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DISCUSSION Pre-gaming?

Discussion in 'Roleplaying Discussion' started by ShadoeMayari, Jul 20, 2014.

  1. So, there’s this RP I want to start up that’s a bit complicated and will depend a lot on me knowing a bit about the characters beforehand. And that means there’s a bit of a character sheet involved with it. Also, I won’t be ready to GM it until after my trip to Canada which will be around the 11th.

    So, I was thinking of making a pre-game session, where characters can interact and such before the plot kicks in (because it’s gonna kick in hard). This will allow people to ease into RPing as their character(s) and make it a bit easier for them to actually make their character sheets. (And the pre-game may or may not have some effect on the actual plot.) It’ll also keep some of us busy (for those who want to RP right away) while we wait for all the character sheets to come in (and for me to return from Canada). It’s basically gonna be a practice match before the real thing and none of it will actually count. It might also be of use in RPs with a predetermined canon (like Manaverse or any fandom RPs).

    So yeah, what are your thoughts on pre-gaming?

    @Eebit (Brit told me to tag you so yeah.)
  2. I think something like this would complement the idea that @whitesubtitlesoncanadianwinter proposed, which was for freeform roleplays to begin without character sheets so people would have a chance to settle into their character and make the eventual construction of the character sheet easier, while also letting prospective players see the roleplay in action to see if it's what they expected and want to stay in it (sorry if I'm misrepresenting anything). My personal-- and singular-- concern regarding this method is how GMs deal with characters suddenly joining or dropping in the beginning of the roleplay, since some might find it difficult to work around. A lot of arguments can be made against that, but setting those aside, what you're putting forward here, Mayari, basically resolves that problem if ever it could become an issue. It's not something every roleplay should have to do if the above idea goes into action, but I think "pre-gaming" is a fine way to go about things.
  3. Just for posterity's sake, I'm going to add that 'proposal' of an idea from Krista right in here. Check the spoiler to see what Krista had to say about the state of freeform roleplays on ZEJ:

