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I'm curious why you might play your characters anonymously. Especially for RPs on this site.

I have one PC in anon because I use the page as a character journal for non-RPR game.

Don't you want your rp partners to get used to your style? Explore other games if it's a good fit? Avoid future rps if it's a bad one? Get a sense of your preferences before you start?

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I don't play anonymously much anymore. Actually I don't think any of my characters are anonymous anymore. But I think it was just to disconnect my username from characters. You know now I think about it seemed rather silly.
Also when I was testing out a new character I would put them anonymous for a while but usually always unhide them later. I don't really use anonymous anymore though.
I haven't, but I think a reason I might is if I wanted to play a gen or low-stakes character in all-ages games. Seems like then all my user info would be just plain irrelevant.

To circumvent the character isolation, could just link other anon charas by association in the chara profiles. That way you keep a writing 'brand' without attaching your user account.

I've been shy enough to use similar anon tactics in other galleries and forums, falling into that young artist's trap of wanting my work to speak for itself. But then I learned about branding, and how important it is for audiences to see the fellow human being behind their media entertainment, like that that's the whole point of our connection / draw to storytelling.
I know who's playing my character and the rest is up to my partners, of whom all I ask is they aren't nuts.

For more answers there was a similar thread a few months back: https://www.rprepository.com/community/forums/topic/100204
silentruth Topic Starter

sland wrote:
I know who's playing my character and the rest is up to my partners, of whom all I ask is they aren't nuts.

For more answers there was a similar thread a few months back: https://www.rprepository.com/community/forums/topic/100204
Thanks! I'm new to the site, so thanks for the link. Fascinating read, and I'm not sure how I missed the thread!

Also lol I'm not sure how I managed to forget the very obvious NSFW side of rp, in which playing in anonymous is obvious, I guess.
Welcome. To be clear, it for sure doesn't bother anyone here to start a fresh thread, and we're pretty bad with the subforums so we often have multiples active at once, see also ghosting.

Speaking of 'on this site' it is worth mentioning RPR started as (and in many ways still is) a warehouse for certain offsite communities, so a ton of 'active' anons are people carrying over anonymity from elsewhere and we won't ever see them.
sland wrote:
RPR started as (and in many ways still is) a warehouse for certain offsite communities, so a ton of 'active' anons are people carrying over anonymity from elsewhere and we won't ever see them.

THAT IS SO COOL ARE YOU KIDDING
As someone active on RPR for a near decade and has over 130 character pages, a lot of the features that we treasure are new to me - draft mode being one of them.
So I’ve got a few that are anon because they’re still being built, abandoned/unfinished, yet I can’t be bothered to delete or revive.
I also have a ton of retired characters that have a lot of history I don’t want to lose…but I don’t want them to be attached to my name as a current OC of mine.

Sometimes I don’t know if I’m going to play a character long term and want to be able to disconnect if I don’t vibe with the muse after building (I like to create just to create sometimes, not always use for RP) and not have ties in that case.

I also want my character to speak for themselves, sometimes; even if it’s very likely that those who write with me regularly can recognize my style immediately, not having my name attached to influence opinions is nice!

Lastly, like I said: 130 character pages. That can be intimidating or off putting to someone glancing at my player profile and I want to avoid the clutter, even if I do use the sorting categories and have one for “High Muse” of those I want to write the most. 😅
silentruth wrote:
Also lol I'm not sure how I managed to forget the very obvious NSFW side of rp, in which playing in anonymous is obvious, I guess.
Seems like you might be surprised, then, that we also have a lot of people who refuse to do NSFW with anons (though this may be less of an issue since the new "verified adult" feature extends to a person's anons for more straightforward confirmation). Some folks refuse to play with anons at all.

I posted something about playing anons in the thread you were linked to, so I won't go into detail, but some people just feel more comfortable using anons for various reasons. For me, it's part vague comfort, and one case where it's basically just for organizational purposes. In certain contexts, I'm even willing to reveal who some of my anons are, but I usually prefer to avoid that.

----
intrusive_plots wrote:
sland wrote:
RPR started as (and in many ways still is) a warehouse for certain offsite communities, so a ton of 'active' anons are people carrying over anonymity from elsewhere and we won't ever see them.

