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Edythir

The Cold One
I have a history of being a bit of a whiner and a bit of a complainer, but you clicked on a post titled "Ravings of a madman" so i'm assuming you aren't expecting the lucidity or high critique, just a really, really, really frustrated person who has had the worst and horrid luck imaginable.


First off. Sincerely Fuck Romance. Just in general this is one of the biggest crutches and one of the worst habits in the world today and that extends into Roleplay big time. "Girls and boys can't be friends, only partners" and similar sentiments. I can't tell you how many times i wanted to set up a grand story before they say "Well and then i eventually i fall in love with you because the laws of the universe demand that if there is a man and a woman they will find a way to turns it into a romantic subplot which takes over the entire story" No one wants to just tell a good story or have interesting characters, it always has to be "And then they start dating"

Don't get me wrong, looking at my past posting records you can see that fluffy romance stories are my guilty pleasure, especially MxM. BUT. Romance doesn't have a place anywhere, if i am writing romance i don't expect a giant kaiju mecha fight. If i am writing a giant kaiju mecha fight, i don't expect romance. So why does Romance have to rear it's ugly head in whenever i try to set up any sort of story where there is more than just an endless row of sausages or a matriarchy of strong, independant woman who don't need no man.


Setting aside the "Can we have sex in it?" Which is the same answer as romance, No we cannot, buzz off. No one wants to even build a story based on a story, people just expect there to be points on a graph and then just an automatically generated route between the plots of interest. People look at where they want to be and don't bother to enjoy the trip there.


On a certain un-named website. And if you do know what website it is i expect you to not mention it for obvious reasons since that website is classified as 18+ and this one isn't. You can create a character. You set up that character, give them a name, age, characteristic, bio. Then you can list various interests of any kind, from Fave, Like, Maybe and No. I have custom made interests on that page. Yet people think that if they play the correct version of "Connect the dots" it will program me into playing with them. They just pick out a set of things that we both like and then just say "Let's do that" without any idea of how it would happen or what would tie it together.

Take this for example. Cake is good, Yes? Mashed Potatoes too? You like Ice Cream? Donuts? Yes i like all those things. What i don't like is putting those things into a pot and melt it into a stew because frankly that will be disgusting. People just want to "Do" things, not create a story or a scenario in which things happen. They don't want to bake a cake, they don't want to buy a cake, they want cake and cake they shall have.

I just want someone. ANYONE. who can appreciate a story for it's own merits, i just want someone who is as interested in the how and the why as much as the what. I just want someone who doesn't try to slide Romance into an RP like a bad faith christian slides the bible into proven science. Is that too much to ask? Someone with an ounce of creativity who doesn't just go for the lowest common denominator?

I mean, i get it, romance and especially the other really easy 18+ thing is like sugar in food. It makes it easy to eat, it makes it appreciable by a large number of people, it's junkfood and sometimes junkfood is good. But i would at least like to find one god damn person who wants to spend some time in the kitchen together making our own meal for once so we can properly enjoy it the best we can. I just want something of substance, something that doesn't taste like salt, fat and sugar. I just want something interesting that is not the same formula i have been writing since i was 12 writing stuff on a now deleted fanfiction.net account.

Alright. I just needed to scream into the void and put it somewhere. You clicked on a thread that said "The ravings of a madman" and what did you expect, Shakespeare? But you got through it, you madman.
 

Peppercorn

Junior Member
this whole thread is just



for me.

like seriously, you've summed up all my complaints about romance pairings and smut lol
 

Peppercorn

Junior Member
Maybe we could be friends
If you want to, I don't mind

But yeah, my main RP site's 1x1 section is almost 100% people wanting romance and smut in their RPs. They also hit ya with the "I want to RP with only X gender partners" (as in IRL) or "you must play as X gender" (typically male) sometimes. Also shout out to the dudes I ran into who tricked me into browsing their interest checks there because they wanted to RP a fandom I like (Warcraft, F in the chat for Blizz atm) but then hit me with "i play chicks with big breasts and something extra" in the actual thread. like, please, no
 

rae2nerdy

Ultra Nerdy
I think that a lot of time what happens is people confuse "romance" and "crushes". And even the crushes are usually super manufactured and are along the lines of adults throwing together toddlers at play time because they both like dinosaurs.

