Previously i have talked about how i listen to a series of online Roleplays done by a twitch streamer called JP, and i have wanted to write more about the shows he produces for the Rollplay Series but what with the upheaval caused by Age of Sigmar this post has been delayed several times. However recently on Rollplay Swansong (a Sci-fi themed Roleplay about being a crew on a space ship, similar to the Rouge Trader RP produced by Fantasy Flight) there was a episode that served as excellent inspiration. With spoiling anything in the episode there were several moments were i felt fear for a player character, so much so that i stopped what i was doing at the time to just stare at the screen and nervously what for each dice roll to show up. To top this all off the show ended in a touching bittersweet way, and i wanted to write a post to in some way explain why the shows evoke emotional responses as well as urging any readers who are unaware of the series to go and start watching them, you will only benefit from doing so.
So why is it that i would feel fear for the fate of a player character in a online Roleplay?They don't actually exist and as such are not in any actual danger and the person playing them will still be alive. In my mind the answer is because all the player characters feel so human, like you could imagine these characters actually existing. They have flaws and issues and good parts of their personalities as well as bad parts. It also helps that the people who play the characters get quite invested in their characters and care about what happens to them and react in way that simply feels real. If you have ever had a moment when you are watching a TV show and a character on it does something that feels faked or forced and you wished they had taken the more real, lifelike option then you will find a lot of real and lifelike choices in the Rollplay series.
One of the most memorable moments for me was when they first player character died, the reactions of the other player characters as well as the people who played them felt real and not at all faked. There was real grief, not as much as a actual lose of life would warrant but enough to bring out shock from all the members of that show as well as the audience not to mention myself and it took me several seconds to comprehend what had happened before it truly sunk in. But its not just moments of loss that make the shows memorable. There is a lot of humour (some of the best involve slaps) as well as moments of triumph and happiness. There are also alot of tense times on these shows where you don't know if the party/crew will make it out of a situation alive or intact.
The people who play the characters in these Roleplays are also a big part of why the shows are as good as they are they. As i mentioned before they care about their characters which helps make their reactions to events as real as they can be. Also they all take great pains to not Metagame situations, for those who don't know Metagaming is when a player in a Roleplay will act on information that they personally know and that their character doesn't know for example Player A knows that Player B will try and kill them because they overheard Player B talking about it out of session, Player A then has their character to take steps to prevent the planned betrayal even thought their character doesn't know anything is up.
If you have been the faintest passing interest in Rollplays you should check out JP's Roleplay series, you will be inspired and uplifted, shocked and dismayed. You will laugh (alot) and you may even cry. At present there have been 7 shows all of which are easily worth your time. They are, in order of the earliest show to the most recent:
Rollplay Legacy/Solum (The very first show), a D and D 2nd/5th ed Campaign
Rollplay Dark Heresy, a Fantasy Flight 40k RPG Campaign (Only 6 weeks long but very much worth the watch)
Rollplay Ehbon, a D and D 2nd ed Campaign
Rollplay R and D, a series of different RPGs that changes every 6 weeks or so
Rollplay The West Marches, and D and D 5th ed Campaign with a constantly changing cast
Rollplay Mirrorshades, a Shadowrun Campaign
Rollplay Swansong , a Stars Without Numbers Campaign
There are also numerous one off shows that are all worth your time. There is also a Rollplay Viewers guide with alot more information about each show on it.
I called this post "The Tales That Really Matter" because for me these shows do. They surpass alot of shows, books and movies in emotional and entertaining content. I was hooked after watching 2 episodes of Rollplay Legacy and will continue to watch and support the cast of each show for as long as they are on. And if this post has got you even a little bit interested then go and watch the shows, you certainly wont regret it. until next time.
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