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Mercy Heartsong

An invitation to discuss a different kind of RP SIM

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Hello.  I have a some thoughts I'd like to run by you, the RP community, really just to explore reactions and to remain curious to any ideas this discussion might foster.  It's a bit long and for that, I apologize.  At the end is where I post my questions for all of you.

First a little background. I'm a roleplayer of old, starting with tabletop RP when I first met my RL husband (which we still do weekly), LARPing with friends at gaming conventions (usually 6-8h locked room stories) and of course, text-based paragraph RP.  The latter hubby and I first discovered in WoW of all things (less para there, of course).  Then I found SL and the RP world here and just fell in love with collaborative storywriting.

Beyond RP, one of my other SL hobbies is creating and decorating RP set/settings.  I like the intrinsic story that hopefully suggests itself to whoever decides to explore/hang.  I finally wound up buying my own private SIM and over the past couple years, have fully fleshed it out.  It has three layers to it (ground level and two in the sky to represent travel that is accessed via various TP points found via exploration).  It has a massive amount of my own 'head cannon' built in.

I've had friends tell me I should make it an RP SIM.  But there are barriers to that.  I don't have the time to devote to such an endeavor due to my RL work (I'm a hospice RN).  I also don't have any desire to really put my personal head cannon down into writing and compartmentalize it enough to create the usual race/faction groups.  I don't want to manage people.

I've consistently invited anyone and everyone to come visit and RP, explore, take pictures, whatever suits them most.  Usually, it's picture takers and explorers, as far as I know.  I did create a website with forums in the hopes that people would share stories, characters, pictures, and all of that, but it's only ever been visited by 'bots.  I also do have an inworld group that anyone can join for chatter/notices, but it does not (and never will) give rez rights.

I could envision the SIM story itself taking shape/evolving as people knit their stories together courtesy of the website.  Forming lore as they go.  Using that lore as precedent and as a means towards future consistency, perhaps?

So, finally getting to my questions for all of you.  Would an RP SIM appeal to you if you had a website/forum to post and share your characters and stories, but otherwise, unmanaged?  If you were given free license to let the setting inspire you and yours?  If you were never allowed to rez or rent but would also never worry about the SIM vanishing?  Would the sheer lack of structure inspire you or scare you off?

I don't know.  Perhaps this is all too much of a mish mosh to be realistic but I'm very curious to hear what the RP community has to say.  I don't want to use this to promote my SIM but if it's fine by you and doesn't break rules, I'm happy to share the SLURL here if you want.

Thank you in advanced for your thoughts and ideas.

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Not a roleplayer, but personally I think if you really want to do it that way you should do it.  There is no way to know if this will take off or not unless you give it a go.   Worse case it just doesn't work out.  JMO.

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The concept interests me greatly; I have always loved the idea of unstructured, free-world roleplay and it reminds me a lot of the sort of RP I used to do on Livejournal (and its related spin-offs). I've done a lot of forum-based RP and very little in SL for pretty much this reason.

If you decide not to post the details here, PM me?

 

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This honestly sounds like 100% my kind of place, as it sounds perfect for pick-up RP. I have a whole host of characters who have never seen much use, just because I don't know where to put them. 

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On 10/27/2019 at 8:17 AM, Masha Eilde said:

So, finally getting to my questions for all of you.  Would an RP SIM appeal to you if you had a website/forum to post and share your characters and stories, but otherwise, unmanaged?  If you were given free license to let the setting inspire you and yours?  If you were never allowed to rez or rent but would also never worry about the SIM vanishing?  Would the sheer lack of structure inspire you or scare you off?

I don't know.  Perhaps this is all too much of a mish mosh to be realistic but I'm very curious to hear what the RP community has to say.  I don't want to use this to promote my SIM but if it's fine by you and doesn't break rules, I'm happy to share the SLURL here if you want.

Thank you in advanced for your thoughts and ideas.

Hi there!

I'm probably not the best to answer your question as I don't engage in RP nowadays but after my personal experience with both RP regions and forums (before and during SL) I felt inclined to say something. It's probably not what anyone wants to hear (but since when have I let that stop me?).

