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Old 04-18-2002, 06:12 PM   #1
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What got you started in roleplaying?

What keeps you coming back to a fantastical environment - regardless of the actual theme - and playing the part of an imaginary character?

Some folks will look at you oddly if you tell them this is your hobby, while they macrame or paint themselves blue and red for the football game or build model railroads or chase a dimpled ball around a course while wearing bad pants and worse shoes.

You roleplay? What, don't you have anything better to do with your time?

But nobody thinks twice about actors or writers, who do this sort of thing for fun and profit.

I roleplay because, as a storyteller, I have always gotten more of a charge out of interactive storylines. I like the give and take. I like building stories around characters I don't necessarily have to control.

I roleplay on the Internet because, given my experiences on the stage, for an actor I'm an excellent writer. Roleplaying in text environments on the Internet allows me to meld together improvisational acting and writing into one medium, without worrying about whether I look like the part in real life.

I roleplay on the Internet because it gives me a chance to try out story ideas, to work through concepts and to look at the world from a variety of perspectives.

And I do it because it's fun.

What are your reasons?
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Old 04-18-2002, 06:39 PM   #2
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I roleplay on muds that are friendly and help you out, also its good to have a good RP staff to make the world come to life. and let the players shape the world that you created with some guidelines, but the muds that dont work with you as in the RP respect i dont see why people would stay there.
some good muds ive been on and played was threashold, great RP mud, but i do like other things then RP, im the hack &slash , RP and PK kind of person.
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Old 04-18-2002, 06:58 PM   #3
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Unbridled, unadulterated escapism. As a kid, I found D&D (the old three pamphlet set - anyone remember these?) Shortly thereafter I found Tolkien, Michael Moorcock, and Fritz Lieber. For all you Wheel of Time fans, the aforementioned authors give you a better read IMHO. I refer to them as the Holy Triumvirate of epic fantasy. Heck, today even the name Elric brings back memories of hours crammed into an arm chair reading endlessly.
The I grew up, went to kollige, joined the Army, got married and had a kid. I still carried around a notebook of disjointed notes and scribbles from the "world" I had created as a kid and added to piece meal over time. Then in '98 I found a MUD. My initial reaction was "hey neat - lemme check this out." Haven't looked back yet.

RPing is also a venue to capture ideas for things I'd like to write some day. Characters, plots, ideas are ripe for the picking in the MUD I play. We have so very creative folks there.

RPing is my outlet to escape back into the days of my youth.

Second only is my hobby with guitars. As I tell my wife, MUDs and guitars beat the heck out of women, cars and booze on the "my husband is milking this mid-life crisis" scale. Now if anyone wants to talk guitars..... LOL


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Old 04-19-2002, 04:00 AM   #4
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I mainly roleplay to get away from the real life for a while, and do something different. It's also fun to watch your character develop (and I don't mean gaining levels, stats, etc. by this) in the game's world. And not like you could be in the real life the guy feared by the entire world, would propably end up soon in the place with soft walls .
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Old 04-19-2002, 04:18 PM   #5
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I grew up reading the Dragonlance and Death Gate series and found myself wishing I could find some way to try and take part in a world somewhat similiar to the books I loved so much. I'd have to say that drew me in towards roleplaying game, and working in a game store for 6 years with the late night gaming crews coming in playing D&D until 2 in the morning probably helped too =)

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Old 04-19-2002, 05:08 PM   #6
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I think part of my reason is that I'm never satisfied. When I finish reading a good book or watching a movie I enjoy, I often find myself wondering what happened next.

With roleplaying, you can stick around to see what the aftermath is from destroying the evil that's threatening to destroy the world, see if that loving couple really does live happily ever after, help to affect the outcome of something that touches you in some way and it doesn't have to end unless you want it to; even then you have the option to change your mind and find out more.

Another part of it is that I'm a rather moody person at times. It's hard for me to keep my personality consistent, which doesn't always have good consequences. I like the fact that when roleplaying, you can be whoever you feel like at the time. If you're in a fun-loving mood, you can play a character with a lot of carefree friends and not have to deal with serious issues; if you're in a bad mood, you can play a fighter type and go out and kill things (or people) without everyone wondering why you're no longer the fun person you were the day before; if you're in a more serious mood, you can play a scholarly type and spend your time learning about things that interest you that you might not have time for otherwise.

I've also found that it's nice not to be judged by your looks, financial status, background or anything else other than your choice of personalities. In most of the games I've played, stupid characters are considered special and their humor more appreciated, rather than being ostercized and degraded by society. I think the biggest reason is that it's much easier to try to live in the type of world you'd like (there are so many to choose from) and have some effect on making it so.
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Old 04-19-2002, 11:49 PM   #7
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For me...being a girl who got into fantasy/scifi when I was 12 (thanks to a wonderful teacher who started me on the Pern series, the only books I'd read since C.S. Lewis' Narnian Chronicles that truly interested me) I'd say it's been a long and hard journey.

