Author Topic: RP/Friendship Pitfall  (Read 2786 times)

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CrochetFanatic

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RP/Friendship Pitfall
« on: August 05, 2012, 01:19:16 AM »
(I'm not sure if I posted this in the right spot, or if it would fit better in "Life...In General".  I put it here because it deals with the internet, but I might be wrong.)

For anyone who doesn't know, "RP" stands for Role-play, and in this case it refers to the "chat-speak" kind.  As in:

Character1: *says something*
Character2: *replies*

That sort of thing.  It's basically just two-sided storytelling, can be completely original or can follow a fandom, and it's pretty addictive.

I spend a lot of time online, and I've made some friends over the years.  Some are still friends of mine, and some have drifted away, or I have myself.  I've been friends with one girl for over 5 years, and we've had a storyline going for a couple years.  In addition, I've been a sympathetic "ear" every time there was drama where she is.  There's been plenty of drama on my end as well, but I didn't feel right unloading when her problems were more serious (can't disclose).  Over the past few months she's seemed to lose interest in our storyline, which I know happens.  I don't have a problem with that.  I've done that myself, gotten into something else and so on. 

What I do take exception to is being lied to, and having my character names ripped off.  My friend has started a forum-type RP with someone else, which really doesn't bother me.  She volunteered the link, and asked me for my opinion.  It's actually turning out pretty good, but she must have forgotten that I've been following along--at her suggestion, mind you--because she took a character name from the RP we had going, and used it in this other RP without asking me first.  Ironically, I probably would have said yes if she'd asked me.  She's also disappeared on me without saying goodbye a few times.  And finally she's signed out, saying that she's tired and is heading off to bed...but then I would go to check out her forum RP to see the new posts a few hours later before turning in myself, and I'd notice that the time stamp for her entries indicated that she was still awake hours after she was supposedly "so tired". 

Okay, I know that sounds weird and stalker-ish of me, but I swear that isn't what I'm doing!  She has even asked me to check out the occasional post for spelling/grammar mistakes, which I didn't really have a problem with.  I guess she figured I'd be okay with her using my character's name, but she could have asked me before going ahead and doing it.  And I'm not so insecure that I'd get bent out of shape over one of my friends "playing with someone else", so I don't understand why she had to lie to me.  If she'd told me, "I'm just not feeling it tonight" I would have understood.  Being lied to...well, frankly, it hurts.

She doesn't know that I know about the character name, and she doesn't know that I've caught her in a lie.  Same lie, more than once actually.  It was just the character name thing that was the crowning insult.  Should I confront her about this, or would it be better all around if I began to withdraw a bit?
« Last Edit: August 05, 2012, 01:48:37 AM by CrochetFanatic »

TheVapors

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Re: RP/Friendship Pitfall
« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2012, 03:30:11 AM »
Pull back.

If there's one thing I've learned in my many, many years of online RP, it's not to get too invested in the person behind the screen. (If only I could take my own advice here on every occasion and not just most occasions.)

The only thing you might be able to say is, "Hey I was following along that storyline that you linked to me, and I noticed that you liked <names> and ended up using them." You could always see where the conversation leads, but really I can't imagine her saying anything other than, "Yeah, I liked the names." She might say she hopes it's OK that she used them, and there's your ticket to saying "Next time just ask."

I do, however, strongly suggest against calling her out on the timestamp. Honestly, it's going to make you look like a nutty stalker even if you aren't. And, once again, what is she going to say? "Yeah, I was heading to bed, but then got caught up in something."

I still say it's probably best to pull back a bit if you aren't feeling it. Or even if you are getting the feeling that she's not as into it anymore. That can be a downer for any RP.

CrochetFanatic

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Re: RP/Friendship Pitfall
« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2012, 03:39:07 AM »
*sighs* I think you're right.  :(  I haven't mentioned it before because no matter what spin I would have been able to put on it, it would have sounded like I was checking up on her or something.  I literally discovered this by accident.  I'm convinced that she's not being intentionally malicious, but I was angry just the same. 

TheVapors

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Re: RP/Friendship Pitfall
« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2012, 03:56:42 AM »
*sighs* I think you're right.  :(  I haven't mentioned it before because no matter what spin I would have been able to put on it, it would have sounded like I was checking up on her or something.  I literally discovered this by accident.  I'm convinced that she's not being intentionally malicious, but I was angry just the same.

And I'd be right there just as miffed in your shoes. In fact, I have been in your shoes, and it is disappointing. Not overwhelmingly tragic or anything of the sort, but more like a mental note of... "Really? *sigh* Alright, then."

I know. Doesn't really help much, but there's not a ton that can actually be done in a situation like that. Or at most the thing to do is just give it distance.