First I LOVE the concept you have. I applaud people who take the time to create their vision as they see it and don't let others sway them from it. I applaud true inspiration. I sincerely hand-on-heart wish you the very best of luck and hope you succeed in whatever you wish to do with it, as it sounds to have already brought you great joy, something I hope continues for a long time yet.

Now to answer your question I'm going to be brutally honest. I don't think there's such thing as an un-managed RP region (text-based or otherwise). The second you invite others into your space, regardless what that space is, to whatever degree you have to manage. It's just the degree of management that will vary.

When it comes to RP unfortunately both time and experience has shown me that people in general NEED to be managed. The movie 'Men in Black' had a quote that sums up my thoughts on this perfectly; "A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky animals." This is RP to a proverbial T. You may be fortunate enough to attract the right element to your region but more often than not its the other percentage you will need to wade through to find those hidden gems who, more often than not, will get tired of the antics of the few and eventually leave to greener pastures where the lunatics are not as yet in charge of the  asylum so to speak. The majority can and do test your boundaries and patience, and in so doing they will test your sanity too. Because your vision is not their vision, and ne'er the two shall meet (even if they start off with the best of intentions).

Free license is a dangerous concept; It's usually good in theory and bad in practice. Again, because common sense is far from common. I'm not sure how you maintain a sense of consistency if there is no structure. As petty as it sounds some people don't know how to advance unless they have guidelines of some sort. Presenting a blank canvas will inspire some and terrify others much the same way a blank page terrifies those with "writer's block"; the possibilities can be overwhelming sometimes. And while the astute plan, that leaves room for those looking for instant gratification to come along and plant bombs to completely disrupt any plans the "stayers" may be tentatively laying in place.

This is sounding like me poo-poohing on RPers in general, and I get for many this is a tough (or personal) pill to swallow, but I am only speaking from MY experience in text-based Invisionfree forums pre-SL, collaborative stories in forums and in-world, and RP exclusively in-world. People are chasing THEIR high, not yours, though there will undoubtedly be some that actively wish to support you - and I hope there are. I couldn't begin to tell you the amount of times I had trusted people to manage their own stories, their own factions, their own story arcs etc, and had things blow up overnight only to log back in to a poop-storm. The cause is often the much-maligned player who "just wants to shake things up a bit" or is in it for the "shock and awe" factor. That doesn't include those who "just have to win at all costs", or who "just want to have some fun," and those who bring whatever bias they happen to have with another player (and as many of us know the RP community does feel at times small, familiar, and for lack of a better word incestual - not in the literal illegal sense). 

Regarding rezzing or the lack thereof I can only again speak to what I know and dealt with previously. As a region owner I had people tell me they would not stay on the region or "invest" in any regard without a place to call theirs and prims to rez as needed. The flip side to that was a good percentage of those (and players in general) used their homes as changing stations or OOC/AFK hang-outs before they TP elsewhere - however SOME used them as intended, just not the majority. As a RPer I did feel more engaged in a place if I had somewhere to rent or rez, but it wasn't a pre-requisite. Beyond that managing Land Impact/prims and managing scripts and lag also began to feel like a full-time job. And as anyone who runs a region will tell you avatar weight alone can bring a region to it's knees if not managed properly, which will also give you further headaches if you both try and limit or trust others to limit themselves. Nine times out of ten the majority of Residents see lag as LL's problem. Good luck trying to educate those who don't want to be educated, or restricted in a way they see as unfavourable.

Personally I LOVE your concept, and I would love to see it take off, but my faith in the RP community as a whole has been eroded over the last almost 9 years here to the point I just will not RP anymore, and RP is what I originally came to SL to do. No doubt others will have differing experiences, and I'm more than happy to be proven wrong under the right circumstances. But this is more a case of once-bitten, twice shy. Or a half-dozen times bitten, or more. As much as folks don't like the concept of cliques I see them as a necessary evil if you want your original vision to maintain its integrity. If you want to keep management to a minimum put strict limitations on who you let through the door. But that in itself takes us back to management... You're damned if you do and damned if you don't, either way. 

Again, sincerely I truly wish you all the best! And I mean that. :) 

Edited by RaeLeeH
Forgot a word.
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Sounds like an interesting Idea but I have seen quiet a few RP sims start up and then close after 6 months.  I think you need to have a business sense about you.  It is almost like running a non profit business where you are fronting all the costs

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On 10/26/2019 at 3:17 PM, Masha Eilde said:

otherwise, unmanaged?

