Gamers Wanted! [Online] Experienced DM seeking serious in-character roleplayers
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  1. #1
    Defender (Lvl 8)

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    [Online] Experienced DM seeking serious in-character roleplayers

    EDIT: I have my group, so this can be considered closed for now.

    A year ago, I wrote an ad on the Roll20 forums, seeking a certain kind of player. I received a lot of messages in response to that post, but at the time, I wasn't actually ready to run a campaign yet. Now, I am. So I'm going to quote the majority of that old post here, with the difference this time being that I have a campaign ready to go that I just need to find the right players for.

    The Old Post:

    So, I've been playing D&D and countless other tabletop RPGs for over 30 years now, and in that time I've played with dozens of DMs, and DMed for hundreds of players. For many years, these were all in-person games, but in recent years, I've been experimenting with online play in various groups. Out of those many people I've played with or DMed for, I've been lucky to occasionally find a few real, serious roleplayers among them. But MOST of the people I've played with, or DMs I've played under, have not had very much of a roleplaying focus at all. Not much real, enthusiastic, engaged purpose of bringing to life a character as a fictional person in a fictional world.

    Now, there's nothing wrong with that. I also very much enjoy the tactical, mechanical, character-building, and even power-gaming elements of RPGs as well, and have had tons of fun in casual, hack-and-slash style games where we just killed monsters and overcame challenges and generally played the game as though it were a video game that we were trying to win. Without much messing about with character motivations, and character backstories, and character development, and character voices, and character relationships, and all that roleplaying stuff. I can totally dig that, and I don't begrudge any player for being into that, and not into the other thing.

    That being said, I still hunger for a different kind of RPG experience, because the "not very roleplay-heavy" experience is already abundantly available and easy to find lots and lots and lots of. DMs who run games with little real focus on character roleplaying are many, and easy to find. Players who want to play D&D or other tabletop RPGs, but who don't really want to get that deep into character roleplaying are also incredibly many, and effortless to find. So I've had quite a bit of that already, and while I can and still will continue to enjoy those gaming experiences, I also really crave something ELSE as well.

    I have met far too many DMs and players who SAY that they are into roleplay, and that they will run games that are all about the RP, or that they will do lots of in-character roleplaying as a player, but then when you actually play with them, it turns out that this is not really a strong, central focus of the game for them. The DM who doesn't really care anything about the character or the story you've created and who doesn't make any attempt to tie the narrative of the game to your character, or the player who never really describes anything or speaks as their character would. If you're someone who craves deep, character-focused roleplay in your tabletop gaming as I do, then I'm sure you know exactly what I'm talking about. These are not bad DMs, or bad players! They are just ones with a different central focus in playing RPGs. I'd like to find some people who share MY central focus.

    I'd like to find a few other players who really want to develop and roleplay their characters, as fictional people. As more than merely a set of stats and list of abilities, but as personas, with stories and personalities and motivations and narrative arcs and goals and fears and mannerisms and voices. I'd like to find a few players...

    who want to delve deep into their character's psyche and backstory, and who are just as interested to learn about the OTHER characters' psyches and backstories as well.

    who want to create complications and motives for their character that go beyond the mere "plot" or "quests" doled out by the DM, and proactively seek to resolve those things in-game.

    who could spend an entire session just talking, in-character, with the other player characters, without even needing any entertainment provided by the DM.

    who want to develop relationships with other characters, both PC and NPC, which cause their character to grow and change.

    who, if asked to write a 1000-word background for their character, would reply, "Wait, is it okay if it's LONGER than that?"

    who are willing to narrate their character's actions as though they are telling a story, and not just leave all the narration and description to the DM while they passively consume "content" and play to amass power and stuff for their video-game-like avatar.

    who are willing to potentially embarrass themselves by acting out their character's mannerisms and voice, to actually try, consistently and enthusiastically, to portray their character, as though on stage.

    who want to immerse themselves into the world, into the situation, and imagine what their character thinks and feels and experiences in the game fiction, as though it were real.

    who would honestly, without hesitation, describe this sort of character roleplaying as their primary motivator and source of enjoyment in playing RPGs.

    Is it too much to ask? Am I alone here? I think not, because as I said, I HAVE played with other people like this in the past, and I've seen others on some of the various RPG streams or videos out there. I'm not saying that you have to be terribly GOOD at these things, I'm not looking for only amazing storytellers and incredible actors. Just that you're excited enough, passionate enough, about this that you'll try hard, that you'll WANT to write about your character, to think about your character, to act out your character. I'm not looking for talent, I'm looking for intention. (I am certainly not God's gift to writing, acting, DMing, or roleplaying myself.)

    There are a couple of different broad "kinds" of roleplayers as I see it, though some people do fit into both of these categories. There are the text-based roleplayers, or what I would call "literary RP", and the voice-based roleplayers, or what I would call "performative RP".

    The first is the type practiced on forums, in MMOs, in play-by-email games, and in various chat-based online games. I've had lots of fun with this type of RP and done lots of it, and met many extremely talented roleplayers in this style. It's more about writing than anything else, it's actually a lot like interactive or mutual fiction writing, and it's really cool. I've enjoyed hundreds of hours of this type of "literary RP", writing lengthy descriptive emotes, sometimes multiple paragraphs long, and then waiting for the other players to do the same, and in this way creating a shared story together.