I do wish you many happy RP partnerships in the future, though. :)

Allyson

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Re: RP/Friendship Pitfall
« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2012, 12:14:51 PM »
I used to do a ton of online RP so have some experience with this, but I haven't done it in a few years now.

In my experience 'I'm too tired' is often code for 'I'm just not feeling it tonight', because a lot of people take offense at the latter. I have been guilty of making an excuse to stop talking to someone online, because it feels rude to say 'sorry, I don't want to talk/RP with you right now but would be totally happy to do so with someone else'. Her giving you that when she should know that you can see her timestamped posts is not well thought out, though, and is rude, in my opinion.

I've been on both ends of this, and it does hurt. You can't make someone get more excited about you when they are in 'new character squee' somewhere else, but it really is not fun to feel like you are less preferred.  I don't think it's a good idea to say anything, though, because I don't think the desired results will be achieved.

As for character names, I think you can say something, especially as she gave you the link to that forum.

Bright

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Re: RP/Friendship Pitfall
« Reply #5 on: August 05, 2012, 01:06:12 PM »
I've had the same thing happen to me.

There was one woman, who  would lie about emergencies and use her disabled daughter as a reason why she had to go on a game I played on.  I don't think she was aware that I played on the second game she played on and I could see that she was still actively posting there and wasn't off on the emergency she claimed to be. I think that was the worst case, when she'd suck in sympathy for her reasons for being absent from game one as opposed to just admitting she'd rather just play on the second game that night.

I discovered it by accident too. I didn't stalk her to the other game, but once I found out I couldn't help but check whenever she made a sympathy-gathering excuse for her absence on the first one. I'd have looked like a terrible person if I called her out on it, since she was very popular, so I just kept quiet and silently fumed.

I find it upsetting and hurtful when people lie to me about their reasons for not being around. I've lost friendships over getting upset about it and confronting the lies. 

The others are giving smart advice, which I'm going to follow for the future.

Draw back from the friendship a bit. Maybe once the new game fun wears off she'll be back to normal.

If you don't plan to play there and join in the new RP fun, delete that forum from your bookmarks. Force yourself not to go there. If you're tempted to check, just don't. If she asks you to help with something there, say no. The forum no longer exists.

Do have a word with her about using your character name. I'd keep it casual, just mention you prefer people to check with you before using your characters elsewhere, or something like that. She already knows you have the forum link after all.

Devix

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Re: RP/Friendship Pitfall
« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2012, 02:15:36 PM »
I've RPed on some massive forums for a number of years but I think my opinion may be somewhat against the grain.

Name:  You do not OWN the name and I don't think she has to ask you to use it.  Honestly, unless she completely stole your character down to their personality and physical description I find it a little troublesome you feel you have any right to dictate what name she can and cannot use in separate games.  Perhaps she really liked the name and thought it was fabulous when she first read it but unless you can prove you were the first person to ever use that name in the history of roleplaying you really don't have anything to protest.  I've run 20 games at a time with many many characters in each and if I was never allowed to use any of those names in another game it would severely limit my fun.  If she's just using the name I think you're being unreasonable but if she's actually copying one of your characters than I'd call her out on it.

Lying:  This isn't a nice thing to do and it feels rotten when your partner lies to you but you don't know for sure if it's a lie or not.  I know that I've logged out of games with some partners totally intent on going to bed and while lying asleep I've gotten some great inspiration for another game.  I'm one of those people who needs to jump on my muse as soon as she rears her annoying head so I need to get a post out quickly or else risk loosing my inspiration by the time I woke up in the morning.  Maybe this could have happened to her or maybe she just couldn't fall asleep so she decided to occupy her time with something.  However, if she's made a habit out of lying you may want to distance yourself but I'll echo Vapors and warn you not to call her out on the time stamp.  You probably won't get the answer you're looking for and you will look like a bit of a stalker.

In the end, if you're no longer having fun with this game it may just be time to drop it.  The whole point of RPing is writing a story together and if you don't feel your partner respects you that can be very damaging to the story and your enjoyment. 

CrochetFanatic

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Re: RP/Friendship Pitfall
« Reply #7 on: August 05, 2012, 02:29:25 PM »
To Devix, that's very true, but that doesn't mean I have to like it.  Frankly, I think name thievery shows a lack of creativity, especially if the character is basically a carbon copy of your own character.  It's a massive gray area, since there are no copyrights, but asking first is just common courtesy. 

I won't confront her, and I've simmered down somewhat.  I did mention to her that I noticed she used the character name, without making it sound accusatory, and she seemed happy that I mentioned it.  I think she thought I'd be flattered or something. 

