A follow-up to my previous journal:
Roleplay-- A Word Of AdviceSo I've been noticing a growing trend on the roleplay groups I'm a part of.
Lately, people have begun blurring the lines between their own lives and the lives of their characters. And by this, I mean the great offense that is apparently now taken when someone's character doesn't get along with their own. As a roleplayer myself, this has become increasingly frustrating to me.
Roleplay is a means of creative outlet and good practice for becoming a better writer, but it's also just a way for writers and artists to improve on their skills and have fun together while they're at it. It's living through another character and using the obstacles and trials they experienced to help them grow into a rounded and developed being. This doesn't just mean battles between rival "clans" or the difficulties of an environment, but the characters they face as well. Just like in real life, not every character is nice-- in fact some of them make fairly daunting bullies--
I've been wanting to do something like this for a while, but now that I'm stuck in a writing fever so massive that it's forced me into an artblock, I figured now would be a good time to do it! Especially if I could get it done before the lovey-dovey month of February had passed, so... yay?
This time, I would like to focus on the four major "DON'TS" of roleplay shipping. The kind of 'romance' that I tend to see in the groups I roleplay in have always bothered me to an extent. Sure, some relationships are handled very well between members, but others are not quite so tactful or respectful; instead being handled by members who are either too young or too obsessive about pairing up their characters to care about conducting themselves maturely. After being exposed to so much of the dark side of the shipping world (and especially after having had one of my own characters become the target of such a shipping in a previous roleplay group) I felt as though this topic warranted a journal. With that said, on with the pointers.
Get-Go Greetings"Eeee, your character's so hot! I think he'd like to roleplay with mine~""Awwww! I bet she and _____ would be perfect together! Wanna rp?""Oh, ____ is totally in love with this char. I'm going to send you a note rp!""Heeyyyy!! I drew hypokits of our chars because I think they're cute! Do you like it? Huh? Huh? Please
pay attention to rp with me, I wanna make them real! ;w; "
These are what I like to call "Get-Go" greetings. Quite obviously these roleplayers have one first and foremost priority, and that is finding someone to love their character. Maybe you've been there before-- maybe you're even there right now, and don't see the problem with it-- but believe me, no one looks on that behavior kindly. Not only are you instantly trying to set obligations on people who you don't even know (or have much consideration for other than their character's ability to breed) but your pushy-ness can even make some people begin to feel uncomfortable. What this kind of behavior tells your fellow roleplayers is that you don't care
about making friends or even getting to know anyone (which is half the fun in an rp group!), and that the only thing that matters to you is whether or not your character gets to claim someone's heart. It's not nice, and besides that, it's not creative thinking. Trust me, that's not a reputation you would like to have.
If you're interested in pairing your "Rosie" up with Nathan, don't jump in with high expectations. Politely ask Nathan's roleplayer if they would like to have their character meet Rosie (key word here being meet
; not date), and if they agree to it, awesome! See how the relationship plays out between both the characters and their players, and if the characters are compatible, and if the possibility of Rosie developing feelings for Nathan is a believable one, then go ahead. However, try to remember that just because Rosie has a crush on Nathan doesn't mean that Nathan is obligated to like Rosie back, nor is Nathan's roleplayer obligated to make
him like her back (however, we'll get to that in my next major "DON'T").
If the other person isn't interested in roleplaying with you, respect their decision.
Don't go commenting on every single picture of your character's "crush" in some wild, desperate attempt to flatter the roleplayer into paying attention to you. And no, that doesn't mean you should spam them with 20 or so gift-arts of said character either. By doing this, you are inadvertently trying to bully someone into meeting your fictional character's romantic needs. You are putting your made-up character's feelings over the feelings of a real human being's. Now tell me, is that right?
Bottom line; an epic romance should not
be your character's main development. Friends, experiences, and just general social activity is usually a lot more helpful for fleshing out your character than an instantaneous love story can be. I have friends with characters whose main development was becoming a mate and parent, and they honestly regret that their character didn't amount to anything else besides that.
