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Forums » RP Discussion » Changing characters for one specific RP

I'll elaborate on this:

So basically, you've got your character, you know them, and you love them the way they are. Then, when you finally try to RP with that character, your would-be partner asks you to change them for the RP, changing their powers to make them 'less overpowered' or changing their personality to fit a more romantic style.

I have been having these problems a bunch, especially with one specific character because of his powers being 'too overpowered,' which they aren't.

What do you guys think? Should we have to make major changes to our OCs to fit our partners' needs?

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In my opinion: No, you shouldn't make major changes to your character for your rp partner needs.
I think the answer is that it depends on how much you want to do a particular roleplay. RP is all about finding common ground for a collaborative story. It's a two-way street. If a character you want to use requires changes to fit a particular RP idea, it's entirely up to you whether you're willing to compromise for it. At the same time, it's fair play for a potential partner to have specific limits and preferences in place for their own scenarios... though if they try to force you into altering your character for an RP prompt that's your own idea, then they might be overstepping somewhat. Remember that any change you make for a specific RP doesn't necessarily have to be kept beyond said RP, nor does it need to be reflected on the character's profile.

It's also down to whoever is writing a given ad or whatever way they're presenting the RP idea to present their requirements in a clear way. That doesn't necessarily mean a respondent is going to properly read it (I've had plenty of situations where I've been careful to set specific power level requirements for an idea and then had people suggest characters well outside of it), but it will make the process easier.

I have had a couple of incidents where things have gone beyond what I see as reasonable. Particularly cases where partners have badgered me to make changes consistently throughout an ongoing RP to which each time I've declined and then later they've asked for those same changes again, and that's not cool. If someone isn't respecting a decision you've already made, it's more than fair to put an end to an RP on such grounds. Whether that means they keep trying to persuade you to change your character's abilities or keep trying to push you into romances you don't want or anything else.

At the end of the day, you're entitled to decide what you will and won't change of your character just as any potential partner is entitled to set limits that might require changes. It's your choice whether you're willing to go along with what the other player wants.
I personally wouldn't change too much about a character, likely just a temporary nerf for story reasons or just because it wouldn't be fair flr the villain
♦ For every positive trait, just make sure to include a flaw. Even Superman had kryptonite, otherwise his stories wouldn't have been so compelling.

The flaw doesn't even have to be related to the power or positive trait, like if your OC is too strong maybe they also have a crippling phobia, or a fixated greed or impulse control issue. I like Will Smith's Hancock for this, too, because he was all-powerful and invincible, with all the social skills of an alcoholic, middle aged divorcee.

♦ The point in RP, I think, is to give the *story* the meeting ground it would need to progress. Can't have resolution without conflict, can't have conflict if your character is figuratively bullet-proof.

That all said, so long as your character description already informed your RP partner of their boundaries, gifts and flaws, no you are absolutely not compelled to change that character.

♦ I've run into the 'personality clash / romance stagnation' phenomena too. Sometimes it be like that tho, and usually just means the story needs to introduce a struggle for the characters to get through together, so they can warm up / evolve.

If the character in the romantic RP isn't all that into getting with someone else, either that's the challenge and needs to be explained, or else that OC oughter be retired to a different genre. :v
absolutely not. if sis is a murder hobo, sis stays a murder hobo. this is nonnegotiable
GigaBit wrote:
I'll elaborate on this:

So basically, you've got your character, you know them, and you love them the way they are. Then, when you finally try to RP with that character, your would-be partner asks you to change them for the RP, changing their powers to make them 'less overpowered' or changing their personality to fit a more romantic style.

I have been having these problems a bunch, especially with one specific character because of his powers being 'too overpowered,' which they aren't.

What do you guys think? Should we have to make major changes to our OCs to fit our partners' needs?

A very good, and very interesting, question. I'll give you two answers.

1. If this sort of thing is frustrating for you because it keeps happening and you don't like to alter anything, then start taking a firm stand. Start saying no. If they aren't happy with your super awesome character, then its their loss. Move on and RP with someone else.

2. If you love to compromise and make your Role-Playing partner happy, then by all means, keep making the necessary changes if this sort of thing doesn't bother you too much.

Everyone in this thread has given excellent advice. And my final parting advice is this: While you do want to make your RP buddy happy, you also want yourself to be happy as well. And if your not happy with making changes to your character, then your partner is the only one being happy and that's not fair to you. So, start by making sure your happy. Its your character, not theirs.
I wouldn't change my characters, personally. If they don't fit, they don't fit.