The thing is, we're not just RP partners.  We've been friends for 5 years, and I've had her back while a lot of people have treated her like...well...yeah.  I was there when so many people were leaving her or calling her worthless, and now it kind of feels like I'm the one who's been left in the dust (and people wonder why I don't open up!).  But I suppose that's neither here nor there.  Thanks for the advice.  Confrontation seems not to be the way to go. 

Giggity

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Re: RP/Friendship Pitfall
« Reply #8 on: August 05, 2012, 03:01:23 PM »
Frankly, I think name thievery shows a lack of creativity, especially if the character is basically a carbon copy of your own character.

"Name thievery" and "character thievery" are completely separate issues.
Words mean things.

SleepyKitty

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Re: RP/Friendship Pitfall
« Reply #9 on: August 05, 2012, 03:13:51 PM »
Okay - advice from someone who doesn't RP, so here's your enormous bag of salt. Since RPing is like storytelling, I'm using my experience with writing short stories (posted to a community) to answer.

Character thievery is nothing more than lazy plagiarism to me, and would make me furious. Name thievery might depend on the name. Am I correct in assuming that most of these names fall along fantasy-genre lines? So, re-using a name like 'Anne' would not seem odd to me because it's a common name. Re-using a name like 'Lady Oncoming Storm VII of Avalon' would drive me up the wall, however. Names are intimately connected to characters, and you named your character Lady Oncoming Storm VII of Avalon because it fits her. So even stealing just the name is stealing a bit of your character and your creativity, because the name itself is a reflection of the character.

POD to everyone about the timelines - I too have been guilty of using the "going to bed" excuse when really what I meant was "I don't want to continue chatting/playing/whatever with you" anymore. I have also been in the situation where I really did think I was going to bed, but got sidetracked.

CrochetFanatic

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Re: RP/Friendship Pitfall
« Reply #10 on: August 05, 2012, 03:27:56 PM »
Frankly, I think name thievery shows a lack of creativity, especially if the character is basically a carbon copy of your own character.

"Name thievery" and "character thievery" are completely separate issues.

Either way, it's still piggy-backing on someone else's idea.  Most of the people I've RPed with frown on that sort of thing.  Different RP communities have varying rules, but the ones I've belonged to followed this one pretty closely, along with the "no god-modding" rule and (on forums where younger people would post) the "watch your language around the kiddies" rule.

I've been known to get sidetracked on the way to bed myself, though not that often.  I've also broken off one RP to RP with another person, but I'll usually say "I'm out of ideas for now" instead of making up a story.  This most recent thing is just (if you'll pardon the expression) out of character for her.  I've been giving her her space for the past three months or so, and I'll just keep on with it.  If she wants to get back to it, and if I haven't moved on to something else myself (which is beginning to look more and more likely), then great.

Devix

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Re: RP/Friendship Pitfall
« Reply #11 on: August 05, 2012, 03:39:50 PM »
Frankly, I think name thievery shows a lack of creativity, especially if the character is basically a carbon copy of your own character.

"Name thievery" and "character thievery" are completely separate issues.

Agree with this.  These are two completely separate issues and as I said before, unless you can prove without a doubt that you were the first person to ever use this name in a roleplay you don't have much of a leg to stand on.  I can think of 3 of my old characters who shared the same name because it just seemed to "fit" but they had completely different personalities, histories and appearances to the point where they were completely different characters.  Most of the people I've RPed with don't take names anymore personal than they do with characters having blue eyes or being born in Ireland.  It's a name and chances are more than one person has it.  Obviously it seems like your partner doesn't have an issue with it if she seemed happy when you mentioned it.

A little off topic but maybe she's been relying on you too much?  It sounds like you've taken the burden of being her shoulder to cry on and the person to always support her which I don't think is completely fair to you.  It sounds like maybe she's been using you as an emotional punching bag and your feelings may be a bit more raw because of it. 

Your plan of giving her space sounds like it's for the best.  It'll also give you time to reevaluate if you really want to continue playing with her as well as continue being her friend.  I know this is off track but I'd urge you to really sit down and think about what you're getting from your friendship with her.  Friendship is a two way street and it kind of sounds like maybe she's not holding up her end.

Frostblooded

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Re: RP/Friendship Pitfall
« Reply #12 on: August 05, 2012, 04:18:23 PM »
You have received plenty of sound advice, even from fellow role-players such as myself. However, there is one thing I would like to point out -- not all forums are created equal.

Some forum software has a "set" time on it ... Eastern, Pacific, et cetera. And it always displays that time to the public. The forum that they are on could very easily just have a different timezone and it may appear that they are posting after the fact. So I would be very wary of making this kind of assumption unless I know one hundred percent that the forum official time is set to line up with my account on the forum or with forum guests.