Do you RP to play a character, or get a character so you can RP?

  • Pitcrew

    Question is simpler than it sounds: when you play on a mush, are you there primarily to create and play a character, or would you happily RP as anything (minor characters, one-shot characters, talking trashcans, whatever) just to have some pretendy funtimes in that chosen theme/setting?

  • Some of each, but I'd say more the former. The most common way I've ended up on games is to be pulled there by a friend already playing, so I've gotten a character so I could RP -- but then I RP to play the character. I don't app just anything to get on grid; it has to be someone I'm intrigued to explore (who also fits with the setting). I've got a couple character concepts I've had hanging around for ages that have never had a place they fit, and a couple games I never finished apping on because I couldn't find a character I honestly wanted to play who fit the place.

  • Pitcrew

    Depends on the game. On Generic Small Town With 10 Million Celebs and Mansions by Night, where honestly most of the time the setting is okay but not really vibrant, or in a sphere that doesn't have a lot of history that doesn't sound like an inside joke, I often concentrate on a character and how she grows/shifts over time based on who she meets and things that happen. There have been a few places that had a theme or time period I found so interesting or really liked that I would have been happy playing one-shots or whatever just to help flesh out the world and have fun with the PCs.

    However regardless I tend to play "minor characters" in the sense that they're almost exclusively support PCs, no matter where I play. I tend to be much more interested in those sorts of stories rather than clawing my way personally to the top or whatever.

  • Usually the former. I actually tend to like making characters more than I like getting into scenes. It's probably why I tend to gravitate more toward "the guy who runs PrPs" or staff bits focusing on GM/STing, because then I can just make up characters and play them in one-shots.

  • Hm, I don't think I fall so much into the 'are you drawn to a character, or are you drawn to a setting?' type question. It's whatever story happens to grab me for the game, really. Might be my own character, might be supporting the story of someone else's character, might be a transformative story about the setting itself. I think that alternating focus is just part of collaborative RP and what makes it fun.

  • The former. I usually have a particular character concept / story arc in mind. That's one of the big reasons I'm against involuntary PC death.

  • Pitcrew

    I don't know that it's always as clear-cut as either/or. I think it's definitely a continuum. For instance, I usually have 1-2 "main" characters that I will play as my PCs, but so long as the theme/metaplot interests me, I enjoy having guest-stars here and there, in the vein of a particularly entertaining/characterful clone trooper accompanying Jedi into the field to handle the stuff that Jedi never know how to do.

    If those guest-stars can elicit emotional responses from the PCs, then I usually enjoy myself in the scene even if I'm not playing one of "my" characters.

    In some ways, I think this divide emphasizes the difference between personal stories or game stories. Are you more interested in seeing the personal story of your own character advance, or the overarching story of the game advance. Of course, on a well-run game, both can happen at once, but folks still have preferences: do they like to see sweeping political/military/social changes across the landscape of the game, or do they like to see their own characters create/build/destroy relationships with other characters and advance toward (or in the vague and general direction of) their personal goals?

  • Almost always the latter. This may explain why I've run more scenes than played my own PC. :)


  • It usually depends on how confident I am when approaching a game.

    If I have friends there, or if I know the theme well, I'll play a character I want to get into. If I'm trudging into foreign territory, I will focus more on a character who can involve themselves in the setting so I can learn more about it and they don't have to necessarily have a well-detailed background or personality.

  • Pitcrew

    Usually the former, though it can get to be the latter really easily.

  • I will play anything really, so long as it's my creation. I don't do FC's, or Roster games, because I feel zero attachment to the characters. They're not mine, I don't know their minds.

    This is even /worse/ if it's a character that's been played before.

    For me characters are disposable, but, I want to own them from start to finish.

  • Admin

    If I can't get into a character I am excited for I probably won't be on the game much.

    What usually motivates me is the company though more than either my PC or the game is the group of players I'm associating with. If I feel disconnected I drift away.

  • The former. If I don't feel like I have a character in mind that I'm really interested in playing, then I don't play the game. I've done the latter before and it just feels like I'm doing it to provide people someone to RP with and it's a waste of everyone's time.

  • Pitcrew

    More the latter, provided that the options available interest me. I tend to make a character based on what I think will fit best into the setting, theme, and proposed plot. I rarely, if ever, have anything "pre-plotted" about the character's development, and I don't really like tying myself to other players and their characters in advance.

  • I feel like both, or like the latter builds off the former for me. I start with a lot of the 'create to the game' when I start making the bones of a PC. It's (part of) why I dislike porting character concepts, because I try to build at least something key into them that's tied into that world or that take on the theme. I want to feel like there's something I can sink my teeth into in what the game's doing with itself, even if I'm not sinking them particularly deep. After that, though, I need to connect with the character and find them fun and interesting to play little personal stories about if I'm going to stick with them for any length of time. With my main PC, at least. Alts tend to work for me best as pure 'color' characters who can come out once a month, be kind of entertaining, and then go back in the box without anyone minding.

  • Pitcrew

    The latter for me. I play on a game because I like the theme and mechanics. A character is a means to an end; though, I still want to be interested in the character I'm playing. Then again, my journey to MUSHes may be atypical. I came from Paradox style games to online versions of said games that had light forum RP to MUSHes, so I'm more of a Gamist than a Narrativist to use antiquated Threefold Model terminology.

  • Pitcrew

    For me it is to play the character. In my table top group I am the guy running the game most of the time so MUSHing is where I go to get the fun of playing. Now i will rp NPCs and run scenes for people as well but that to me is being a good part of the game community; but the reason I am part of that community in the first place is to play my character.

  • I typically build the character to fit into the theme/setting, but I'm there to play the character. So -- both??

  • Pitcrew

    Definitely the character. I mean I am clearly there for the Rp, but the Rp on one character, over an extended period of time. To see them grown and change and develop in unexpected ways over the course of years. If i get Ideas for short term on off characters i will probably make them extras in a PRP or something.

  • I'm like everyone else. When I start on a Mu*, I play a character to get into and understand theme. Even if its common theme like WoD, I play the char to get a feel for the particular meta of wherever it is I am playing.

    Once I feel comfortable enough with them, I get what I can to RP it. If I stay long enough, its because I enjoy the theme and/or that particular meta of said theme/game. When I get there, I'll play NPCs, and if they are talking trashcans, even better. But I can't stick to just ST'ing, I need to play, and I need social RP too.

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