Define unmanaged. Does that mean no moderators/mediators for disputes? I can't say I would be interested in a "free for all" but otherwise the idea is very appealing as long as there is some mediation.

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Hi Selene. Just that, unmanaged. Ideally, we're all civilized grown ups. People can work things out, or not, stay, or not. RP as Her Majesty the Imperial Petunia or as Fluffernut, a shy mouse from Outer Goudaville. ;)

Okay, I would hope that the build itself would invite an internal consistency for the writers as the theme is implicit and discoverable and multilayered for those who want to explore.

But, this would be an experiment. And as others have pointed out, possibly a truly terrible idea.

Mulling it over, particular with the feedback so far (thank you!), I would at a minimum have to handle griefers, although not allowing any rezzing reduces that risk, I think?

Since I'm not running a business (the SIM will remain with or without visitors because it's my artistic playground), I will likely have only one rule: civility is required. Even typing that, I can already see how that could become a problem though, requiring more managing than I prefer to give. Hm.

For me, I'm not even sure I would RP as a main. Perhaps random characters, what I think of as short story RP. The reader in me loves the idea of people posting their stories to the website, and I would be thrilled to see how the build inspires growth and maturation of a SIM story.

Edited by Masha Eilde
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That sounds good but there are a few that arent or act as grownups.  Having a moderator there takes your place when you are absent.   

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Hi usedcars.  You make good points.  And for typical RP SIMs, that's the norm.  It's why I posted this here. I'm curious how people feel about an unmoderated 'honor system' kind of set.  From your posts, you seem like this wouldn't be to your tastes and I understand that.  I appreciate the feedback.

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On 10/27/2019 at 4:31 PM, RaeLeeH said:

Again, sincerely I truly wish you all the best! And I mean that. :) 

Hi RaeLeeH!  Thank you for your thoughtful post.  There's lots to unpack in there.  The part that really has me thinking, from your post and others, is the notion of bad actors, should they appear and what happens in that regard.  I've run mailing lists for many years, one that's been around since 2001.  My only strict rule has always been civility and a 3 strike system.  Two warnings and out.  The longest running community evolved quickly towards self-moderation because they were all happiest when they could converse and discuss often difficult subjects without fear of backlash or condemnation.

I may be comparing apples to oranges though.  But I wonder, if RPers only of a certain mindset were to be attracted to an unmoderated and open setting, would that help eliminate people who tend to need lots of hand holding in the first place?

Overall, I want to thank everyone.  I'm actually leaning towards giving this a try as a experiment at the least and as a possible quality creative outlet at best.  Going to ponder this a while.

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1 hour ago, Masha Eilde said:

But I wonder, if RPers only of a certain mindset were to be attracted to an unmoderated and open setting, would that help eliminate people who tend to need lots of hand holding in the first place?

I think it might, particularly if you advertise clearly that there will be no hand-holding or assistance with roleplay.

However I do think that it will also attract griefers and trolls if there is no moderation. Not just "bad roleplayers" but people who don't want to roleplay at all, only to spoil the experience of others. Preventing rezzing will help but it won't stop people getting their RP spoiled by griefers who just interrupt, bump into you, say offensive things etc. Unmanaged roleplay is one thing, an un-moderated region is something else entirely, and there's no point hanging round in a roleplay region where you can't actually do any roleplay because of the disruptive actions of others.

One possible solution to this would be to split off a small parcel as an OOC landing zone which is free access, make the rest of the land group-access only, and charge a fee to join the group.

Another would be to make the group invite-only, and interview/audition players before they join.

Or, just hire a few moderators with ban/eject rights.

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4 hours ago, Matty Luminos said:

 Unmanaged roleplay is one thing, an un-moderated region is something else entirely, and there's no point hanging round in a roleplay region where you can't actually do any roleplay because of the disruptive actions of others

^^ this

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Hi there, 

My rl husband and I have been serious rpers for many years. We recently decided to give SL another chance as the ability to customize everything really gives the opportunity to bring a character to life. However, since returning we found there seems to be dwindling rp. We think its due to the increase in para rp, which is frankly not as immersive. Its not realistic to walk into a place with multiple people and only one conversation happening.... with once every ten minutes....a response. We dont mind reading and responding to para rp, but we do hate waiting and waiting and waiting... We would love to find a group or place that offers an immersive experience and really do not even care about the genre.