This one's not as
big as the other three DON'Ts I'm covering in this journal, but it is something I've personally experienced in at least a few roleplays from my past. While not outright rude or bossy, it is a little obnoxious, and still a little pushy. This is what I call “OOC Advertisement.”
It may happen during a note rp, a forum roleplay, even on a blog. Two players who are entertaining the idea of their characters getting together will have them interact through the roleplay, and through particularly funny, cute, sweet, or touching moments, one player might feel as though a little more spelling-out is necessary.
For example, after Character A makes a humorous joke that Character B laughed at, Character A’s player might say in parentheses after their post ((Haha, he’s a joker alright! Great sense of humor, huh?))
Or after Character A gives Character B a talk about their outlook on life, CA’s player might tag onto the end of it: ((He’s a very philosophical dragon. He has an extremely profound opinion when it comes to life, right?!))
Or if Character B flirts with Character A and uses a particularly bold line, CB’s player might add: ((Heeheehee, she’s a charmer and she really really likes him!!! What does he think of her right now??!!))
Let it be known that this kind of OOC Advertisement is completely and utterly unnecessary. It’s enough that both you and the player are aware of your characters’ interest in each other, but let’s keep the romantics to in-character interaction
. I understand that you want to make the best possible case for your character as a potential significant other, but these subtle little “hints” are detracting from the roleplay itself, and kind of pushy. It’s not the player you should be trying to impress, it’s your character
that you should be focusing on playing right so that the rp remains fun and not feeling forced in any way. If your character has good qualities, he or she can display/act/speak it out for themselves. You’re already playing them; that’s more than enough.
Self Inserting"If you're having personal issues or disagreements with other roleplayers, don't channel your resentment through your character and suddenly bully their character using yours. This is considered "Self-inserting" and by doing that, you're causing a lot of problems for the members and making the roleplay difficult for others to have fun with. Please, try to keep that in mind if you have a character that is trying to stir up drama. In short, please try to keep others in mind while you're roleplaying. If you begin to stir up too much drama within a roleplay you can be kicked by an admin until you are willing to come back and show that you're ready to be mature."
-A current group's rule on self insert.
Now, I had the luck of experiencing this particular "DON'T" firsthand, so allow me to tell you a story about a character of mine (and for the sake of respect, I will slightly alter the names of any characters involved as well as the exact setting/events/environments). This is the tale of 'Owlstrike.' A warrior cat who had just started his roleplay life, and was only looking for a friend to break away at his lonely social awkwardness when he came upon a character who would soon prove to be the bane of his existence.
On one of the first roleplay forums I'd been in, my character drew a bit of attention fairly quickly. This was mostly due to the heavy imbalance between the male and female character ratio on the site, and of course, with him being a guy among many girls, drama was just bound to happen. However, as a first-time rper, I didn't know to expect this in the least, nor did I know how to deal
with such issues should those problems arise (which seriously bit me in the ass later on). I thought everyone was here for the same reasons I was-- rp fun, and only rp fun.* *(In reality, most roleplayers who are new at this thing tend to join with characters whom they are determined to pair up with someone else's as soon as they can, both for an epic romance story and so they can have fun designing *~unique~* adoptable babies for other people to claim and play. Other times, still, you'll find a lot of people who mainly joined the group in the hopes of their character getting paired up with either one of the admin's characters or a "popular" artist's characters. It happens every time. There is at least one person like this in every group I've ever taken part in.)
However, I was obviously wrong. From my first week in the group I was messaged by someone else who wished to rp, and excited at the prospect of Owlstrike getting to meet some new faces, I agreed to the request.
And so it was that Owlstrike made his first "friend" out of one of his clan's local healers, 'Nettlesong'. She wasn't necessarily the most pleasant of personalities-- often snapping at other characters for no real good reason at all according to her bio-- and her treatment of Owlstrike was no exception. However, unlike other characters who would have normally chosen not to bother with such company, Owlstrike instead accompanied Nettlesong on her walk around the territory. He knew that the recent increase in the fox population had made things more dangerous as of late, and he insisted that Nettlesong would be in need of his protection, should something happen. She agreed, and the two of them strolled through the forest together as she collected herbs. The roleplay eventually took a deeper turn where Nettlesong confided in Owlstrike over her grief for someone she had lost a year ago; this being a close cousin whom she'd secretly been in love with. Owlstrike comforted her the best he could, and that was how the two supposedly became friends.
