(Dangerous, I know)
I got to thinking about burnout and doldrums, expansions and story lines, end bosses and drama and all that kind of stuff that’s been floating around.
And it seems to me that maybe what we all need right now is what I’m going to call “Little RP”. Not Epic RP, or Major RP, or Big Storyline RP, or even Extended RP.
Just Little RP.
No pressure, every-day-interaction kind of RP that lets us connect with our characters again. Maybe (gasp) not even our “main” characters. (Everyone needs a rest sometimes, even characters.)
Perhaps even SILLY RP.
Nothing with kings, nothing with crowns;
Bring on the lovers, liars and clowns!
Nothing portentous or polite;
Nothing with gods, nothing with fate;
Weighty affairs will just have to wait!
Nothing that’s formal,
Nothing that’s normal,
No recitations to recite;
Open up the curtain:
-Steven Sondheim, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum
Of course, I’m not advocating for comedy just for its own sake. Not all Little RP is funny, even if a little comedy can truly be a relief.
But when people are burned out and tired, when things are winding down and real life is intruding, the big, dramatic, epic storylines often just don’t fly. People want RP to relax, RP to have fun and enjoy, RP that doesn’t come with writing responsibilities or emotional turmoil – for them OR their characters.
A few examples:
- I was on my banker, doing bankery things. On my way past the Gilded Rose in Stormwind, I saw a few people having a conversation. It seemed innocuous enough, something about one of the innkeepers and about auctioneering in general. So Berylla popped in and said hello. She’s a proper Gnomish Financier, and of course had her own opinions on selling things. They had a short, pleasant conversation and then I went on my way.
- In Dalaran, I was enjoying some Little RP with a friend who isn’t really sure she’s ready for major storylines yet. As we sat there having a conversation about Pebbles the Devilsaur, we were joined by another Draenei Hunter, resulting in a pleasant 10 minute conversation about pets, hunters, and whatever else came up.
Pub RP, little meetings, the usual kinds of things that friends do – that’s Little RP. But so is random RP with a stranger or someone you don’t usually see – a conversation in a pub, something that brings you back into your character while you’re waiting for your daily heroic queue to pop. It doesn’t have to take long, and it certainly doesn’t need to have any kind of further implications, twists, responsibilities, or even expectations that you’ll ever see the other character again.
So I think I’m going to issue a Little RP challenge. (Strictly optional, of course)
Engage in some Little RP sometime this week or next, either with people you already know or with random people on your (or another) server. If you can, do so in public, and see if other people join in.
If you opt for the “Random” route, you might not turn up anything – Random RP is subject to the “right place at the right time” clause, which can make it tricky, but either way, give it a try. Use a chat channel if you need to. If you see a guildmate or friend in Dalaran, /wave and say hello. Maybe nothing will happen, maybe something will.
But don’t let the pressure of huge stories get in the way of enjoying whatever RP happens to come along. Sometimes all it takes is a “little roleplay” to get you feeling connected to a character and to their friends again.
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