There have been some complaints about instances of members making duplicates of the same famous character and using them in role playing storylines. An example of this would be two separate members each creating "Aphrodite" characters and playing them in completely different ways, with storylines entangling and becoming confusing.

 

As of now, the site does not place any restrictions on who members assume, or what type of characters anyone wants to play. This is done in the spirit of free form role playing, and is a way of allowing anyone to play anybody that they like, even regardless of pre existing stories.

 

The way traditionally we have explained the existence of multiple instances of a character is that we have said the second character is from an alternate dimension, and thus the existence of both of them on the same site is not a contradiction.

 

However some members have come to me asking that the site implement reserved character lists. A list of pre-existing characters, which it will be somehow "illegal" to assume in the main course of the story line we are telling across the site.

 

On the one hand, this would eliminate confusion, and would allow people to play characters fully, inter weaving them throughout the story without having to fear what their duplicate is doing to muddle up the narrative. It would eliminate confusion, help to secure the nature of the narrative, and generally make the story we are telling more polished and professional.

 

On the other hand such a list presents a number of problems which I will list below.

 

- Who will determine if someone is allowed to play a character? Who will arbitrate between two instances of the same character? Should it be the iron will of the Admins, a tribunal of elder players, or a democratic process?

 

- What is to keep members from snatching up as many famous characters as they can and then holding them, thus giving them an unfair advantage when conducting storylines?

 

- What do we do if a character is inactive for a certain period of time? Just because someone played a character once 6 months ago, does that mean nobody can ever play them again?

 

- Will this stifle creativity? Will it make it impossible for people to hold their own parallel storylines in multiverse and in the worlds? Will this turn people who may be amazing writers, role players, and storytellers away from the site?

 

Anyone who has an opinion on this matter should please reply to this discussion so that we can try and get a community consensus on this issue. Thank you.

 

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I would like us to have a list of characters who are active and also of peripheral figures (like Echo's or Asmo's relatives) who are important to ongoing stories. Someone who wants to play one of those peripheral characters could then be directed to contact a person who can explain the backstory for the figure in question so consistency is maintained across the story arc.
This kinda sounds like patent-pending something you created. Yes, there is a problem of people doubling up on characters already created. But honestly, it's kinda cheap to use famous characters anyways. Isn't it more creative to use characters that YOU made? I mean god characters and some famous figures might be needed for storylines, but there shouldn't be so many that we have to hand out names like a library...

IF there's a conflict where someone is doubling up on characters, there shouldn't be a problem with both people getting together to talk it out and say why they need the character and maybe come up with some suggestions. A reserve list wouldn't be looked at by hardly anyone except for older players anyways, which ruins the purpose which is new players taking up names already in use. If you have a god character in the background for stories and you see it happening, send that person a message and see what you can do.
This is to Gambit: Well on the Technical side of things is should be very easy to have the site filter exact duplicate names from different email accounts.

This is to Raelin: Of course its patent-pending intellectual property etc etc a lot of us put WAY too much time into this hobby than we should and get a bit too wrapped into it, that is a given. I know Lex and Daloki sometime get so upset when something happens IC that they get physically ill. A little extreme... maybe... but its the passion they bring to what they do... I for one would never want them to be any other way... LOVE YOU BOTH.

Back to Gambit: I like the idea of once a character is in play its reserved for x period of time if its not used. Something I have noticed on the site and I understand its to bump the analytic numbers is a lot of dead accounts. People that haven't been on in a very LONG time or were on just once a year ago now. You really need to clean the ranks. I know we have npc accounts and at least our group tries to log into them at least once a month... some of our players are currently deployed in the military so that is another understandable reason. The Idea of a reserved list is valid, its used effectively on other sites... the way they combat "name parking" is to require x numbers of posts over x period of time to stay active. If some jerk comes in and sets up 200 famous names then they are going to be real busy just trying to keep the names from vanishing. That is usually addressed based IP instead of email accountwise so they can't try to skirt around it.
Well, I can definitely agree that some of us get very, very into our characters and get upset irl over what's happening in character. Even if we don't want to, we can't really help it. The problem is that character lists are extremely hard to keep active, have people check them and how do we even figure out how a character is "active"? Certain posts over a period of time don't work well at all. I mean, in this instance with the war going on, it's difficult to get famous characters into roleplay. Especially if they are evil or gods or something.

Think how chaotic it would be if there were famous characters on reserve for "x" amount of time, or how often you played them. What about people who have upwards of twenty characters? Those who are for basic roleplaying and those only for stories. Characters are not books. If someone plays a god all the time, it ruins the image of them being a god in the first place. I know there's problems with characters such as Lilith. But the community as a whole isn't going to refer back to a cheat sheet to see what they can play. It's a waste of time to create one when only a little amount of people are going to actually refer back to it.

