Post by hollowxrequiem on Aug 13, 2019 20:45:28 GMT -8
I've been out of the roleplay scene for almost two years now and I'm looking to get back into it, but I'm having trouble deciding how to run my site. First off, I've noticed a lot of fantasy wolf rps popping up, but my forte has been more focused on street dogs. So my question is: what do you look for in a canine roleplay?
I feel like the post-apoc theme has been worn out, but it does seem to offer a lot of freedom for the roleplayer. Multiple species can co-mingle and there's plenty of lands to explore. However on the flip side, a human populated setting offers a different blend of obstacles for characters to face. What do you prefer? What features or options make you prefer it?
Feel free to list anything and everything you look for in a canine roleplay.
Full disclosure that I'm not personally into canine RPs, but here are some common threads I've noticed over the years about canine RPs that wind up dying out quickly.
1. Easily stagnated plot: even in an "open world" post-apoc type situation, RPs seem to grind to a halt if the plot isn't engaging. I think the better question, rather than post-apoc vs. human-populated, is which of these settings provide you with the better environment to create a plot that: a) is interesting, b) can easily scale with member growth and plot progression? A is obvious, but B is where most animal RPs (or really, any RP) stumble -- they'll have a great opening plot but no plot points leading up to the dramatic conclusion, so they wind up relying too heavily on member-created exposition, and then once the dramatic conclusion hits they don't know how to introduce a new antagonist or Big Event that will continue the site's story growth.
2. Too many complex clan / pack / governmental rules: I once saw a very lovely canine RP that was very in-depth and intricate with a gorgeous design, but no one wanted to join because the different pack rules + the hierarchy rules within each pack were about six posts worth of content each. Keep it simple; establish some ground rules as to what is and isn't possible within a pack, some hierarchy rules for the leaders (or be bold, and go with a more collaborative pack environment since dogs don't have pack leaders / alphas, and neither do wolves), and allow the characters leeway to establish their own inter-pack relationships.
3. On that note: rehashing the same "alpha dominance" plot lines. As mentioned, neither dogs nor wolves have alphas, and really, there is only so much mileage you can get out of that plot which almost literally every single canine and animal RP has done to death. If I were in the market to try a canine RP, i'd definitely be much more intrigued by someone who is doing something different in how the packs are set up than by someone rehashing the ol' alpha/beta dynamic.
4. Too open world: the thing about smaller spaces is that it forces people to interact with each other. If you have a city as your setting, there are only so many places for the characters to go before they run into another character or group. Post-apoc settings, while diverse, can often be too big which leads players to scatter and wind up making it difficult to look active to potential members since posts are so sparse between areas, which snowballs into people not wanting to join because they don't see a lot of activity. I'm not saying you have to make it a city, but if you want a larger environment to work in, keep in mind you don't make it so huge that it winds up scattering the characters in a such a way that they won't be able to easily interact with each other.
5. Drama: one thing I have noticed about animal RPs as a whole that I don't notice nearly as much of in human/humanoid based RPs is that a lot of that pack mentality / pack conflict spills over into OOC. In the forums I've seen this occur in, the admins and other site staff are usually very biased based on what pack they RP with the most. Not that drama of this nature doesn't occur in non-animal RPs, but I think because the RP dynamic is intentionally one of close-knit packs it's a lot easier for it to spill into OOC. Be sure to make a solid, clearly defined line between your actions as an admin and your actions as an RPer, and have those guidelines explicitly stated, and apply similar guidelines as part of your OOC rules and enforce them heavily and consistently.
I hope this helps! Good luck!
Last Edit: Aug 14, 2019 7:45:29 GMT -8 by Kami [AFK]
Post by hollowxrequiem on Aug 16, 2019 21:44:44 GMT -8
Kami [AFK] , this is wonderful and very insightful information, so thank you! I've been an admin for a number of years and I always try to be mindful that I'm as unbiased and inclusive as possible.
1. I really appreciate that you put it into this perspective because I do think I've tried to brainstorm ideas that will be interesting to others, but my notes quickly fall short of my own expectations because I don't have a narrative that can go farther. So I must use what I know and create something I can expand on. I also experienced B firsthand. My site quickly fell apart after we reached the climax of the plot, and nobody, including myself, knew where to go from there. I will have to keep this in mind for the future.
2. Thank you for this! I honestly hate really complex hierarchies and I not only get confused reading them, but creating them, so I just don't. Plus, I don't want the RP to be work, I want it to be fun! So I'm trying to create an easygoing and fun environment. Also, you're right, there are no Alphas. I had a popular pack on my site that thrived really well with a different "pack" dynamic, so for #3. I'll keep this in mind!
4. Again, thank you for putting it into this type of perspective. I've become overwhelmed trying to create a site because I wanted there to be abundant areas to explore, but I got too carried away and it felt too big. Too much to manage. A smaller setting would probably be beneficial.
5. I think I can pride myself in keeping OOC drama to a minimum. Thankfully! But that is definitely always a goal to keep.
Thank you thank you thank you!
If anybody else has more to add I would love to hear it.
As the first responder pointed out, plot tends to run very stale. With that said, start the site with something that must be resolved, reversed, or changed. Give characters something they must work toward immediately, a goal. For example, make the leader of a group totalitarian or cruel, make them have to travel to a place to survive, defeat a predator in the area, or some other immediate need. This gives the characters joining a goal to make a fairer group for everyone. I find having to plot against and overtake an evil force is a great starting point.
Have at least one admin who is willing to play someone to stir things up. Have a plotter on your team to add in new twists and turns as things go.