THAT IS SO COOL ARE YOU KIDDING

Your level of excitement makes me wonder if you might be thinking something a little different from the reality. o.O It started out as a place to keep character sheets for people who played on other sites, mostly Furcadia, because Kim was dissatisfied with the available options.
Zelphyr wrote:
sland wrote:
RPR started as (and in many ways still is) a warehouse for certain offsite communities, so a ton of 'active' anons are people carrying over anonymity from elsewhere and we won't ever see them.
intrusive_plots wrote:
THAT IS SO COOL ARE YOU KIDDING

Your level of excitement makes me wonder if you might be thinking something a little different from the reality. o.O It started out as a place to keep character sheets for people who played on other sites, mostly Furcadia, because Kim was dissatisfied with the available options.

Nope, that is exactly as cool as I'm thinking.

I love infrastructure, like not even a little bit ironically; and i ESPECIALLY LOVE ANTHROPOLOGICAL REVEALS for subculture histories and the support / impact free-use internet communities have had and will continue to have on the inertia of cultural evolution.

I legit found RPR on a rec list for roleplay forums, I completely did not expect anything more complex than a php board.
konnie wrote:
As someone active on RPR for a near decade and has over 130 character pages, a lot of the features that we treasure are new to me - draft mode being one of them.
So I’ve got a few that are anon because they’re still being built, abandoned/unfinished, yet I can’t be bothered to delete or revive.
I also have a ton of retired characters that have a lot of history I don’t want to lose…but I don’t want them to be attached to my name as a current OC of mine.

archival use is such a good idea, though, wow.

all i have is the paper file kind of character archive for tabeltop charas; and i noticed that RPR offers a 'download this character' option for our own backups, too.
silentruth Topic Starter

konnie wrote:
As someone active on RPR for a near decade and has over 130 character pages, a lot of the features that we treasure are new to me - draft mode being one of them.
So I’ve got a few that are anon because they’re still being built, abandoned/unfinished, yet I can’t be bothered to delete or revive.
I also have a ton of retired characters that have a lot of history I don’t want to lose…but I don’t want them to be attached to my name as a current OC of mine.

Sometimes I don’t know if I’m going to play a character long term and want to be able to disconnect if I don’t vibe with the muse after building (I like to create just to create sometimes, not always use for RP) and not have ties in that case.

I also want my character to speak for themselves, sometimes; even if it’s very likely that those who write with me regularly can recognize my style immediately, not having my name attached to influence opinions is nice!

Lastly, like I said: 130 character pages. That can be intimidating or off putting to someone glancing at my player profile and I want to avoid the clutter, even if I do use the sorting categories and have one for “High Muse” of those I want to write the most. 😅
Yes, totally understand the archival function there. Suppose my ask was focused on the fact that most of the Looking for RP ads are anon characters, so they're obviously using it for rp.

The whole 'let my character speak for themselves' bit - It totally makes sense. In my short time on the site, most users I've RP'd with are obviously a lot more literary and in this for the writing. Coming in from TTRPG, I was just looking for a way to play that is less mechanically focused, and take a little more time exploring motivations, etc. It's impressive, and definitely a motivator to improve my own writing.

Also - 130 characters?! Damn..
Zelphyr wrote:
Seems like you might be surprised, then, that we also have a lot of people who refuse to do NSFW with anons (though this may be less of an issue since the new "verified adult" feature extends to a person's anons for more straightforward confirmation). Some folks refuse to play with anons at all.

I posted something about playing anons in the thread you were linked to, so I won't go into detail, but some people just feel more comfortable using anons for various reasons. For me, it's part vague comfort, and one case where it's basically just for organizational purposes. In certain contexts, I'm even willing to reveal who some of my anons are, but I usually prefer to avoid that.

Ah, I have zero exposure to the NSFW side of things here, but that also makes a lot of sense. lol

Yes, I saw your post in the other link - great points. I liked what you said about being able to explore unfamiliar and newer types of characters without embarrassing yourself. I'm used to playing 'heroes', because TTRPGs always need someone that will do the plot and take on the big bad - so it's hard to break out of that. I can totally see trying out more variety of characters, in different settings, etc. and not feel like I'm making a reputation of being clueless in a sci fi setting because it's literally my first time playing in it.
intrusive_plots wrote:
Nope, that is exactly as cool as I'm thinking.

I love infrastructure, like not even a little bit ironically; and i ESPECIALLY LOVE ANTHROPOLOGICAL REVEALS for subculture histories and the support / impact free-use internet communities have had and will continue to have on the inertia of cultural evolution.