However, neither Nettlesong or her player were looking for the kind of supportive friendship Owlstrike thought he could provide.
In the second
roleplay between these two characters, Nettlesong was walking out at night when she found one of her family members dead in the territory, likely killed by one of the foxes. Distraught and grief-stricken, she'd been in the middle of rushing back to camp when she stumbled into Owlstrike instead, and being the kind of character he was, he kindly offered to accompany her there to help her bury her kin.
Along the way (and this is the part where it gets real good) she asked Owlstrike what he thought of her. And as timid and shy as Owlstrike was, he did his best to say just what he felt. To sum up his small speech, the tom cat described Nettlesong as brave, resilient, strong, and caring-- and most importantly, that she was a good friend. Which, in retrospect, was rather generous thinking on his end, because the moment he said that, Nettlesong broke into an angry rant that would have put any angsting teenager to shame. The rant went from wishing out loud that she could kill herself, to yelling that she could just die, to calling Owlstrike a stupid clueless tom, and to finally screaming out that she was in love with him (all the while lacing said rant with curses and swear words, mind you) before running off into the night. Even I
knew that an emotional reaction on this level was entirely out of character for Nettlesong, even for someone as sour-tempered as her, and I was just as confused over the obvious indirect response of Nettlesong's player as Owlstrike was over Nettlesong, herself. This was something I would soon come to recognize as the infamous "self insert."
Dismayed, confused, and yet still
worried over the welfare of his friend, Owlstrike ran after her. Nettlesong was soon found and nearly killed by the same fox, and of course, Owlstrike was forced to fight him off.
When the two returned home, nothing had changed. Even while Owlstrike was trying to reason with his friend over her emotional breakdown, insisting and reassuring her that he cared about her and that her life wasn't worth throwing away, Nettlesong continued to lament over the sadness of her life and the feeling of rejection. Owlstrike was at a loss for what to do. He ultimately told Nettlesong that he'd like to give her some time to get over the loss of her first love before they tried anything, and even said something that, from as unbiased a view as I can muster, I thought was pretty touching."It's not that I don't care for you. It's just... Anything more than friendship is a serious matter and... a-and I want to do it right..." he adverted his eyes, suddenly feeling very warm under his fur. "I want to do it right. Take things slow. Get to know each other just a little more, beyond what we've had to deal with these past few days. Really take the time to talk, a-and go on walks just to enjoy our mornings together in the sunlight instead of looking for herbs, and, and..." He shifted his paws under him as he sat down, tail curled around him as the warrior suddenly looked very shy. "Y-you know what I mean..."
Never mind the fact that a night where you just found a dead family member was probably the worst time to talk about having a relationship, but I digress. Any reasonable roleplayer would have understood that Owlstrike was not rejecting Nettlesong, but courting
her. However, as far as Nettle and her player were concerned, it was a rejection of instantaneous shipping, and therefore a rejection, period.
As you might expect, Nettlesong didn't take it well. And neither did her player.
The next several months of roleplay were rather quiet after that. For the most part Nettlesong's roleplayer avoided me (despite the fact that I had never actually said anything concerning the relationship), and as a result, Owlstrike didn't hear from his friend again for a while, either. That is, until the day said roleplayer decided to message me for one last rp before she left the website for good. Apparently, she had grown tired of it and decided to quit. I agreed to it, thinking that Owlstrike and Nettlesong would at least be able to leave on good terms, but I was so very wrong.
Both Owlstrike and I were in for a nasty surprise when we realized that Nettlesong's roleplayer had made the character quite literally insane.