    But that's not what I'm looking for here.

    I'm specifically seeking players for the OTHER type of roleplaying, the "performative RP", which is like what you'd do if you were actually sitting around a physical table, face-to-face with other players. Using your voice, your spoken word descriptions, not merely writing about a character like a fiction author, but embodying a character like an actor or narrating like an oral storyteller.

    So for all of the text-based roleplayers, I love what you do, but it's not what I'm seeking at this time.

    If you've read this post and thought, excitedly, "Oh my god, this is SO me!" then please respond. If you haven't thought that, then you're probably not who I'm looking for.

    Back To The Present:

    Now, I know some of you are really excited at this point, because I know there are a lot of roleplayers out there who have been looking for exactly this sort of thing for a long time. However, now we come to the sticking points.

    First of all, the game will be live streamed on Twitch and uploaded to YouTube. I know that's a deal-breaker for some people, so if that's you, I'm sorry.

    Secondly, the campaign I am running features a pre-created cast of defined characters, all made and with backstories written. You won't be able to make your own character. I am, in fact, looking specifically for players who really LIKE one of the characters I've written up, and want to apply to play THAT particular character. Think of it like auditioning for a role in a TV show or something. The actor doesn't create their own character, but once they have the part, then they bring that character to life in their own unique way, and become a collaborator with the designer of the original character in carrying forward that character's story and deciding who they will become.

    Thirdly, the game system being run is 4th edition Dungeons and Dragons. I know that this is not a popular choice, but it is my favorite edition of D&D. (Note that I do not call it the BEST edition, just the one that I enjoy DMing the most.) Many people have never tried 4E, and if that's you, I urge you to give it a chance, if you're the kind of roleplayer I'm looking for, and want to find a DM and gaming group where in-character RP is promoted, valued, rewarded, and cultivated.

    I will make every effort to provide you with interesting and extensive roleplaying opportunities, colorful characters to interact with (whom I will voice act to the best of my amateurish ability), and lots of things to do outside of combat. There will, of course, still be plenty of combat, and it will be tactical and often intense. But it will be set within the context of a legitimate STORY, and nearly always spaced out with ample roleplaying scenes. I will narrate actions descriptively, use funny voices, and try to draw out each of the players into portraying their characters, exploring their motives, feelings, and relationships, and rewarding you both narratively and mechanically for making a sincere effort to speak in-character and describe your actions.

    I am an experienced dungeon master and have a very open, pro-player attitude. I am on my players' side, I want them to win and to achieve their goals, I want them to do cool things and feel awesome, and most especially, I want them to become immersed in their characters and to actually reflect on their characters' emotional and mental states. I will challenge you, but I will never try to "beat" you. I will adjudicate the rules fairly, but I will always encourage you to come up with creative ideas and ways to do things outside the scope of the standard rules. I will pay attention to what parts of the game, your character, or the story most excite and interest you, and then give you more of that. I will always try to make every player and character feel important to the group and to the ongoing story.

    The campaign itself is named Sands of Slavery. It takes place in 4th-edition-era Forgotten Realms, circa 1479 DR. It will largely be set in the desert nation of Calimshan. Major themes will include slavery, freedom, oppression, tyranny, wars between the elements, genies, corruption, desert adventures, ancient magic, and the rise of a humble handful of adventurers from relative obscurity to major political operators responsible for permanently altering the course of history for the entirety of Calimshan and all of its desperate, broken people.

    This is a colorful overview of the cast of characters for Sands of Slavery:

    And here are the full starting character write-ups with all relevant character-specific rule information included, as well as the background stories for each pair of characters:






    Howling Sky:

    As I mentioned before, I would like interested players to decide which of these characters they really want to play, and make sure that you've read the full background and that it suits you. If none of these characters appeal to you, that's okay, this game is just not for you.

    I am going to post this on numerous sites, so I expect to receive a good number of messages. Please only respond to this if you feel that you are, or really want to be, the kind of roleplay-focused player that I described at length above. Please only respond if you are EXCITED about this game, and about roleplaying one of these characters. If you have no experience with 4th edition, that is 100% FINE. If you have no experience with D&D period, that is also 100% fine. I am happy to teach you the game, if you're willing to make a strong effort to be a creative, entertaining roleplayer.

    If you're interested, please post something in this thread, and then send me a private message with the following information:

    1. Your name (or something you want to be called)

    2. Your age (approximate is fine if you don't want to be specific, e.g. "late twenties")

    3. What days and times (include time zone) you are likely to be available to play

    4. Which character you want to play

    5. A brief comment on what you especially like about that character, or how you would like to bring them to life with your unique roleplay style

    6. An e-mail address that I can use to contact you for further coordination

    Thanks for reading this incredibly long post! I'm looking forward to hearing from you. Feel free to ask any questions you may have, here in the thread so I can answer them for everyone.
    Last edited by firesnakearies; Thursday, 17th August, 2017 at 10:59 AM.
    XP delphonso gave XP for this post

  2. #2
    This is precisely what I've been looking for, im so super into everything here

  3. #3
    Defender (Lvl 8)

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    Jun 2008
    Littleton, Colorado
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    Block firesnakearies

    I have my group, so this can be considered closed for now.

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