I legit found RPR on a rec list for roleplay forums, I completely did not expect anything more complex than a php board.
lol yes, this site has LORE, and I'm also here for it.
Echoing some of konnie's reasonings (although my list is but a smol fraction of that xD) - my anon ones are generally for archival purposes, characters i no longer actively play. I still want a place to store their info and an easy way to reference something about them if i need to. don't wanna clutter up my character list with the ones i'm not active on!

it also gives me a chance to test the waters on a new character i may not be all too certain about. maybe i like it, but if i don't get much RP with it then i'm likely not gonna keep it around, and I'd rather not be associated with a failed attempt like that lol

I know some who do it purely for aesthetic reasons on their character styles, too.

but, yeah, in my couple of decades on Furcadia, there are people who have never and probably will never reveal much about themselves. it's actually a far more recent thing in my experience to be known as the player and not simply the character. 20 years ago you wouldn't have called me moki, it'd be [character]-mun. i'm sure a handful of other Olds remember those days
silentruth wrote:
Also lol I'm not sure how I managed to forget the very obvious NSFW side of rp, in which playing in anonymous is obvious, I guess.

feels backwards, though, because a nsfw character is more likely to get filtered out / blocked by preference, and that puts a soft block on the user profile who writes for that anon character.

so if i just blocked a nsfw anon character for whatever reason, for lack of writer age verification or just as a matter of squick, then the user account behind that anon is now 'softblocked', and i don't have any way of telling who -- which means i could have accidentally blocked a user i otherwise wouldn't have.

if the nsfw character profile had a username attached, i could easily see if the writer is the age group i'm comfortable with, and if they have any other kind of character build or story preferences (beyond their singularly focused fetish stuff) with which i'd want to be able to engage.

not for nothing that the internet is already its own wall of anonymity, hiding NSFW characters behind anything more severe than a content warning page just seems counter-intuitive. whatever our shyness or discomforts or personal identity issues involved in anonning for explicit roleplay, there IS another PERSON on the other side of the roleplay thread, and that person deserves transparency.

anyway, i really hope the character i just blocked is an off-site anon import and not someone i'm in the middle of talking with, because i'll still be able to message the user but they won't be able to reply. 8T

so if that ever happens to anyone, you just got a random block from someone you're otherwise getting along with, it miiiight be because they wanted to filter one of your anon charas and didn't know that was you. 8Tc
silentruth Topic Starter

intrusive_plots wrote:
not for nothing that the internet is already its own wall of anonymity, hiding NSFW characters behind anything more severe than a content warning page just seems counter-intuitive. whatever our shyness or discomforts or personal identity issues involved in anonning for explicit roleplay, there IS another PERSON on the other side of the roleplay thread, and that person deserves transparency.

That's exactly my confusion about the whole thing. Regardless of the content of my rps...What information I have in my profile is completely in my control, and plenty of active users have nothing more than an age and gender, if even. Even that level of detail makes me more likely to engage. And still, no one here actually knows anything about me regardless of what I put in my profile..

I can also see how someone with some NSFW characters on their profile might get passed over for some non-nsfw rps based on some preconceived notions held by the other person.. in which case.. do you want to play with them anyway? Lol sorry that sounds judgy..Nah, I stand by it - if you have some smutty monster girls on your profile, but feel like doing some medieval horror and be big goddamn heroes, we ball as long as you respect my boundaries
silentruth wrote:
if you have some smutty monster girls on your profile, but feel like doing some medieval horror and be big goddamn heroes, we ball as long as you respect my boundaries

YAAAS

i treat characters like actors, they can show up in several different genres, and some, to me, are built specifically 'type-cast' into certain roles. doesn't mean they're going to show up in, say, a SFW storyline and start creepin. :\

... you know it was a monster girl i blocked too now i kinda wanna unblock BUT, IS THAT THE COST OF ANONNING? to sort of hang this uncertainty over other writers' heads that hey, just give this chara a chance, could be written by someone you know and like -- idk that's just supposition on my part, but still. shady =_=

anonning nsfw characters is going to have an affect on how other users engage with our user profiles either way, so it just doesn't seem worth it.

anonning SFW characters feels, to me, like the easier option. SFW and all-ages roleplays don't need age verification, and it's a different avenue of drawing a line between SFW and NSFW character profiles, in the case you'd like to refrain from representing NSFW content from the seat of largely SFW presence on RPR (like keeping minors in mind, and understanding that minors lie and get into adult spaces they oughtn't).

