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Forums » RP Discussion » Reusing an old character for a new RP?

So, back in late December, I made a character on here for a Dsicord RP that lasted right until the start of the month. The RP in question petered out after 1 of the 4 participants had to dip due to life issues, and then the rest of us struggled to maintain it before the "Leader" of our merry band burned out and had to call it quits. Me and the last person debated on continuing, but the other two characters were now too important to the both of our characters' development that we just couldn't get it to work and went our separate ways.

After sitting on it for a few weeks, I've decided, instead of deleting the character like I normally do, I've set them in draft mode and am thinking of 'reinventing' them to use in future games, though, those will likely just be me de-anonymizing them and finding a group or something for drop-in, drop-out play. I like where the character went, and don't want to fully reset them, but I also want to keep using them and some of their issues were left unresolved.

I'm curious if anyone else has ever done this? Taken a character from another RP, and either reset them entirely, or just carried over some of their traits from that RP to use in future games? I actually love the idea that my character could help other, fresher characters with their development while still working on their own, but I know some people around here prefer to retire characters they see as "complete."

I'm mostly just interested in hearing others' stories. I'm already working on their refitted profile, so it's less asking for advice and more just interested in what others have done. :)

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A lot of my characters have singular storylines - meaning that all role-plays impact on them, including scarring, experiences etc. While I have created new characters for role-plays, I often use one of those that I already have if they fit the setting or it is feasible for them to be there. I don't reset them or have them in their own pocket continuity.
Sometimes I reset or adjust my characters to suit different RPs. Sometimes I carry prior RPs long as the character's canon history. Sometimes I pick and choose things from prior RPs to have as the character's canon (in otherwise unrelated RPs). I mostly do a mix of resets and pick-and-choose, actually. I don't want to have to always be inventing new characters, and I like exploring how some characters might handle various different circumstances, not all of which would reasonably fit together.

Admittedly, there are definitely times when it just doesn't feel right to take some set of experiences away from a character (experiences that often have dramatically changed that character), and it seems like I've been feeling that a bit more lately. I'm still feeling out how I want to handle cases like that.

I think a lot of it is that, in the past, it's been rare for me to ever get to have a completed arc of just about any kind. Whether because an RP died off too soon (if it ever even started), or because the arrangement of an RP was more of a social hangout thing, not really meant for development or story arcs or such, or occasionally something had just been so unpleasant or such a mess that a reset was downright necessary, I didn't tend to have much to work with to include at all. It's been in more recent times that proper stories have really gotten to play out more.
Most of my characters have been reinvented, some of them multiple times. There are a few who never made it out of their original universe or if they did it wasn't for long, but many of my characters have been played with multiple people and most have been reset in a new universe with my main partner.

I've also reset art. A character who didn't work out but I still want to use their art.
I've never been one to delete a character outright. I keep old character profiles and sometimes go through them when creating new characters to use some aspects of the old ones. It's kind of like throwing discontinued characters into a recycling center. Also, I sometimes tweak characters that have gone dormant in an RP to use in a new RP. I don't throw them out outright, but just polish their details and parameters a little.
I actually have very few characters with storylines that extend through multiple rps. What I tend to do is take a character's base traits and profession and tailor them to the setting, editing backstory and profession as needed while maintaining the basic integrity of the character as a whole. Some characters, like Cadence, I prefer to leave untouched because watching them explore themselves and their world for the first time is exhilarating. Occasionally however I do find that something may happen in an rp that is so defining for a character, so quintessentially them or that alters them so fundamentally that it can't just be ignored. In these cases what I will generally do is add that event in some form into the character's backstory in the next setting/story. This has happened a few times where past rps become future backstories. It's interesting to watch characters evolve in this way but it's not something I commit to or seek out. In general I will take each story as it comes, allowing the character to experience some things anew. I've actually had the same character in different rps end up very different by the end simply due to the experiences they had, the people they met and the lessons they learned. It's really cool, at least in my opinion.
I often use/reuse characters that I’ve created for specific rps and I approach this with real life experiences in mind. Your story does not end with the people you have met or the places you have been once they’re gone or you’ve moved away. Those are threads in the large tapestry that is your life. In fiction, the rules and the story are what you make them. Sometimes, it’s a simple matter of filling in the blanks between the ‘then’ and ‘now’ of the new rp that the character is going to.
Aardbei Topic Starter

I appreciate the diversity of opinions on this, and think it's pretty interesting how people deal with their characters between games.

I think I tend toward refits more than outright reusing a character, and generally I do what a few other people do, where I'll recycle elements of older no-longer-in-use characters into totally new ones. This is the first time I'm outright reusing the same character, and it's a very different approach to writing up the character's backstory.

I am surprised to learn that I'm not the only person who puts all their unused characters into a recycling bin for later though, but I suppose that's because a lot of my friends are tabletop players who just make characters specific to the respective settings and systems they're working in and they either make exactly the same character every time or they invent something new and self-contained. Might just be my friend group though, heh.

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