She began the rp rocking in a corner, muttering R-rated obscenities about dead bodies, rotting flesh, swarms of maggots, exploding organs, you know... all that cheerful stuff. She even went on to threatening Owlstrike
, implying in not so many words that she was thinking of killing him. Owlstrike was suddenly stuck in a very awkward situation of trying to fight down his trauma while attempting to reason with and bring Nettlesong back to her senses. Against all odds he somehow succeeded after a set of rather long-winded roleplay posts, but once Nettlesong was brought out of her psychotic episode she didn't take long explaining to Owlstrike why and how she had gotten to this point. Quote-and-quote, she was a shell of what she once was mainly because "your rejection killed me!"
And this, right here, was the pinnacle of the self-inserting that had been developing alongside these two characters' relationships all along. Nettlesong's player, in all her frustration and anger over the shipping that she had been denied, had chosen to punish me and Owlstrike both by essentially mutilating everything that her character was; a writer's way of figuratively harming themselves (through their character) to get the reaction they desire. The basic point here being that Nettlesong was a damaged, messed up soul, and it was all Owlstrike's fault.
Were this all taking place face to face, she would have seen me screwing up my face and gaping my mouth as I held both hands out, trying to figure out why the hell any
reasonable roleplayer would think this was a good idea.
I may have been wrong, but it was obvious to me that what Nettle's roleplayer was ultimately looking for was some kind of in-character apology for all the pain Owlstrike had caused his friend, and I wasn't going to give her that. I instead had Owlstrike reiterate that he had never actually rejected
her, and that all he had wanted was a little more time than just one mere day. As predicted, it wasn't enough, and both Nettlesong and her player left the site for good.
And you know what? I was okay with that. Dealing with this roleplayer had only been stressful and anxiety-inducing on my end of things, and I'm absolutely certain that if Owlstrike and Nettlesong had
gotten together, my character would have only been heavily punished for it. I am 110% sure that the relationship would have been an unhealthy one, where poor Owl would have been kept on a leash when it came to making other she-cat friends, nagged and verbally abused whenever he said something "offensive," and especially been made to feel like utter crap
when he wasn't acting properly or being 'loving' enough.
So for the TL;DR version of this story, what did Nettlesong's player do wrong?
a) She held unrealistic expectations for two characters who had only just met.
b) Though not actually stated, Nettlesong's player never bothered roleplaying with anyone else but me. All her priorities, time, and energy were dedicated to getting Owlstrike to fall in love with Nettlesong, and as a result, Nettlesong never got to make friends or get sufficient enough social activity; thus horrendously stunting the growth of her character.
c) When the relationship she had been counting on didn't come through, the player turned her character into a bully who responded by insulting Owlstrike and acting unreasonably hurt over the fact that he wasn't ready.
d) In an effort to drive home the injustice of this platonic friendship, she needlessly ruined an interesting character who could have had some nice character development going for her otherwise. In the end, she hurt herself more than she could ever hurt me.
And for the record, making one's character go insane isn't the only
form of Writer's Self Harm. I've seen players who made their characters depressed, villainous, or even suicidal
over the fact that their crush didn't love them back. I mean, come on. Don't do that. Unless your plan was
to make an emotionally unstable and psychologically dangerous character for plot reasons or whatever, that kind of developmental branch is utterly inappropriate.
Disrespect (in the name of love~)
Our final major "DON'T."
Now, this I thankfully haven't experienced myself (... on this kind of level, at least...), but I've certainly seen it happen in more than one roleplay group. This being the kind of Out-of-character
reaction some players might give when another player says "no" to their shipping.
I've witnessed some pretty ugly responses when it comes to "failed" relationships. After a few insightful rp's, Nathan's roleplayer may decide that the shipping isn't working out with Rosie's roleplayer, and explain this as politely as they can; kindly detailing why Nathan can't seem to develop feelings for Rosie, why they don't feel as though a relationship between the two would work out, and why they believe it would be best if the two remained friends.