I actually had someone who really illustrated this problem contact me for a "platonic" roleplay once. (basically it was your typical romance roleplay without the smut requests). The person would ask me what all my characters likes/dislikes/hobbies where and when I asked them why they needed this information they said it was to help our characters be friends.

And that super turned me off because it made me feel like my characters was just a series of traits to them and if they happened to match up the traits than our characters would be besties. But I mean realistically do you like every single person in the world who shares your interests? No. Do you automatically shun and despise people who don't share your interests? No. (Well within reason.)

Basically that's the part that I hate about "romance" roleplays. It really is just building two characters with whatever traits the other person has in their own specific crushes and acting like that's enough to write a love story. The characters don't have to actually like each other or have any chemistry. It's just my partner has a crush on my character so I guess that's good enough.
 

The Inquisitor

The Empress of the Pen
I think Rae said it right. Most of the time in rps, people tend to want to just have "romantic scenes" or a romantic pursuit, something which is a bit of a fantasy. That is fine. I am definitely not knocking anyone who enjoys these types of roleplays or even books, but I also agree it is a bit hard to find a genuinely good romance/ a story that does not have romance shoehorned in just because that is what the media has forced us to expect at every turn. But, I mean, it is to be expected for this to happen in RPs. Most books have a romance (or the dreaded love triangle *shudders*) shoe-horned into them. Did Hunger Games really need the drama with Katniss having Gale and Peeta to choose from? Not really, the story stood up pretty well without it. But, quite frankly, it appealed to more people that way.

It is funny because I have people who legitimately think I dislike romance because of my stance. Most of the time my disinterest comes from it feeling fake and forced for the sake of living out a fantasy. Once again, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that, if that is what you like in an RP. More power to you. But I don't like it. I am a bit of a... pretentious dickwad in that sense haha. I hate characters that feel like they solely exist to be a love interest (I especially hate when I am delegated to play that character). But some people, that is what they crave.

So, in the end, I say I sympathize with you, but do not give up hope. There are others who wish to play characters that are just badass and take the world by storm without delving into romance. Everyone has different tastes when it comes to RPs. Unfortunately what you want happens to be a bit more niche, I am not going to lie. But there is a perfect partner for everyone and I believe if you keep looking, you will find yours :)
 

Idea

The Pun Tyrant The Gif Hydra
Helper
And that super turned me off because it made me feel like my characters was just a series of traits to them and if they happened to match up the traits than our characters would be besties. But I mean realistically do you like every single person in the world who shares your interests? No. Do you automatically shun and despise people who don't share your interests? No. (Well within reason.)
Well, let me put it this way: A shared interested (or lack thereof) won't make you automatically like or dislike someone. But it can't break the ice and make characters more inclined to listen to one another, open themselves up etc... In fact part of basis for the internet's success is the fact that people can directly link themselves to one another based on mutual interests, which helps them communicate and get along much better.

Naturally, characters are more than a collection of traits and any writer worth their salt understands that one shouldn't try to jam together characters like puzzle pieces, but I would also argue that using character likes, dislikes etc... to help organically guide the plot when needed is not only valid but an intelligent tactic to employ, especially if one is a GM (which I understand isn't the case you're talking about, but I thought I'd mention it). After all, it's a way that makes sense in-universe, and bar some exceptional circumstances should be pretty reliable.
 

rae2nerdy

Ultra Nerdy
Well, let me put it this way: A shared interested (or lack thereof) won't make you automatically like or dislike someone. But it can't break the ice and make characters more inclined to listen to one another, open themselves up etc... In fact part of basis for the internet's success is the fact that people can directly link themselves to one another based on mutual interests, which helps them communicate and get along much better.

