I recently created a new discussion thread on RPG-D to see how many people have heard of open roleplaying, and how popular it is. There’s a description of open roleplaying here, and a great article here which makes a great case for it being awesome.
For some it’s an obvious choice, but to others it’s a gateway to everyone roleplaying each other’s characters and getting it wrong. Here’s some of the best opinions on both sides of the argument.
I think people generally freak out too much about godmodding. There’s times it gets on my nerves, but it’s more of an annoyance than a deal-breaker. The thing is, this assumes the people you are writing with know what they’re doing – if you get the feeling they’re sabotaging your character or fucking things up then yeah you’re going to want to kill them.
So the answer is… it depends. But I’d be a lot more picky about that kind of setup because I wouldn’t want some schlub walking in off the street and tearing shit up.
It does require you to trust other members in your roleplay though of course, especially if you’re posessive of your character.
I’ve honestly never heard of this before, and I’m not entirely sure I’d be comfortable with someone else taking the reins for my character. I’m rather possessive of them…I’m not sure I’d be okay with someone else trying to get them right.
But if you do trust your roleplaying partners, it can be a lot of fun:
I’ve done this only once before, with someone who I trusted completely; and it was really fun! But I couldn’t do it with just anybody. I’m way too protective of my characters. xD The partner I did it with knew my characters as well as I do, and the same for me. We literally predicted everything we wanted to do and it came together absolutely beautifully.
And if you can’t trust your roleplaying partners, should you even be roleplaying with them?
I don’t think it would bother me much. After all, as long as the character remains mine, I could simply give the person a heads up if they step over a line or completely misread my character.
Only time I can’t see it working is if my partner is a total asshat, which, well, sort of ruins any kind of RP, so I’d just walk away from them regardless. Lol
Others though weren’t quite so positive about Open Roleplaying, and mostly it comes down to trust:
I’ve never heard of this and upon hearing what it is my reaction was oh hell no.
I do not trust other people to write my character. I have control issues. I don’t feel right writing someone’s character either. It’s hard enough to do justice to like your own character who you know super well, let alone someone else. Then comes the issue of canon characters from like TV, movies, books, and the like. I’m not sure I could write all of them well or be interested in doing so. It just seems like a set up where I wouldn’t do well.
And some people just want to save writing the best bits for themselves:
Nope. Nope nope nope.
And I say that as someone who once played in such a community. xD
Don’t get me wrong, the people were awesome. And they portrayed my character spot on.
But I hated it, and eventually had to take my leave. It was cool and great and all, and it wasn’t the “godmoding” that bothered me. But when it comes down to it, I RP to write my characters. When other people were writing my characters for me, after the initial “WOW they really portrayed my character accurately, so cool!” I just kinda sat there like…
…Gee I wish I’d gotten to write that. |: Now what.
My favourite comment though is from Elena who sums up why I think Open Roleplaying is a great idea:
It is really helpful for people who are more story-focused than character-focused (yes, I am protective of the story more than about the characters – I can write for any character and I can give you a scene to write with any of main or secondary characters without any sigh). Open roleplay solves a lot of problems most forums have. The story will go on, no matter who is flaking, and the characters will be at their duty, even if the writer happens to be busy sometimes.
The characters are there, in the ship roster/ civilian census/ character masterlist, and, therefore, in the story, Acting bravely, protectively, cowardly or recklessly, but there, involved in the story, making their mark. Silence and leaving some things to imagination is far too often painfully frustrating.
There are people who post only once in a blue moon, or who have problems and have to take time out. It happens. But their characters need no time out from the story, by contrary, it can be a crucial moment of the plot. A story can’t wait for those who remain behind by their own will; it has to go on, for the sake of those who work together in crafting it. Open roleplay helps with keeping the story going.
And, for the writers who don’t want to challenge themselves and better their skills in a certain field… it is also a solution. How often have you heard “I don’t do fight threads because I suck at fighting” (but you chose a character who is supposed, by his role in the story, to be actively involved in fighting – a pirate, a Navy man), or “I don’t do work threads because I find them boring” – even if during the team work friends and enemies can be gained, and lots of further plotting might appear?
In that case, open roleplay is also benefic because they can do only the scenes they want to do, while not depriving the character of the other types of scenes it makes sense for his role in the story and personality to be in.
– Elena, Before the Mast RPG
What do you think about Open Roleplaying? Is it how you run your game? Do you allow members to write about other’s characters – or is that godmodding? Let us know your opinion in the comments below.