    [00:53:46] Eebit [00:53:10] Eebit Time to try and instigate a serious discussion!
    [00:55:16] Eebit So I was speaking with Krista (we went for a walk and I ranted about ZEJ)
    [00:58:33] Eebit So basically, what she had to say was that the way the RPing "process" is set up feels way too formulaic, contrived, and difficult. She understands the concept behind an interest check, in that it's to "generate interest" and make sure there are people interested in committing, but at the same time...
    [00:59:11] Eebit She feels like, if you want to join an RP and see the idea, then you're going to want to write for it then and there, not "after there is interest," not two-four weeks after character sheets come in, but right when it's hot and fresh
    [00:59:50] Eebit Additionally, she said she would be a lot more inclined if there wasn't massive hoops to jump through (for freeform) with a giant character sheet for a character that has not yet even been written into existence.
    [01:00:03] |<-- Keileon has left irc.paradoxirc.net (Quit: So long, and thanks for all the fish.)
    [01:00:31] -->| Keileon (Keileon@hidden-ntr174.static.tds.net) has joined #Manaverse
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    [01:00:41] Keileon Oh wait was there conversation in here
    [01:00:44] Eebit What she suggested was that you start the RP, with an int. check (and an original post to kick off the story), and those who get interested, join up right away. No more 'ceremony' of profile sheets in freeforms since it's unnecessary
    [01:00:52] Keileon I dorgot to check
    [01:00:57] Keileon *forgot
    [01:01:05] Eebit Once you get a few pages in, THEN you provide profile sheets with blips and summaries of their role in the story insofar
    [01:01:15] Eebit So that people looking can join in after the fact
    [01:01:42] |<-- Nate has left irc.paradoxirc.net (Ping timeout: 121 seconds)
    [01:02:02] Cerberus That sounds like a feasible plan, at least, for freeform
    [01:02:11] Eebit Exactly
    [01:02:35] Eebit She said that she understood that with statform, it's different because you need to know skill costs and whatnot. It /needs/ to be formulaic in order to work
    [01:02:59] Starrie huh
    [01:03:09] Starrie Krista has some good ideas there
    [01:03:13] Eebit But with freeform? Why start out with profile sheets at all? I think it's a hugely valid point, especially given the struggles we have with things like "Personality" as a section, or appearance without an image, or even describing powers
    [01:03:17] Keileon Welllll
    [01:03:30] Eebit If there's an idea that you see, you want to get right down to business. No ceremony, just writing.
    [01:03:35] Cerberus So long as this doesn't have any adverse effects on people joining the roleplay and then dropping it, it seems pretty good to me
    [01:03:40] Keileon Something like RtW (EN: Raised to Win), even freeform, almost /needs/ a profile sheet
    [01:03:44] Eebit I disagree
    [01:03:55] Eebit Just a list of Pokémon would be sufficient
    [01:04:00] Eebit To begin, at least
    [01:04:12] Keileon brb
    [01:04:19] Eebit Later, when there's like 12 pages, you keep it updated with "xyz character did the thing at this point" in point form or something
    [01:04:31] Eebit Like in FRLG (EN: FireRed, LeafGreen), where they had the "recent events" log every time you booted up
    [01:04:48] Starrie oo
    [01:05:01] Keileon back
    [01:05:38] Eebit Profile sheets shouldn't come until after things have become more solidified. It loses its fluidity at the start if you're trying to make these "forced" standards of a character that may or may not even exist in your mind
    [01:06:01] Keileon Well, that's why "TBA" and stuff is allowed
    [01:07:02] Eebit Krista just said that "it comes down to the fact that to tell a story as a community, i.e. roleplaying, it needs to be 'hey we're all holding a brush here, let's paint a picture' as opposed to 'here's my pre-established puzzle piece now we need to jam my puzzle piece with yours and hope they fit in the story.' You can't come with a whole premade section, just ink."
    [01:08:21] Eebit But what about for sections such as "personality?" When you may not even have a clear idea of how your character will act until s/he starts acting?
    [01:08:31] Eebit Nate has expressed frustration with that; as has Shadow
    [01:08:40] Keileon [00:00] Keileon Well, that's why "TBA" and stuff is allowed
    [01:08:44] Keileon Fair enough tho
    [01:10:28] Eebit But if you're just "TBA" ing your way through the sheet... why have one? Why not wait until all those details have been established to put together a "defined" profile thread?
    [01:11:23] Eebit "The Wiki only makes sense because you guys have pre-established the stories. The characters and planets already exist. You wouldn't be able to write the Wiki if you didn't already know what these characters are like"
    [01:11:46] Eebit Otherwise, we would just have a bunch of blank articles haha
    [01:12:01] Eebit Also, w/r/t Cerby's earlier comment on people dropping...
    [01:12:07] Eebit [01:03:35] Cerberus So long as this doesn't have any adverse effects on people joining the roleplay and then dropping it, it seems pretty good to me
    [01:13:05] Starrie ipod
    [01:13:07] Eebit I guess I can see it acting as a sort of "rite of passage." If you stick around long enough, you've earned your space in the profile thread when it comes up. Your character has real story value. You've proven your commitment to this story, and if you don't feel it's a good fit, then the others can find a way to remove you from the story
    [01:13:09] |<-- Starrie has left irc.paradoxirc.net (Quit: Le Snippity-Snip)
    [01:14:01] Cerberus I guess. Taking that viewpoint feels GM-specific, though, since not everybody might feel as comfortable removing characters from the story, even if only the beginning
    [01:14:32] -->| Nate (Nate@hidden-c6l.lm7.182.166.IP) has joined #Manaverse
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    [01:17:05] Eebit But they can be written out as a background character, you know? If you're purging people who aren't really interested anymore, and just slowly dismiss them, then you're not trying to shove shit into a pretty box
    [01:18:23] Eebit They can fade into background characters, since they're sort of fluid, I guess. It's as easy as dismissing Fallen or crazE in CoU, or Masq removing Loresai and Bin from tS
    [01:19:21] Eebit Early on, they don't have predetermined plot significance. The beauty of roleplaying is that it's so collaborative as opposed to writing on your own. If someone loses interest and doesn't want to post anymore, bunny them out into a background character
    [01:20:10] -->| Starr_ (nobody@hidden-7vrenf.irvnca.sbcglobal.net) has joined #Manaverse
    [01:20:23] Shadow I think I like this. It makes freeform infinitely more accessible
    [01:20:43] Eebit Krista: "yes, thank you Shadow."
    [01:21:34] Eebit Krista wants to add that "what makes roleplaying different from flying solo and writing a story on your own is that anything can change at any given time. You don't have [to have] a predetermined end point, or direction. Anything can change at any time."
    [01:21:53] -->| crazEkindle (Mibbit@hidden-a9a059.ut.comcast.net) has joined #Manaverse
    [01:22:22] Shadow hey cazE
    [01:22:43] Eebit Which is pretty much what Shadow said regarding CoU arcs anyway; don't hold your breath that anything is sacred. You just keep going and work with what is put out in front of you. His master plan is probably only loosely put together because so many things are undefined or indefinite at this point.
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    [01:24:42] crazEkindle i agree with eebit
    [01:24:54] Eebit u dun evn kno da contx
    [01:25:00] crazEkindle i du gg
    [01:25:03] Eebit rip
    [01:25:08] Eebit du u rly
    [01:25:17] crazEkindle ya jus by ur psot
    [01:25:31] Eebit nah b
    [01:25:36] crazEkindle fak u
    [01:25:42] crazEkindle am mastr geenus
    [01:25:57] crazEkindle sovlin caysis sins 1863
    [01:27:37] Eebit "Also with regards to Cerberus' comment, not all characters are going to be equal in a roleplay. Not all characters /can/ be equal. You're allowed to post like 5x as much as the other person because maybe your character is becoming a main character? Maybe the other person's is becoming a supporting character? It doesn't have to be all on a predetermined cycle. Just move on without them....
    [01:27:37] Eebit ...People can come back later and find their own way back in"
    [01:28:06] Eebit Pretty insightful considering she has posted all of thrice in any roleplay

    I think that the notion of 'pre-gaming' is an interesting one - it gives us a chance to adopt a 'face' before we even are entering a designated setting, or plot (in the sense that, as you said, it hasn't "kicked-off" yet). Maybe even juggle between a few 'faces' before we settle on one that feels the best. I think that it could work for some things more than others, because it would require a sort of 'sandbox' to be set up before you actually begin the roleplay proper. A sandbox, in the sense that boundaries (fantasy? realistic? horror/paranormal? outer space?) would need to be set so that the characters and their players could experiment. And in that sense, what prevents you from merely starting the RP and having a 'prologue' 'chapter' to hammer out those details to begin with? How would the 'pre-gaming' aspect come in then?

    As an aside, and on a similar note, I had an idea that might go nicely with this one... it took place in the "ZEJ Character Discussion Thread," regarding the question Nate asked about "Basically, if your characters were in a (non-superpowered) high school slice of life setting, what kind of student/character would they be?"

  4. I guess it really depends on the RP? For example, for the murder game I'm planning, it's important that the characters have only met each other for the first time by the time the plot happens. So previous relationships and such made in the pre-game or prologue can't be carried over. So I guess you can say that the pre-game would be non-canon and wouldn't affect the actual plot that much, while a prologue chapter would be canon?

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