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Forums » RP Discussion » Preferences on Suspension of Disbelief in RP

Hey there, I have been thinking a lot about this topic, and I started to wonder what others might think about it too!

Suspension of Disbelief is a term often used in the context of movies and literature, where the audience is expected to accept unrealistic or fantastical elements for the sake of enjoyment. In the context of RP, the players making the adventure are also the ones consuming it. It's us who decide how far we're willing to stretch this suspension of disbelief. Do you enjoy scenarios that stick closely to reality, or do you prefer more fantastical elements, even if they defy the laws of physics or established norms?

Personally, my preference on the matter fully depends on the RP. I've always been more focused on continuity than making sure things were accurate to reality. So here's my question. What do you like in your Role-Playing (RP) experiences, and how do you feel about the concept of 'suspension of disbelief' in your role-playing adventures?
I can suspend my disbelief easily if a roleplay stays consistent. One of the few times I feel myself disconnected is if the fantasy element is seemingly boundless, with an overpowered character, and little consequence to the actions of that character. Even fantasy genres have rules. And I think rules set in place are a lot of fun to work around, a good challenge. And I think all genres can benefit from this. It's easier to set rules in a sci fi, paranormal, or a realistic setting. I also find myself believing them more. Fantasy is almost too big. It can pose some difficulty knowing where to draw a line. Another big one for me is if out-of-character behavior is bled into in-character situations. That suspension of disbelief is gone. Great question!
Personally I don't have a particular preference between 'too close' or 'far away' from reality in my own characters and worlds. I spent a ton of time RPing in a medieval fantasy setting (shout-out to my Dragonlands fam!) and more recently in slice-of-life modern setting (shout-out to my Excessive 80s fam!) and I am happy to flex anywhere along the spectrum as needed.

One thing I've heard said that has really stuck with me over the years, whether it be consuming fiction or creating it is:

"Audiences can believe the impossible, they won't believe the improbable."

And I find that to be VERY true for me, to the point that the improbable can sometimes break my immersion when watching movies, shows, etc. I think my suspension of disbelief is stronger with RP though, generally because we're all just out here to have fun and we're not some big budget blockbuster, so things not making sense sometimes is fine by me. Like you said @Kruhee, continuity ends up taking the front seat instead.

To add to what you mentioned as well @Ave, I do like there to be 'rules' to make things feel a little grounded and give them substance. Even when a character is seemingly god-like there are still well written ways to execute that without making it seem wanton and weightless. 'Rules' and 'Fantasy' sound like polar opposites on paper but a rule can also be inherently fantastical and fun to bend or even break as needed.

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