Now let's say that Rosie's player doesn't appreciate this decision. Let's say that she at first responds by trying to bargain with Nathan's roleplayer, ranting up either a wall of text or a wall of complaint-responses insisting that she
can see how it would work out, that Rosie would be a perfect match who would always love Nathan no matter what, and that she had already spent so much time thinking about what their kids would be like. Nathan's roleplayer begins to feel uncomfortable and unfairly guilted into possibly doing something they don't want to do, so they again reiterate in better detail why they just can't go through with this shipping in good conscience.
So let's say that Rosie's creator starts squirming and whining in her seat, ultimately repeating herself, but now with more accusatory tones such as ~ "whyyyy nooooot?"
Or perhaps: ~"Come on! Can't you let them be together and make another character?"
Or even: ~"Can't we just have them do a one-night stand so Rosie can still have her kid?"
Or my favorite: ~"My characters NEVER get to be shipped with anyone! EVER! Dx Why can't you let me have JUST THIS ONE?"(I have seen this all, and been the recipient of the third 'request'. It's never pleasant.)
And let's say that Nathan's roleplayer, against all odds, somehow manages to remain civil enough to politely make it clear that no means no. And let's say, that at the realization of this fact, Rosie's player flips a table, screams obscenities at Nathan's player, swears that Rosie is going to move to France and never speak to Nathan, and quits the roleplay group without another word.
Now class, can you tell me what exactly Rosie's player did wrong here? Correct!
She chose to take the choices of Nathan's roleplayer as a personal offense.
She disregarded respect for one's decisions and tried to beg, badger, and twist her fellow roleplayer's hand into giving both her and Rosie what she wanted.
She verbally assaulted Nathan's roleplayer for not agreeing with her idea on what love is.
Long story short; never, ever act as though your character is entitled to the achievement of romantic bliss, especially
when it's at the cost of another player's and another character's happiness. It's selfish, inconsiderate, and rather immature. I'm sorry, but there is absolutely no sugar-coating for this kind of thing whatsoever.
But just to clarify, that doesn't mean it's wrong
for you to be unhappy about something not working out for your character. You can
be a little sad. You can
feel a little frustrated. It is perfectly natural
to be disappointed, but that in no way means that the other person deserves bad treatment or guilt trips for not agreeing with your plans. There's plenty of fish in the sea for your character, and in an internet littered with characters all over the place, they can just as easily find someone else. And if they don't, well, your character is a strong independent brainspawn that don't need
Well what I mean to say is, you can still make a great character without a significant other in their life. I can safely tell you that the characters I have been closest to and have loved the most in my time as a writer were the ones who didn't have to worry about maintaining a relationship on the side. For the people who watch me, imagine if my EBC character, Cynthia, had begun dating just after the plot event that had changed her life so much. If she had someone to lean on/cling to from that early on, she never would have been able to develop the strength to recover on her own. She might not have even gotten to make the friends she did after the raid. I love the path she's taken as a character and wouldn't change a single thing.
Legal Self Inserting
Oh, dear, I'd said I was only going to do four major "DON'T"s, hadn't I? Well, I'm adding this here because this actually isn't a "don't" at all. Rather, it is a word of advice for decent roleplayers who are currently stuck in a fictional abusive relationship, and need a little help getting out of it. With that said, allow me to finish
my story with Nettlesong and Owlstrike, because believe it or not, that wasn't the end of it.
Nettlesong and her player did
return to the site three or so months after their dramatic exit, and it wasn't long before I was messaged with another request for roleplay. Being too much of an optimist for my own good, I thought that the player had returned here because she had matured in her ideas on roleplay and was ready to start things anew. I was wrong.
Some of the first things Nettlesong’s player made clear in the beginning of our new rp (she started off with Nettlesong sitting by herself reflecting on everything that happened) was that Nettlesong had only come back for Owlstrike’s sake, and that she had been psychologically insane this entire time. Apparently, that one cousin of hers that she had been secretly in love with, as well as the family member that had been killed by the fox, had never actually existed. They had both just been imaginary friends from her childhood that she had carried into part of her adulthood. How convenient, considering that one of Owlstrike’s reasons for holding back on their relationship was because he felt as though she’d needed time to get over both those deaths.
