By Bricu | February 25, 2010
We here at WTTRP have mentioned communication more times than we’ve run Naxx. We cannot stress enough how important it is to communicate (and communicate WELL) with the people in your circle. Despite our posts, and beliefs, communication is not the most important aspect of RP. I believe that there is a three way tie of important factors: A trifecta of awesome that we must take into account when we RP. Communication, Fun and Balance are the keys to brilliant RP.
Fun seems to be an obvious point factor in creating successful RP, and yet, how many of us can point to an RP event where we experience anything BUT fun. For instance, the earliest RP event I remember attending on Feathermoon was a “psychic battle of wills.” Bricu was an audience member. I stood there, on the bridge over the lava pit in Blackrock mountain, wondering why the hell he surrounded himself with wonky gits. After a snide comment or two, Bricu walked out and got hammered somewhere. The event itself was NOT FUN.
Fun means 1) giving everyone a role to play or 2) giving guidelines on what you want a character to do. Audience member is not a role anyone wants to play. WoW has some beautiful cut-scenes; however, these are devices to inform our characters of what is going on. We are not, typically, involved in them. Do not treat your RP as witnesses to your characters ABV. Give everyone a chance to shine in some way, shape or form.
Keep in mind that even an epic failure is a method to shine.
Balance means mixing the proper proportions of events, styles and methods of RP. For instance, not everyone likes forum or fic based RP. Likewise, not every event can be told in the game client. Epic mounted calvary battles are not going to happen in Wow. During an event, the organizers have to strike the proper balance of methods to keep the story going. Balance means more than getting the right amount of fics posted and in game events together. Balance also means getting the right amount of humor, drama and action together.
Bricu, for example, tends less towards “zany, crazy hijinks!” and more towards, “I will punch you in the face and laugh.” while I know that he is skewed, I have tried to strike more of a balance with him by including his pet collection, his adoration of his daughter, and the willingness to play the role of a straight-man in some RP situations. Striking this balance is not easy, especially when we consider the differences in RP styles, but it is something we should strive for.
Balanced characters (properly defined as well-rounded characters, I believe) do not make an inherently balanced story line. This takes work. When writing up plot outlines, or figuring out what roles people will take in the story, keep in mind that you should look to build, and release, tension at dramatically appropriate points. Too much melancholy and people will NEED a “Wacky Hijinks Story” to stay motivated. Too much fighting in a story and you lose the political and social elements that attract a fair amount of RPers. Too much “Zany” and you lose to people who want to work on a more serious story.
Communication, Fun and Balance. These are the factors that, in my opinion, make RP great. My opinion should not be the end all, be all, of RP. What are the factors that you like to consider when designing RP? Do you have other, better, examples of Communication, fun and balance? Do you think I’m full of it? Let us know?
This post went up too quick. Expect edits throughout the day.