But, ultimately, if changing one of your characters to fit what your RP partner wants or is looking for works for you, that's the important thing.
I think it's my responsibility to bring a character that fits an rp. If it's a change to a trait that's not a essential aspect of my character, then it's not a problem. If it's a personality thing, I would work with my rp partner to see how the story arc can influence a change to my character's perspective, soften them up over time, etc. Or, I'd just make a new character that fits better.
silentruth wrote:
I think it's my responsibility to bring a character that fits an rp. If it's a change to a trait that's not a essential aspect of my character, then it's not a problem. If it's a personality thing, I would work with my rp partner to see how the story arc can influence a change to my character's perspective, soften them up over time, etc. Or, I'd just make a new character that fits better.

I'm like this too. I alter my characters for specific RPs all the time. There are things that are non-negotiable but I'm not averse to people asking, and I've even built some of my characters with the input of partners.

I come from tabletop gaming where collaboration during chargen is common and even expected though. We tend to build our characters around the world, whereas freeform RP seems to build a world around characters everyone independently made and just showed up with one day.

My advice to OP is, if you want your character played a certain way, make an ad. When replying to someone else's ad, you're supposedly interested in their prompt and willing to work with at least some of their limits, but the flipside is that in your own ad, you can state upfront what you do and do not want done with your character. At least, this is the way I've interpreted the social contract to work in both tabletop and freeform games.
There are a number of details I'll adjust about a character if I think the RP would be worth it, but it's usually pretty non-defining stuff. There's even some details that I just kind of auto-adjust on a per-RP basis, but generally this isn't changing the character so much as re-interpreting. This is things like incorporating them into a setting with different lands that have different names by either marking them a foreigner and assigning a reason why they're there or tweaking their background for that RP to say they're from one of the available places or such, so long as the points I consider important to their background can still function; filling in details I'd previously left vague; and power-scaling to fit the setting.

Power scale is one of the things that can definitely come up as an issue a lot. People have different ideas about what is and isn't reasonable, and that'll vary in different settings, too. I actually tend to be a bit vague on the specifics of what some of my characters can do (mostly because I'm lazy and resistant to just copying skills and spells out of a sourcebook even though that's pretty much why they exist), so I'll generally stick to keeping in mind how I want them to compare to the "norm" of the setting and what sort of flavoring I want them to have. Using magic as an example, I'll think about how potent I want them to be compared to the norm, how much effort it takes compared to the norm, how rounded they are compared to the norm, etc. I have characters who are supposed to have little sheer power, I have characters who are supposed to be overpowered in at least some aspects, and I have characters who should generally be keeping on par with the norm. I have characters who are weak, but clever enough to find ways around that weakness, putting them functionally on-par or even kinda overpowered (in ideal circumstances, which of course can't be relied on). I have characters who are stupidly powerful, but have a lot of limitations on their ability to ever use that power (emotional or mental state can be a good restricter plot-wise), and often that can leave them seeming under-powered. 'Course, things can only flex so far before more than just scaling would be going on.

I usually still try to stick to characters that already fit decently within a setting, though. And it's only for special cases that I'll make significant changes to a character, and that'll be on my own volition to suit a story, not just because it'd better fit some specific thing another person has in mind and that probably has a good chance of not working out the way they want anyway.
Personally, I'm fairly flexible on what I will change to make a character mesh better! Age, occupation, location, life stage, mortality, human/nonhuman, powers vs no powers, those are all fair game! They don't define my characters at the end of the day.

When it comes to changing their personality though, or even worse their appearance? That's a hard no. I've spoken with people who had the audacity to request that I make my fat characters skinny on more than one occasion, to the point that now on RP sites I have that refusal as a hard rule on my profiles. Either you want to play with my actual character, or you don't, and that's alright (but dear god don't tell people to make their characters skinnier, it's beyond rude).
I almost never plan/plot romances for this reason. I want it to happen organically, and if my character ends up clicking with someone, then that’s great. Imo, it’s more fun that way, anyway. I would personally never change aspects of my character’s personality to appease someone else.
I mean the only thing that would be changing for my character is their relationship status to null.
Why should you?

There's plenty of roleplayers out there who'd have characters that would fit the setting/plot your RP partner is looking for. Minor changes? Yeah, that's totally understandable- as long as those tiny tweaks stay true to your character, then no harm no foul!

But if someone's asking you to make major changes to your character just because it doesn't fit the setting THEY want? Well, that's too heckin' bad! You've established what your character is and what they're like; if they don't like what your character has to offer, then they can just look at another character, or find another RP partner entirely.

Your characters are great just the way they are, and nobody should make you change them. :D
You don't HAVE to. Roleplay isn't just about you, but about your partner too. You should be able to discuss and come up with some sort of agreement you'd both be happy with. Otherwise you need to part ways.

I've made some pretty big changes to my character before. I've changed their entire race, which meant a different set of powers. I did this because I wanted to do the story but my character didn't fit and I didn't want to create a new one just for that specific roleplay. I also didn't want to add them on discord (which would've been pretty helpful and I could have made a new character that way).

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