Authored by: @48lexR
As authors, many of us get attached to our characters. Those that do have a desire to display them to others, or put them in unlikely scenarios where they can be written about. Some of us are just looking for a distraction altogether, which is helped by describing and writing about our characters for others to see. Or (and perhaps the more obvious conclusion), most of us are just looking to have fun and make friends with other users.
Whatever the reason for roleplaying, it cannot be denied that roleplaying is a great way to expand a character’s characterization by interacting with others also looking to write about their characters. As a result, the Wacky Writers community has been through numerous roleplaying threads, many of which some of our older users remember. And, it all started when, in early August, 2020, @ErrorInTheCode posted a thread, titled “Welcome to my (as of right now) Unnamed World”.
@ErrorInTheCode’s Unnamed World garnered the attention of a few users ,namely @48lexR (myself), @lst-my-shp-sil, @TheMidnightAssassin (at that time @SeciMin), @LadyOfTheRiver, and @NotARussianBot. It was an open-world RPG where characters spent time getting to know each other, travelling by foot, and (presumably) escaping after the thread was closed. Little did any of us know, though, that this would be the beginning of a saga of Roleplaying threads.
Inspired by @ErrorInTheCode’s Unnamed world, @TheMidnightAssassin (still, at the time, @SeciMin), created a thread titled RolePlay as Your Character. This thread was significantly different from the Unnamed World for several reasons: firstly, the thread was plot-based, where users were required to wait for a new chapter before continuing with the story once the previous chapter was finished. Second, this was not an open-world RPG, and characters had to follow the plot while making their own choices. Third, the world was strictly defined according to @TheMidnightAssassin ‘s world. Extra “homework” was given out by @TheMidnightAssassin for users to complete at their leisure. In one of these homework assignments, the future Flight of Ellstryle thread was hinted at.
Building off of both roleplay threads, @48lexR created another open-world RPG titled Welcome to Meiste, combining the ideas of an already-established world, but with the free-roam RPG feel. This thread broke the (at the time) 5k post limit three times, running for nearly two months.
While Meiste was running, @Tanya3231 posted the thread Introduce Your Characters. While, at the time, it wasn’t intended to be a roleplay thread, it was later moved to the roleplaying category, where users still play today. Introduce Your Characters (Henceforth IYC Thread) is an open-world RPG, where the setting and “plot” is mostly determined by the players. Because of its free nature, the IYC thread has garnered over 100k posts, spanning (currently) 12 parts. It would be rude of me to mention this thread, but not insert a link, so for any users interested, the IYC thread (Part 12) can be found here.
Sometime thereafter, Meiste closed, bringing an absence to more specialized roleplay threads until @ErrorInTheCode returned to post another roleplay thread, titled Return of the Unnamed World. New players and old players returned to the thread, and the new thread lived up to the expectations set by the former: an open-world choose-your-own adventure RPG.
Sometime around the time of the closure of Return of the Unnamed world, already prominent roleplayer @NotARussianBot started The Noctarian Conspiracy thread, which was another open-world RPG in which the setting was their created world. Due to inactivity, though, it fell through. But, @NotARussianBot persevered, creating the Carl Jung was Right! roleplay thread a few weeks after, and more people participated. This second roleplay thread was also an open-world RPG, but with a couple (albeit complicated) twists.
As promised in their RolePlay as Your Character thread, @TheMidnightAssassin created their Flight of Ellstryle thread. Like its predecessor, this thread was another plot-based RPG, but added in some elements of free-roaming RPGs, namely the ability to go out of sight once a chapter started, but still return for the chapter to progress and finish. Though it never saw its final chapter, many new faces were introduced to old ones here, too.
Inspired by @ErrorInTheCode ‘s Return of the Unnamed World, @48lexR posted Meiste (An RP Thread), further building off the ideas of all the previous threads, taking inspiration from (especially) @TheMidnightAssassin ‘s Flight of Ellstryle thread. This thread was plot-based, contrasting the old open-world feel of the original. It was broken up into chapters so that the OP didn’t have to post random recaps, and it only lasted three weeks, with one week of relative inactivity in the middle. Like its predecessor, though, it broke the (now 10k) post limit.
After another period of strictly the IYC thread operating, a new user by the name of @Xman3148 posted a thread titled Cosmic Consequences Roleplay (Part 1). In the spirit of some of the older roleplay threads, Cosmic Consequences is largely free-roam, and characters are free to join at their own leisure. The thread is still running, and the link is here.
It is clearly, then, a winding, long history of roleplaying on Wacky Writers. Everyone who has participated in a thread has changed and grown from the experience. No true discussion about the roleplaying side of WW would be complete without sharing some experiences from its players.
I interviewed three players (@TheMidnightAssassin, @LadyOfTheRiver, @NotARussianBot) who have been around since the original Unnamed World back in August. This is what they had to say:
About why they started roleplaying:
Aevyn (@TheMidnightAssassin): [Roleplaying] was a really fun and cool experience.
Angel (@LadyOfTheRiver): Since covid happened, I couldn’t continue with acting as I usually would. So, here we are. I like acting as my character.
Elle (@NotARussianBot): I heard [roleplaying] was fun, and they were right.
About why they started their own roleplay threads:
Aevyn: I love to create things, and I was initially inspired by the ARG and the Unnamed World to create my own [roleplay thread].
Elle: I [created a roleplay thread] because I thought it would be fun. In hindsight, though, I should’ve waited longer [because] only one person was able to get in and stay in.
About how they’ve grown as a writer from roleplaying:
Aevyn: I view roleplaying the same as my first time I tried it. It’s fun and awesome! I think I’ve learned to understand my characters a little bit more and how they would’ve acted and such. I would just plop them in there and their personalities would slowly bloom and I would have an idea of what they would be.
Angel: Roleplaying has helped me understand my characters, too. When I act as them, something just clicks and that becomes their full-time personality. Take Heliox, for example – he went from a misunderstood cinnamon roll to a child-torturing star addict.
Elle: [Roleplaying is] still fun but things can get out of hand fast… blink once and several characters have evolved and interpersonal relationships have shifted.
Roleplaying started from just a small group of users, but has slowly become a part of the Wacky Writers community over these last nine months. What started as just one thread in a relatively new category grew to numerous threads, and what started as just five or so users grew into over twenty. The older users whom I’ve interviewed all say that their writing has grown because of roleplaying, which can be attributed to the safe, civil space to flesh out our characters.
I hope this has been a successful informational piece to anyone who decides to read it, or anybody who is interested in what roleplaying on WW was like before the modern day. Post your comments or questions in this thread and they’ll be responded to or answered (probably). If you’ve made it this far, I’m glad you’ve sat through my ramblings, haha. Thanks, WW, for the roleplay community.