When Owlstrike found her sitting a little ways from camp, he was overjoyed to know that his friend was okay. Not one to beat around the bush, Nettlesong also expressed her joy at seeing him again, stressing how it was the thought of Owlstrike that had kept her alive this entire time. That it was thinking of him and her love for him that had pushed her to survive even when there was no one around to help. It was at this point that I began to groan inwardly. It looked as though I had been a little too hopeful about this, after all. Realizing that acknowledging what this crazy she-cat was rambling on with was going to make this roleplay a lot more awkward and difficult to get through than it had to be, I did something that (at the time) I wasn’t very proud of. I used self insert.
If I couldn’t bring myself to care for this unnecessary drama, then Owlstrike didn’t have to, either. I instead played dumb in the next roleplay response, with Owlstrike expressing how glad he was to have his closest friend back. Friend. Of course there were going to be repercussions for using that dreaded word, but at this point I just did not care.
As expected, there were indeed repercussions. Nettlesong “recoiled” but remained calm for the most part, talking about how things had been for her while she was by herself. Eventually she trailed off and began to scratch one of her claws along a rock in the ground, and at one point, “accidentally” scratched so hard that one of her claws ripped clean off. Nettlesong’s player then went on to describe how Nettlesong became so absorbed in licking at the blood that she momentarily stopped paying attention to Owlstrike, before finally returning her gaze to him and wincingly resting her still-trickling bloody paw on the ground. Keep in mind that this entire bleeding sequence was a paragraph on its own.
Right after that, Nettlesong said something along the lines of “I’m guessing you’d prefer to stay friends?” She then added that she supposed she could settle for that, but that she wanted Owlstrike to remember that she was here for him, and only for him.
… Once again, I was so put-off by this obvious cry for in-character attention that I resorted to… more self-inserting. I reasoned that as long as I
didn’t care about some romance addict making silent cries for concern/worry/guilt/whatever she was trying to invoke, that Owlstrike didn’t have to either. For the second time in that roleplay, I played him blind. Instead of having him even notice the wound, Owlstrike simply proposed that they go out for a walk together to his favorite clearing, a way to celebrate Nettlesong’s return.
So Nettlesong’s player decided to amp things up by writing about the bleeding wound even more
in her next response, this time detailing that the blood was freely flowing from her toe, and emphasizing that a claw was no longer there when her character licked at the paw for a while again and noticeably winced when she set it back down. I sighed, figuring that at this point, she had forced me into ensuring that my character didn’t act like an absent minded idiot, and had him notice the wound. When Owlstrike expressed concern over the bleeding, however, it seemed as though it had only served to be even more
incentive for dramatic emphasis. I had given her exactly what she’d been wanting, and Nettlesong’s player was going to milk this for all it was worth.
Nettlesong looked down at her paw and noticed that it was bleeding like crazy because of how much she had been licking at it. When she “dragged her tongue across it” once again, blood “billowed out.” Not sure how many of you are familiar with the dictionary, but billow’s definition is “a large, undulating mass of something, typically cloud, smoke, or steam.” Most definitely not blood from a mere paw wound. Nettlesong then verbally noted that most of the skin tissue around that particular toe was shredded.
But make no mistake, she was still up for that walk to the clearing! She was probably expecting for Owlstrike to fuss over her and refuse it, instead trying to close up her wound or perhaps even lick it himself (and being the considerate character he was, I knew he’d do
it, too), but at that point I decided it was time to return to my self-insert method. Owlstrike stopped himself from insisting to drop the plan. Nettlesong was a grown cat, and if she would rather spend her day taking a leisurely stroll than worrying over a shredded nail, it wasn't in his place to stop her and treat her like a kit.
…Essentially my saying, “You’re a big girl, you
can handle it.” And Nettlesong’s player was not happy with this!