And what would we do if someone goes through with it anyways? Ban them from playing? Mock them and make them feel bad until they leave like we do now?

No. This is the type of issue that should be dealt with by those involved. There's the same problem with storylines being copied or redoing the same thing that you saw someone else do. Isn't that just as bad? Should we reserve storylines too?
I play pUcK. I didn't invent him, but I did reinvent him. If anyone else wants to play PuCk, they can try. If they are more awesome than me then they deserve the job. If not they deserve to be laughed off the site or ridiculed into picking another character.
The beauty of this online community is that one can select who or who NOT to play with. Creativity comes in degrees, some are more skilled at it than others and no matter what...someone is always going to try to immitate someone else. I do agree that unused accounts could probably get cleaned out after some really long extended period of disuse but then again, I wouldn't want to be the one taking care of that either.
Reserving names on a community board such as this is a bit far fetched. If a name is in duplication then I am certain someone will have the creativity to really make a name for their character during role play.
I would like to add one more consideration to this discussion. Roleplaying on this site occurs in many different places and the stories are not always necessarily interrelated. Not only do we have people who act out stories in main chat, but we also have sub groups that use multiverse not to mention people who prefer blog roleplaying, forum roleplaying, and using the profile walls to interact with one another.

If a reserved character list is implemented, should it be a standard rule to all of these different mediums? What are the practicalities of enforcing such a rule?
I do not believe it would be possible to implement the kind of member filtering that Oberon has suggested for a number of reasons.

Sending a message to every inactive account every time they do not log in for X amount of time and then waiting for a response explaining whether there are reasonable extraneous reasons for this lack of activity would require a massive amount of human effort, reading emails and making decisions about member accounts. Even if this were diligently pursued you would still end up with mistaken deletions resulting in hurt feelings, a possible loss of content, and alienation of potential contributing members.

Further, the creation of a profile is often a process of artistry itself. People put a lot of effort into answering the profile questions, choosing an appropriate avatar picture, and styling their pages to evoke the exact ambiance that they want. I believe that arbitrarily destroying such creations would go against the intended spirit of the site.

What I would like to discuss more is the creation of a list of reserved characters that would allow us to either guide, or restrict the playing of certain characters in the active portions of the site.
If a name is already in the member list...don't use it. That simple. If it is a copyrighted character.. as a couple of my groups players were.. they received c & d notices about the names.. so that is another consideration they altered their names.. adjusted the characters slightly to avoid legal trouble. My characters are universal and consistent across the site.. and for the most part try to stay within the continuity of the main chat storyline and the blog. If someone else comes in and tries using my characters name I would raise holy hells... he has history and a backstory that spans years in developing. I think the member list should be sacrosanct.
Our group... the Underworld group that came with Viktor and me, came from a closed site. Things were highly regulated and you were screened both as a player and a character before you were allowed to participate. They had character reserves there. The admins said it was a lot of work but it did preserve the feeling of the roleplay without having to deal with a 1000 Eddie Cullens,(smile). As for name usage... a name is a name it defines the player and the character. Personally staying within the character and storyline throughout the site provides cohesion like a true story your just allowed to see snippets of other things that happen. When I blog it will either be directly related to the main storyline or a personal subplot. I feel its disingenuous to suddenly take my character and put him out of context. That being said. I may make a post or a story of something that has happened previously to my character, al a flashback which may portray him differently but that would be because that was a different time and circumstance. Bottomline I like reserved characters working out the mechanics is what makes an Admin's job fun. (smiles again)

My personal reply to this is simple. You should both check and make sure its ok with someone before you try to do anything, including creating a duplicate. I've had various others come to me, and if anyones noticed, I was the first, well maybe not the first, but the most awesome shadow user that started out from the beginning. I built Dimitri from scratch, and from scratch, I really mean scratch. That's why I get angry when I read or see something to do with Dimitri that shows that he is being used outside of RolePages for another site or something. I can't say too much about it, however, because I don't know whether I could. Like Daloki and Elexin, I put so much into RolePlaying these days that I personally get sick over a few of the things happening ICly. Like everyone, I enjoy to find Dimitri being used for good things, but when I spot that another character has simply, 'thought' up a certain trait or something that, I myself, have used from day one and built up, Im bound to get angry.

In answer to Gambit's question, I think that we should get a reserved Character sheet, though it won't work all the time. Perhaps a name blocker would work, something that catches them before they get into the site. Personally, I'd be happy to help with anything thrown my way. Bloggers, and various types of Forum Role Play, from what I've seen, should be kept the way they are. I actually like them right now, exspecailly the discussion Role Play that the Narrator has come up with. Some of the things that happen in the forums are not always the best, but we can learn to make things better, if you understand what Im rambling on about. XD

 

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