What *IS* Freeform Roleplaying?

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What *IS* Freeform Roleplaying?
« on: Nov 04, 2016, 11:09:53 PM »

First, let's start off with the easiest: What is role play? Role play is simply the act of playing a role. Role playing can be as simple as a potential interviewer asking you to pretend to be a customer, to playing an elf in a board game, to dressing up like an ogre and smashing people over the head with foam axes in the middle of the woods somewhere.
 
Basically, Free Form Role Play refers to playing a character--a role, if you will--without the assistance of manuals, rule books, dice or stats. A player is free to role play a vampire from V:tm, for instance, without worrying about points, or a character from Dungeons & Dragons without worrying about level, experience, or rolling die. Action, scenes and writing should be wholly consent-based(as in: most players have permission from another player in some means or way to write with them, be it some cue in character either from chat rooms, on forums, or communication out of character and so on). It can also sometimes meander into the genre of collaborative fiction
 
The concept, whittled down to its most simplest of forms is this: You are free to write your character as you see fit, so long as you understand and respect that everyone else may do the same.
 
It's a confusing way for some people. They may ask, "How can I ensure that a hit lands on another character? How do we make stories exciting if people refuse to accept the element of danger and their character can die at any moment? How do you sort out melee and who won what, without rules and strict guidelines so everyone's on the same table?"
 
The complicated answer to that might take days, and I've already taken up enough of your time--the easiest answer to that is: Communication, Hope and Respect. Communicate what your wants and needs are to your fellow player. Without doing so, your fellow player may unwittingly write something that offends you or your RP personal boundaries...but without communication there's no way for them to know this. Hope that they will be a respectful, mature player in kind and want to work together on creating a SL or RP scene that is satisfactory to the both (and/or group) of you--and lastly, respect. Respecting the other player, respecting that not all players are willing to cooperate in the same manner or same way, and respect given to the character that does not belong to you. If all three of these are even moderately observed in Free Form Role play, you have the fundamentals of it.
 
In essence, Free Form Role Play and its experience entirely relies on the player. The player's commitment to writing and engaging in a good story, no matter what that story may be.
 
There will be times when players simply do not wish to meet other players in the middle. Perhaps a player refuses to have any hits in a fist fight land, perhaps a player has a character that simply can't be killed because they do not want them to be--the best fellow players can do is respect that this is their decision and understand that not everyone will see eye to eye.
 
Free Form Role Play is essentially your story for your character wherein you welcome one or many to write the story along with you, in turn, hopefully influencing and helping write their character's stories as well.
 
There are several fantastic resources out there already, however, to help further define FFRP and what it is. I welcome you to check these out,
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freeform_role-playing_game
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Online_text-based_role-playing_game
http://www.lyrantalpress.com/almanac/ffrp.asp
http://www.dragonsmark.com/started.php
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