i just wouldn't autoblock an anon SFW character posting on LFRP adults, is awlmsayan. and even if i did, it'd be over concrete issues like ... idk actually i've never had reason to do that lmao
intrusive_plots wrote:
feels backwards, though, because a nsfw character is more likely to get filtered out / blocked by preference, and that puts a soft block on the user profile who writes for that anon character.
intrusive_plots wrote:
so if i just blocked a nsfw anon character for whatever reason, for lack of writer age verification or just as a matter of squick, then the user account behind that anon is now 'softblocked', and i don't have any way of telling who -- which means i could have accidentally blocked a user i otherwise wouldn't have.

if the nsfw character profile had a username attached, i could easily see if the writer is the age group i'm comfortable with, and if they have any other kind of character build or story preferences (beyond their singularly focused fetish stuff) with which i'd want to be able to engage.

not for nothing that the internet is already its own wall of anonymity, hiding NSFW characters behind anything more severe than a content warning page just seems counter-intuitive. whatever our shyness or discomforts or personal identity issues involved in anonning for explicit roleplay, there IS another PERSON on the other side of the roleplay thread, and that person deserves transparency.

With the logic you're applying to it, sure. But the logic more likely to be used by the person anon-ing their character is to base it on which they are more comfortable being associated with personally, as the player. People tend to be more shy about NSFW stuff, especially if various kinks are involved. And that's a valid thing. People can't just turn off being shy about stuff like that, or worrying about people who may actually be more likely to block them if they can see more info (such as blocking a person upon seeing they have an NSFW that the blocker would not have otherwise ever seen or given any attention to, or blocking someone because assumptions get made about them having both sexual characters and, separately on their account, child characters).

(Quick side note: For clarity, "NSFW" does NOT inherently mean "sexual." Hence me specifying there real quick.)

I just figure it's natural to assume someone with an anon has plenty of other characters (especially since a number of awesome people here actually have tons of anons hidden away, in many cases maintaining no public characters at all) and that blocking is unnecessary unless the person is harassing. If they aren't bothering me and are just existing, it's simple enough to just ignore them without adding pre-emptive barriers. That's my own POV, anyway. Opting to be more proactive is certainly valid, and I understand that it helps a lot of people to feel more safe.

As for the age thing, if the player is a verified adult, that'll show up on anon characters, too. If they're registered to the site as an adult, but not verified (and I'm assuming you don't trust them to be honest in that moment, or at least want some extra assurance), you can use the former method of asking them to post in the Adult LFRP area, as players registered as minors cannot access that area. So if you trust people to input their correct birthdate when they register (and it can't be changed without contacting Kim), then posting in the Adult area is equally valid to check an anon. If you only trust verified adults, that confirmation can be checked by clicking the "Info" link at the top of an anon character's page (by Home and +Connect). To see an example of the latter, here's the profile of one of my anon's that I am pretty open about: https://www.rprepository.com/character-site/1447890

I don't know what you mean by "soft block?" You make it sound like if you block an anon, the rest of that player's account would somehow be "less" blocked than that character. Am I misunderstanding?

I also want to come back to "whatever our shyness or discomforts or personal identity issues involved in anonning for explicit roleplay, there IS another PERSON on the other side of the roleplay thread, and that person deserves transparency." What do you mean by this? It sounds like you disprove of anons as a whole. It's certainly reasonable to want some degree of proof about if a person is 18+ and to not have to deal with people you already blocked trying to sneak around; but beyond that, all parties involved are also entitled to privacy (and I'd argue that in an optional hobby context like this, that privacy even trumps transparency). If the parties involved don't all feel comfortable, any and all of them have the right to just say "no" to proceeding.
Zelphyr wrote:
Quick side note: For clarity, "NSFW" does NOT inherently mean "sexual." Hence me specifying there real quick.

yup. i have a thing about violence. basically anything that wouldn't be appropriate in a professional space (like the workplace), like sexual OR graphic things. Not Safe For Work.

I do feel we are addressing two separate issues, here.

First, of all, the softblock (an anon character, you don't know which user you're blocking) vs the hard block (a user profile you have seen and read, content and characters you definitely don't want to see on ur screen): a separate thread around here somewhere states that blocking an anon character still lets you see/message the USER, they just can't respond. This is to prevent 'trial and error' hunting down of anon charas user profiles.

I don't have any problem with any of that, I just know I wasn't aware of the full mechanics behind blocking a character whose content I wanted to never have to see. I assumed blocking an anon character would only block that character -- but it does not. It also half blocks the user, which is not at all an emergency -- only kind of a shame.