My latest ex once told me that I led a double life. None of my group of friends had any idea the type of books I read, or that I spent a bit of time in Muds. I even hid it pretty well from my roommates...calling them chat rooms. He wasn't one to talk though since he did almost the same thing, instead by having two groups of friends. Anyway for me, I never grew up with someone who could do a pen and paper RPG. I so wanted to but was never able. Happily I threw myself into chat RP when I finally got a computer. Happily I went when I found DGate in 1995. And since then I've RP'd many muds.

All my RPing experiences have been done online. I just recently sat in on a few AD&D and whatever the other name of the game was and I felt almost at a loss. I felt out of place and silly. The reason? I'm used to expressing myself in type better than in person. I love the RP atmosphere of a text game. You can ignore this or that person and you can have a huge room of people instead of about eight.

I RP because I write, but seem to have a bit of a writers block. I love the input of others and I love interracting with something that is unknown. My character may have known yours for six years, but you can still do something suprising.

Ah well enough of my babbling.


Edited to add: Colin, I didn't find those series until I was a junior in high school. I swear I read through the entire shelves of the local Waldenbooks and then I found dragonlance....which I stopped reading a few books in for some reason.
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Old 04-20-2002, 10:57 AM   #8
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There are so many reasons why I roleplay, but let me see if I can narrow a few down.

First and foremost, I have my B.A. in the "Dramatic Arts". So, yes, I went to university to study drama. Why? Because I love being on stage and being another person for a while. Many people would see this as a form of escapism, but for me, that's not it. Something a really amazing instructor once told us was that drama wasn't about putting on masks; it was about stripping them off. When you're onstage, you may be acting like a different person, but there is still a very large part of you that is visible. Part of the process of acting is identifying with the character you will portray. You need to find that common thread between you and that other person. Because of that, that common thread is very much out in the open.

And it's a bit of a thrill knowing everyone out there can see it.

But anyway, I digress a bit. The point is, there is some of that thrill that I am addicted to. And since I'm not out on the stage, why not find another venue for that thrill? MUSHes do just that for me.

But this isn't the only reason why I roleplay. There is something exciting about being able to -be- someone else for a while (putting that common thread aside because there is so much about the other character that really isn't related to you at all). It's neat to sit down and see what happens if you do X, Y, and Z, without actually having to deal with the consequences in real life.

It's also really neat to watch a character grow and develop before your eyes. It's an amazing thing to watch your character actually surprise you (some of you might think I'm nuts, but there are times when I don't know how my character will react to something until it just happens).

And then there's the story. I love to write stories (and am even working on a book), so roleplaying to me is just an extension of storytelling. It's more interactive. Sometimes working within your own brain isn't enough and you need the help of someone else's brain for adding the less predictable moments. And roleplaying is so spontaneous. Like someone said (maybe Brody?), it's like combining storytelling with improv. It also reminds me of those Choose-Your-Own-Adventure books that I used to enjoy so much in my childhood (maybe I want to recapture some of my childhood).

Anyway, just my two cents.
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Old 04-20-2002, 01:58 PM   #9
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I loved those choose your adventure books....I used to cheat so much with them too.

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Old 04-22-2002, 01:42 PM   #10
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My reasons are much like the reasons Siobhan gave. I had an interpretive reading professor that said that experiencing life through only our own eyes is very limiting. Through creative roleplay (whether it be theatre, interperative reading, or MUDs) we can "live" as another person, even if only temporarily. I've only had two characters I've ever been able to "become".

The other reason that Siobhan mentioned that stuck out for me, was the development of character. I, too, have had the experience of watching my characters surprise me. I have one in particular that hasn't gone in the direction I planned. Oftentimes, I have to think back on what's happened and try to figure out why my characters have reacted they way they did. But I take great joy in seeing my characters "live" this way.

The last thing I'll mention may sound rather silly. It isn't a reason that I roleplay, but it affects me nonetheless. It has to do with the old saying about walking a mile in another's shoes. By playing characters that have ideals that may be different from our own, we learn what motivates them. We learn to understand them. And hopefully, our minds are opened to ways of life that are different from our own. I think that roleplaying forces us to become more compassionate in real life. At least, it does for me.

And, as Brody said, I do it because it's fun!

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Old 04-25-2002, 03:50 PM   #11
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I don't have anything more to add, really, butů I originally started Rping for the simple fun of exploring a lifestyle/personality/mindset that was different to mine. Now, a year or so later, I know what I want. I want, for once, to play a character who has interesting life, an interesting death, and is changed by all the trials and tribulations that come in between. I want a /story/ to my RP - not a fixed story, but just enough coherence to give me the impression that themes are being explored, relationships are being formed, and characters are being developed.

I'm sadly surprised at how damn difficult this is proving to be. OOC politics just seem to always be in the way, in my limited experience. Now, I'd slink off and write a book by myself, but it wouldn't have the same sense of improvisation, interaction, and general randomness that RP has.

What keeps me coming back? Hope.

Yeesh, that sounded gleefully pretentious. Alright. Rambling now.
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