PM me and I would love to discuss some of your ideas.
Me and a friend have taken interest in your capabilities as far as roleplay is involved. I wanted to offer some general advice given the nature of your first paragraph or so.

See... I'm a lot like you in the sense that I really enjoy fast paced adventure and roleplays that can demonstrate this efficiently. But over the past little while I've began to find that the longest running RP's are the roleplays in which.... the roleplayers and the GM get along and get something out of coming into the roleplay or discord every day. The connection is what's most important I feel.

Presently I've began to steer away from the faster paced RP's simply because they either lack an amount of depth seen by GM's who put a lot of effort into building the world, the story, etc. And often times I don't mesh well with the people who post fast paced. I'm a bit more hardened than your average teenage roleplayer and because of that (I'm 25) I find myself stepping on a lot of toes and people taking what I say the wrong way or other bits of drama that don't really need to exist. But regardless.... I've found that slow moving, in depth roleplays with an active line of communication and interaction elsewhere (via OOC or discord) is really what creates a long running roleplay. So as much as I want to post every single day 1-2-3 times... I realize that if waiting means I get to roleplay with my friends, it's well worth the wait. If I'm feeling too impatient I can fill my RP queue.

Side note: the other person whose taken an interest in your RP abilities is my friend Heisenberg Heisenberg we're currently tossing around ideas for an RP, and if you'd be interested in hearing more just shoot me or Heis a message. Anyways I hope this was helpful. I would imagine this sort of RP'ing can mesh well with busy work or personal life also. Cheers Shireling Shireling
 

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 0, Guests: 1)

Top