Thanks to our current conditions amidst the pandemic, it’s hard not to feel even a little trapped nowadays. There’s no telling how long it might take before we can safely mingle with big groups out in the open again. If your weekly Netflix Parties are getting boring, why not try another activity with your friends that’s sure to get your creative juices flowing?
Welcome to the world of online roleplaying.
If you’ve ever played or are familiar with D&D, then you may have an idea of how this works: You create a character to fit into a set world and play out their journey on an online platform. Unlike D&D though, this is usually a story played out by a much larger group, and character races aren’t always those of fantasy (like orcs, fae, etc).
Personally, I encounter tons of writer’s block when I try writing up a story all by myself. Having a story to work with and characters controlled by other people gives me the avenue to think of things I probably wouldn’t have even grazed over on my own. I’ve been roleplaying since 2014, and honestly, I’ve surprised myself time and time again with what I manage to write alongside everyone else.
The beauty of online roleplay is that there’s no set way to make or join a group. There are loads of online roleplaying groups out there, housed on everywhere from forum sites, to Tumblr, Twitter, and Discord. Plots center around specific fandoms, and others for original content.
I myself am part of a group called Lacie’s Box, an online, Philippine-based group that mainly creates original stories for its players. At Lacie’s Box, we like creating stories that usually span a couple weeks, with a main plot in place, lore to help you create a character that would fit in, and multiple moderators to help you adjust. Since its creation, the group has churned out various stories, from one based in a fictional underworld, to another that was a futuristic sci-fi dystopia, to one set in a fictional version of 2030 Japan, to a non-combat story focused on music and many more. With how vastly different each story’s world is, it’s easy to feel like there’s always something new and exciting waiting for you right around the corner.
It may vary per group, but for us at Lacie’s Box, we usually like to hold our roleplays on Facebook. To keep anonymity and to truly feel like we’re our characters and not ourselves, we use Facebook like pages to play. The roleplay itself usually has a main like page where daily prompts are posted at a set time, letting you know where in the story’s universe we are and what is happening. From there, everyone jumps into the post as their characters, interacting as they deem fit for the situation.
This is an exchange between two characters under one event:
Since our stories usually garner player bases ranging from 20 to 50 people, it’s up to the moderator team to make an engaging story that will make players want to develop their characters the best way they can. The moderator team will always be different for every story, because it’s up to the main head of each tale to choose who they want to help them out while the events unfold. Meanwhile, the main group has a set administrative team that members can approach for their more general concerns, such as questions on how to create their own story, or asking for help to find members for their story’s moderating team.
As for character creation, once the story’s lore document has been released, you’ll get a good feel of what kind of character could fit into such a setting. You can then fill out your form for character creation, where you input basic information such as their name, ethnicity, age, birthday, appearance, likes and dislikes. Some people like making original art for their characters, while others use photos of anime, cartoon, or video game characters as their pegs. Once you’ve accomplished the form, you’re set! Now you just have to wait for the story to begin.
If you’re a creative mind that has a story you want to see played out, our group accepts story applications from all its members. If the administrative team sees that you’ve laid out a good foundation, your story will be added to the roster.
There’s an option to conduct smaller scale stories where you can choose how many players to allow into your pool. If you’d like to see some samples, you can search up Lacie’s Box on Facebook. Don’t be shy about joining the group! And, if you’re completely new to this, don’t worry. The admins and moderators will always be ready to help you out.
Apart from the writing practice, one other great thing about roleplaying is the new, and sometimes unexpected friendships you may form along the way. Many of the main people I’ve been roleplaying with since I first began actually were part of the founding group of Lacie’s Box, and even now I still consider them good friends of mine. It’s a great online activity to enjoy with friends no matter the circumstances. Cheesy (!) fact: when I had volunteered to be part of the moderating team for a sci-fi dystopian story, it unwittingly brought me down the path where I’d meet my ‘one true love’.
So, what are you waiting for? Come on in and create stories with us!
Header art by Kitty Jardenil
Screenshots taken via Symphony of Stars
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