Naturally, characters are more than a collection of traits and any writer worth their salt understands that one shouldn't try to jam together characters like puzzle pieces, but I would also argue that using character likes, dislikes etc... to help organically guide the plot when needed is not only valid but an intelligent tactic to employ, especially if one is a GM (which I understand isn't the case you're talking about, but I thought I'd mention it). After all, it's a way that makes sense in-universe, and bar some exceptional circumstances should be pretty reliable.
And to me it's just like someone using something you say in the OOC to manipulate situations in IC. I don't remember what it's called but it's super annoying.

If your characters have shared hobbies it should come up organically throughout the roleplay. Like maybe their having an awkward conversation somewhere to pass the time and the subject of hobbies come up. Or maybe they happen to have different hobbies but Character A wants to date Character B so decides to take an interest in what Character B likes.

I mean their are a way to use these kinds of things to build bonds without having to mention them in the CS. Instead just have it come up between the characters naturally as it would in real life.
 

Idea

The Pun Tyrant The Gif Hydra
Helper
And to me it's just like someone using something you say in the OOC to manipulate situations in IC. I don't remember what it's called but it's super annoying.
If you're talking about metagaming, the concept involves breaking character. Doing something the character wouldn't normally do based on OOC information rather than their IC knowledge or personality is metagaming, and I agree that it is annoying- so annoying that it violates what one might call "Roleplay 101".

If your characters have shared hobbies it should come up organically throughout the roleplay. Like maybe their having an awkward conversation somewhere to pass the time and the subject of hobbies come up. Or maybe they happen to have different hobbies but Character A wants to date Character B so decides to take an interest in what Character B likes.
However, the point of trying to get characters to share likes, dislikes etc from the CS is to avoid having to force it IC, it's precisely to let it happen organically by setting up the character in a way that matches them being into those likes, dislikes and hobbies, rather than trying to push them into a character where it wouldn't fit. The point is that the organic development happens not by chance and coincidence, but by design.

It's still artificial in the sense that you created the character to match that way in the first place though, so we may be in disagreement when it comes to the merits or lack thereof of design and set up in roleplays. However, in the roleplaying itself it is very much organic, as in universe nothing is being forced or being contrived.

I mean their are a way to use these kinds of things to build bonds without having to mention them in the CS. Instead just have it come up between the characters naturally as it would in real life.
Yes, there are. It's a roll of the dice on whether that is possible, and therefore utterly impossible to actually employ them in advance in any way, but other than that it is possible.
 

ashwynne

|aquatic authority | ✎ art: peritwinkle
Supporter
See, I love a good ole platonic roleplay, but I also like to see character relationships develop into romance too. I think there's a big difference between "good" romance and gratuitous fluff. For example, I find stories where the couple is already a couple (or even married) to be really interesting. Building off of that pre-existing dynamic can lead to a lot of fascinating scenarios. The problem, I find, is that people alter the plotline of stories from "climax of this is defeating the bad guy" to "climax of this is them finally hooking up." Which is fine... if the story is a romance from the get-go, but romance should only ever be a sub-plot in any other case and finding people who get that can be toughhhhh.

All my current roleplays have a romance angle as either the main plot or subplot. They range from an engaged couple all the way to a pair that has been forced together despite hating each other--the ultimate case of slow burn. Within all of these are major antagonists and drama, so while the romance provides an interesting backdrop to get to know the characters, it isn't the main thing driving the plot forward. It's super tough to get right though, and requires good partners who know how to write a good story.

I knowwwww it's super cliche to say "oh, you just haven't experienced good romance in an RP," but I legitimately think that's the case here xD I don't hate writing romance (I love it actually) I just hate the majority of people who write it badly. All of the examples you listed are things I have not experienced because as soon as I get a whiff that my partner is of that sort I immediately call off the RP. Meanwhile, all my roleplays with fantastic partners have romance in mind but because we're plot and character driven it develops organically. They all have varying levels of chemistry and interaction which makes things interesting and half the time they're too preoccupied with whatever situation they're in to even bring up anything romantic.

But yeah... this is why I won't usually contact anyone who has an interest thread that is just (___ x ___) with no plot description because they're often the ones who do the gratuitous, mindless, romance BS. Only exception might be if they add some specific caveat about no instant romance, but even then I'm leery.