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13 hours ago, Matty Luminos said:

I think it might, particularly if you advertise clearly that there will be no hand-holding or assistance with roleplay.

However I do think that it will also attract griefers and trolls if there is no moderation. Not just "bad roleplayers" but people who don't want to roleplay at all, only to spoil the experience of others. Preventing rezzing will help but it won't stop people getting their RP spoiled by griefers who just interrupt, bump into you, say offensive things etc. Unmanaged roleplay is one thing, an un-moderated region is something else entirely, and there's no point hanging round in a roleplay region where you can't actually do any roleplay because of the disruptive actions of others.

One possible solution to this would be to split off a small parcel as an OOC landing zone which is free access, make the rest of the land group-access only, and charge a fee to join the group.

Another would be to make the group invite-only, and interview/audition players before they join.

Or, just hire a few moderators with ban/eject rights.

I think it will be full of furrries and vampires

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On 10/29/2019 at 12:32 AM, Matty Luminos said:

I think it might, particularly if you advertise clearly that there will be no hand-holding or assistance with roleplay.

However I do think that it will also attract griefers and trolls if there is no moderation. Not just "bad roleplayers" but people who don't want to roleplay at all, only to spoil the experience of others. Preventing rezzing will help but it won't stop people getting their RP spoiled by griefers who just interrupt, bump into you, say offensive things etc. Unmanaged roleplay is one thing, an un-moderated region is something else entirely, and there's no point hanging round in a roleplay region where you can't actually do any roleplay because of the disruptive actions of others.

One possible solution to this would be to split off a small parcel as an OOC landing zone which is free access, make the rest of the land group-access only, and charge a fee to join the group.

Another would be to make the group invite-only, and interview/audition players before they join.

Or, just hire a few moderators with ban/eject rights.

Thank you Matty.  In a nutshell, you encapsulate the reasons for not widely inviting people to my SIM for this kind of experiment.  I don't want to play traffic cop, mom, or manager.  I just want to invite people to use my SIM to foster creative, collaborative writing and share the stories if they're open to it.  Right now, people visit in a steady trickle, usually to explore, hang out, mostly to take pictures. I haven't heard anything about bad behavior. I do get the usual new resident 'bots appearing that need to be estate banned - it happens to everyone, though and they flicker in and out without a word.

If I were to promote via the usual RP groups inworld, do you think this would also attract the bad actors you describe?  Because honestly, people can just block and derender anyone who's being annoying.  Poof, invisible, and they no longer get any attention which is ultimately, I think their goal?  I'd be happy to estate ban them as well but with my work schedule, they'd need to give me at least 24 hours to get inworld.  I have no intention of giving anyone else administrative access to my SIM.

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i think is best then to do what karynmaria said.  Just put it out there and see how it goes.  There has already been a few people responding here, expressing interest in having a go

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Hello Masha, if i can give my two cents here, i think most of the important things have been said already, and a lot of warnings. In my opinion you describe a paradise of paraRP, where there no need to rez stuff anyway, using the surrounding as a backrgound for the story. And this is a community, as far as i witnessed, that is quite well self disciplined. i think griefers and trolls might come and go over time, but anyone can just mute and derender them and remain in their RP in spite of it. Maybe give those few hints at the entrance (if there's any) and let go !

Giving life to your dreams like that, must be so thrilling :)

In the end it will also depend on how you advertise your sim, if it only relies on mouth to ears, you will likely gather mostly reasonable people ...

Another risk i feel, if i where at your place, about to open a part of my heart, my creations, to the world, as a playground ... i'd fear to be shocked by some reactions or happenings, that whould spoil and ruin my own love for my creation. Maybe i'm oversensitive, but i think it's worth telling.

I guess you must feel like about to dive from quite high ! i wouldn't tell you definitely should jump, it's all about how you feel about it ... i guess you're aware of all the risks now (after all that was written in this topic). what i'm sure : there are people out there who will likely worship you for that, but the adventure starts with you !

Good luck with your dreams :D

 

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