Second, the concept of consent -- ESPECIALLY FOR SMUTTWRITING, SHEESH. That's not just an age verification thing, that's a transparency issue. Honesty and communication is the foundation of consent, and anonymous characters start off on the wrong foot for that. Like I said, the internet is its own anonymity. (and as stated above, again, mooost of the anon profiles are simply outro site, so like...?? it's fine?? blocking that chara really only does block that character. bim bam.)

Anons for explicit stuff start off on the wrong foot: RPR's one-profile-only rule is an EXCELLENT tool for accountability and user protection, BECAUSE it allows us Agency of Choice in which PERSON (the user behind the character profiles) we want to engage with.

A block on an RPR user profile can mean anything from "I don't like their style of profile pic / faceclaim" to "their writing isn't my vibe" to "conflict of generations" or even just "hey this person is kinda cranky in the forums i don't wanna risk the stress of having to deal with them". Like, seriously, whatever the reason, nobody's business. There is no 'bad' reason to draw a boundary or cultivate your online experience with a minmax for fun.

MY view, personally, me, to myself and I, is that it makes LESS SENSE to go anon on the sexy / graphic / NSFW stuff, because anon *does not hide that content from anyone* who wasn't already qualified to see it.

it's not a call to action or a demand that ppl change their nonning habits or w/e, i just think it's a backwards logic to anon nsfw bcos ur user profile is getting blocked either way, ANNND all the content / access safeguards are still up if the character is anon or not.

If I were to go anon, it'd be for a sfw character running gen with all ages spaces, because i absolutely do understand maintaining that boundary of representation / exposure to an all-ages playing audience.

just feels flippy flopped the other way around, the trend here of it being nsfw characters obscured behind anon (again again, probably only because those are outro-site users).

Third, let's talk about risk


Listen. I want to know the level of risk going into any situation, and it's just a fact of the human psyche that more intimate or stressful scenarios such as those found in nsfw content are going to hold greater risk than that found in SFW content.

All-Ages roleplays are GRADED for all-ages, and there's a level of ease there in the understanding that I'm less likely to catch the attention of a problem player. Less, not zero. I've been roleplaying in public and private spaces for YEARS. i have a system, lmao. i know the flags. i'm not shy of anons, we're all anons here to whatever degree.

But. in NSFW and explicit content, there are MINEFIELDS. stuff i love, stuff i don't love, stuff i can easily ignore, and sometimes stuff that makes me want to walk into the ocean and wait for the inevitable heat-death of the universe, you know. minefield stuff.

stuff like that is inevitable in adult media. hell, it's inevitable even in regular published written books. can't read a modern fantasy nowadays without exposure to grit and grim and utter squick (ask me sometime bout how i wish books had TW like cereal has ingredients, go on ask).

it is considerably more RISK, to navigate adult media than it is to navigate all-ages and under ages / minors media. lookit the stephen universe fandom and tell me they're not my entire generation, because us olds know what's a comfy wholesome canon too.

And you know? RPR handles that risk assessment and decision-making for roleplay BEAUTIFULLY. I only want users to know what gravity their anons might hold, if they are nonning specifically out of 'shame'.

Like, look, if the thing you're doing is going to make you feel bad about yourself, or even just bad about your username representation, then maybe don't do that thing! If you want to be in an adult webspace writing and discussing adult things, it shouldn't stress you out to the point you gotta layer on the anon about it.

And, if you're anonning because you want to 'hide' the fact that you, the user, are interested in explicit thing X Y Z, thaaat's not going to help the way we might assume. all access to explicit thing x y z is still there, all safeguards from it are still there, you'll still get the same block and exclusion you fear, and that's still not an emergency -- it only tells me that some anon somewhere has shame issues that i'm not getting paid to help them resolve.

(or, again, that it's just an outro-site user whose chara registration came from a different place BECAUSE THAT IS SO DAMN COOL)

3.5-ly, the RISK of posting a nsfw character with explicitly squicky content *still opens you up to the same hounding / abuse* you might be trying to dodge anyway. i'm a major advocate for 'don't yuck someone else's yum", but nonning isn't going to stop dreadful messages aimed at that character, we still risk the same amount of backlash, the same chance for opening up a message to some awful harassment, like...? and in the end, it's the same useraccount getting blocked / excluded, whether they knew your username or not.
I have some anonymous characters.

I prefer first impressions regarding 'Do I want to role-play with this character?' to be based on the character, rather than me.

I am generally not alarmingly private regarding my profile. If someone wants to know who I am as a player because they've been burned by anonymous characters before, they can ask to see my profile. I feel that this is a decent midway point between 'I have this character listed as anonymous' and 'I want to know who the player is'.

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