So: platonic roleplays are AWESOME. But so are romantic ones that are done well.
 

Peppercorn

Junior Member
Whether or not if they have experienced good romance doesn't really apply to their ranting, methinks. Kind of like comparing apples to oranges, really.

It's more of an issue of how people wish to hamfist romance (and smut) into the roleplay from the get go, especially those from the 1x1 sections on various forums. I, myself, have had lengthy romance RPs with a friend in the past, but I still "groan and roll my eyes" looking through the 1x1 section because romance pairings, whether they be MXF, MXM, or FXF, is largely all that is offered. Some people just want a break and want to write something that isn't basically online flirting in story form.
 

ashwynne

|aquatic authority | ✎ art: peritwinkle
Supporter
@Peppercorn
Ah, maybe! That wasn’t how I read it I guess lol. To me it sounded more like OP has constantly had bad experiences with people shoving romance in where it isn’t wanted and that, in their experience, the presence of/insistence on romance always derails good plots. Which I personally don’t agree with. Might just be how I interpreted it though, I’ve been scatterbrained with midterm stress so it’s very possible xD

I completely agree with 1x1 Search Threads being cringeworthy though lol! I find one intriguing one for roughly 10-20 that make me quickly click away.
edit; and those are just the 10-20 I actually click on :’D

I guess my ultimate point is that I don’t think it’s an issue of romance as a genre, but rather of bad partners (or unsuitable, maybe, is the better term). If you find a good partner who is focused on storytelling instead of self-gratification then the presence (or lack) of romance is going to have no bearing on the quality of the story.

I think maybe this is a clearer way to put it... the message kinda got muddled in my original comment here xD
 

rae2nerdy

Ultra Nerdy
@Peppercorn
Ah, maybe! That wasn’t how I read it I guess lol. To me it sounded more like OP has constantly had bad experiences with people shoving romance in where it isn’t wanted and that, in their experience, the presence of/insistence on romance always derails good plots. Which I personally don’t agree with. Might just be how I interpreted it though, I’ve been scatterbrained with midterm stress so it’s very possible xD

I completely agree with 1x1 Search Threads being cringeworthy though lol! I find one intriguing one for roughly 10-20 that make me quickly click away.
edit; and those are just the 10-20 I actually click on :’D

I guess my ultimate point is that I don’t think it’s an issue of romance as a genre, but rather of bad partners (or unsuitable, maybe, is the better term). If you find a good partner who is focused on storytelling instead of self-gratification then the presence (or lack) of romance is going to have no bearing on the quality of the story.

I think maybe this is a clearer way to put it... the message kinda got muddled in my original comment here xD
Yeah I think sometimes it might be easier to sort things into two categories - Crushes and Romance.

Romance = relationship that is built on shared chemistry or connection between two (or more) characters. Planned or Unplanned.
Crush = two characters with compatible naughty bits are smushed together for player gratification. Planned.

Because I feel like a lot of times when you say "Romance is bad" you get all this defensiveness and you get called out for hating love or what not. When in reality what you are against is people who try to pass of surface level infatuation with real human connections.

Which I don't even think is strictly speaking a writing issue either. I think it's also in how people understand relationships. There are a lot of people out there that have a really manufactured view of what relationships are in IRL so it's not a surprise that they write them the same way. And I mean I'm not knocking it. I don't think every relationship needs to be this epic love story. I just think that sometimes things that are fine in real life are just boring to write about.

I mean I really enjoy my job but I also wouldn't want to make a roleplay about it. It would be super boring for me and other people.
 

ashwynne

|aquatic authority | ✎ art: peritwinkle
Supporter
Yeah I think sometimes it might be easier to sort things into two categories - Crushes and Romance.

Romance = relationship that is built on shared chemistry or connection between two (or more) characters. Planned or Unplanned.
Crush = two characters with compatible naughty bits are smushed together for player gratification. Planned.
Ah, I don't think I could get behind the word 'crushes' specifically because I've always associated that with like... innocent kids having 'crushes' on each other that was really just cute infatuation, but I know what you mean xD

Actually, thinking about it, I figure that the category already exists with 'Romance' vs 'Smut.'