I could tell from the next roleplay wall I got, this time with even more
pleasant, totally realistic descriptions on the nature of blood. Such as: “ribbons of pain” flowing through Nettlesong’s body and making her stumble; Blood spraying on her pelt and possibly on Owlstrike’s when she shook her paw for no real valid reason at all; Clear prints of blood left on the ground trailing right behind her; and blood seeping through her toes and dripping profusely onto the forest floor. All the while these delightful little bloodlines were interjected with Nettlesong’s completely casual dialogue of the surrounding environment and how she enjoyed being in Owlstrike’s company again. I just… I couldn’t do it. I was unsettled to the point where I decided to permanently
play Owlstrike through self-insert mode, having him not notice a damn thing much the way I
would shut it out if I were somehow stuck with some psychotic emo cat with an obsession for blood.
When Owlstrike finally brought Nettlesong to his clearing, things returned to their old angsting ways when Owlstrike spoke of how his mentor had brought him here when he was still an apprentice, how much he missed her, and how he still felt this place was just as beautiful as it was when he first saw it. And Nettlesong (being Nettlesong) grew inwardly bitter and jealous over both Owlstrike’s dead mentor and
the clearing. Why? Because of how much he loved his mentor, and because he thought the clearing was pretty.
This brought an onslaught of private italic thoughts of her lamenting over the fact that Owlstrike would never love her, despite the fact that she loved him so much it hurt. Eventually Nettlesong asked Owlstrike why he had bothered to show her such a wonderful place, and why he even cared about her at all.
In that moment, I knew he would do it. Owlstrike—kind, considerate, caring, always-worrying, selfless Owlstrike—would not have been able to say no again should Nettlesong ask to be his mate. He cared too much for the cats in his life, was too open with them to notice when he was being emotionally leeched on, and never
, ever put his happiness above his friends. Even though he didn’t love her, even though he didn’t care for her with even one drop of romantic interest, Owlstrike would have taken Nettlesong to be his abusive, clingy, emotionally psychotic mate if only because it would make her happy.
So instead of letting him ask Nettlesong what was wrong, instead of letting him hold her and cry out apologies for how much he had hurt her, instead of him proposing to a selfish character that had never deserved his time or energy, Owlstrike responded by ‘hugging’ her as best a cat could and stating that no matter what happened, she was always going to be an important friend in his life. Friend. Which, judging from the responding details of how his words had sliced her and left her to *~bleed~* (such a wonderfully abused word today) on the ground and how hollow she felt inside, had probably somehow killed whatever soul Nettlesong had left. Whoops.
Owlstrike (being Owlstrike) asked Nettlesong to not run off again, and she promised by crossing her paw over her chest and making a little bloody X on it.
The roleplay ended there, and it was no surprise to me that I was soon asked by Nettlesong’s roleplayer outright why Owlstrike couldn’t feel for Nettlesong the way she felt for him. I explained as nicely as I could, with gentle tones and “ ;w; “ faces and everything, why I believed things didn’t work out; bringing up points such as the walls Nettlesong put in place, the way she treated Owlstrike when he didn’t say exactly what she wanted, and the very emotional whiplash that had occurred between the two characters. Keep in mind that I said this all in just five polite sentences. Five.
The player’s response? “… Gee, that’s a nice wall of text there.”
Hey, glad to know that she felt as though she should take offense to anything I just said after the trainwreck of a nutcase her character turned out to be.
Nettlesong and her player eventually left the roleplay. And this time, they didn’t come back.
But what’s the lesson of this story, class? I understand that it may be a little harder to get what I was trying to say here, but perhaps I could make it easier for you by listing the main points:
a) Sometimes, you may have a character that’s just too nice and civil to say no to a bad situation.
b) When this happens, sometimes it’s just plain necessary for you to step in, take over their body, and say no, yourself. And that is perfectly okay.
c) If you decide that you can’t do even that, and you allow your character to be paired up with someone they never wanted to be with, I can assure you that both you and
your character will very much regret it. I know it can be hard sometimes to disappoint people, and it can be hard to deny making a bad decision if it’s going to hurt someone in the process, but believe me. Your
enjoyment of your
character is more worth it. Don’t you ever
With that said, I think I’m all done here. I hope this helped anyone who’s been dealing with roleplay romance, and I wish you all a happy belated Valentine’s Day!