And it's true. What it really comes down to is knowing what to look for in a partner/interest check and selecting people who are compatible with your viewpoints on the use of romance/smut in a roleplay. If a person can select partners well then they'll never have a problem. Really just takes trial and error to do that though... and a fair bit of patience lol. Luckily, most of the people uninterested in smut/interested in platonic roleplays are always game if someone shows up who shares that same interest, so even if it's a search thread that's been deeply buried you can have good luck sometimes.
 

rae2nerdy

Ultra Nerdy
Ah, I don't think I could get behind the word 'crushes' specifically because I've always associated that with like... innocent kids having 'crushes' on each other that was really just cute infatuation, but I know what you mean xD

Actually, thinking about it, I figure that the category already exists with 'Romance' vs 'Smut.'

And it's true. What it really comes down to is knowing what to look for in a partner/interest check and selecting people who are compatible with your viewpoints on the use of romance/smut in a roleplay. If a person can select partners well then they'll never have a problem. Really just takes trial and error to do that though... and a fair bit of patience lol. Luckily, most of the people uninterested in smut/interested in platonic roleplays are always game if someone shows up who shares that same interest, so even if it's a search thread that's been deeply buried you can have good luck sometimes.
The thing is it isn't really about smut though. Smut is basically explicit sexual content which isn't necessarily the problem in itself. You can have explicit sexual content and still have a well rounded relationship between characters.

Most crushes are pretty surface level feelings that just revolve around either a physical attraction or an idealized version of the object of the crush. Hence why I called those types of roleplays "Crush" roleplays. Because the exact problem is that they are only about surface level feelings and either physical attraction OR an idealized version of the players romantic interest.

Whereas a Romance roleplay is about an actual relationship between characters that may or may not involve sexual content.
 

Edythir

The Cold One
So while i am more lucid and not in a on any mind altering substances (by far my favorite way to describe caffeine). Romance RPs are my guilty pleasure. What i really do fucking hate is "But will it have romance?"

Five partners. Five partners have dropped me because i refused to include a romance aspect into the RP. No matter what, "Oh it's a dark character drama in a mental hospital between a doctor and a suicidal patient? But will it have romance between them?" "Oh it's a story between a big fuck you dragon and a human? But will that dragon fall in love with the human?"

I've done a sickening amount of smut RPs, i've done a staggering amount of romance RPs, but what i don't like is when i am trying to build a story based RP and the other person refuses to even do it unless they are forcing an RP between any of the characters, no matter how appropriate it is. It's like this one time with a playing a fashion model and the other person demanded that she'd be naked all of the time. That's not fashion, that's the direct and complete absence of fashion and just there to appeal to the lowest common denominator.


It's like adding sugar to most foods, like some people hate coffee so they put enough milk and sugar to make it basically into a mcdonalds milkshake with a bit of caffeine in it. If i am doing a semi-serious or story driven story, i don't want someone being like "Yeah but will they fall in love regardless of how ethical, probable or feasible it is" Romance RPs are great when you are expecting romance, doing any other RP and then just slotting romance into it like trying to shove a floppy disk into a cassette player just drives me insane because there is a time and place for everything and romance does not belong everywhere, yet everyone always demands to put it in.
 

ashwynne

|aquatic authority | ✎ art: peritwinkle
Supporter
Okay, yeah, I completely see what you’re saying @Edythir and I’m with you. That’s the woooooorst. I mean... in dark scenarios like you listed it can be interesting to write unhealthy romantic relationships to sort of showcase the dangers of it, but for people to insist on romance and then ditch if you say no? Insane.

People just have a fixation on love I guess. I spent the first half of my writing life focusing mostly on platonic/unhealthy relationships (or at least extremely unhappy characters that did not get happy endings) and I’m now in the opposite phase where I want to mostly explore complicated but healthy relationships. Still, if back then people had tried shoving “happy happy, perfect romance” onto my extremely disturbed characters I would have been pissed.

I salute you and wish you much luck in finding good partner(s) that doesn’t try to shove romance where it doesn’t belong!
 

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