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Forums » RP Discussion » Character Compatibility and why it kinda matters

So I've had this idea in my head for a little bit now and it's just something that I tend to do during my roleplay sessions that may or may not help some of you. Regardless, I just wanna ramble about this because it's a cool concept in my opinion that could be utilized during roleplay.

This concept is called character compatibility and why it kinda matters. I'm going to split this post into several different parts:
- What is character compatibility?
- Why it matters in terms of character development
- Why it matters in terms of plot
- How it can help with personal enjoyment
- How to determine character compatibility.
- What to do if character compatibility flops.

Okay with that in mind let's just get into it.

What Is Character Compatability
Character compatibility doesn't exactly apply to how well characters get along, but rather how well they play off of each other. It can be used to see how well characters will get along if your plot is a plot where the muses are on good terms but it doesn't solely apply to that. It can help you understand how well dialogue is going to flow and the characters' overall disposition towards each other. This is commonly why in most cases "opposites attract" although the characters may not always get along, the characters have good chemistry that keeps the conversation from hitting a dead end. Characters with similar personalities may get along but the dialogue can fall flat fast depending on the situation, making the roleplay dull. Even if the characters are not on good terms/will not be on good terms this idea can still be used no matter the roleplay

Impact On Character Development
Good character compatibility can lead to amazing character development! This is because the characters play off of each other in a way that kind of?? Challenges the both of them in a way so to speak. Characters with good compatibility will create a tight-knit bond or make a pretty nasty rivalry that's not only interesting but believable. A relationship between two characters, whether good or bad will affect a character throughout the plot of your roleplay. If you're someone who really values great character development throughout a game this tool will help you immensely since this will help you attempt to determine if you and your partners' characters will play off of each other in a way that will help your character (as well as theirs) grow as a character, create meaningful bonds, find flaws within your character you may not have been aware of, as well as many other things.

How it Helps Plot
In a nutshell, good character compatibility helps keep the plot moving, when characters play off of each other well more ideas can occur, and characters will do things that the other won't expect which provides the plot with a new situation to work with. Subplots can even pop up if you and your partner are feeling up for that. Good character compatibility can prevent slow points in the plot where your characters seem to be sitting around doing nothing of particular importance by having an engaging conversation, keeping you as well as your partner, immersed in the scene.

Personal Enjoyment
As stated before, good character compatibility can keep you and your partner immersed in the plot and can help with personal enjoyment. I'd think it's safe to assume that nobody likes it when you hit a point in the plot where things seem painfully slow and when the plot feels as dull as a rusty nail. Right? Right. This could just be fixed with a time skip but if you find yourself time-skipping more often than roleplaying this could be the result of bad character compatibility. Characters with good compatibility will keep both you and your partner immersed in the plot as well as immersed in one another's character's personalities, backstories, and goals.

How to determine Character compatibility?
Determining character compatibility is easier than one may think both you and your partner have even the slightest thing written down in the personality section of your character bios. Simply ask yourself, "How would my character act towards this kind of character" and usually you'll get your answer right off the bat. If you can't get an exact answer or feel indifferent then the character compatibility may not be there. Fear not though, not all hope is lost, this could just be because your partner (or you, it's okay, it happens to the best of us) didn't exactly go in-depth when describing the personality of the character. If you ask your partner about their character, they might tell you something you didn't know and might like. If you haven't thought much about your character's personality, then try using what you know about your character as a baseline, after that you can build up from there to get a decent idea of how your character will perceive theirs.

What to do if compatibility flops
So you may have overshot the compatibility between you and your partner's character, whether it be the plot feels dull or the fact that communication between your two characters feels awkward and forced. You can try to drop hints in character by making your character behave in a way to try and get things moving again but that might not always work and at worse, could cause conflict. There is a way to fix this and unfortunately, it requires OOC communication between you and your partner. If it's an issue with a dull plot, tell your partner (however way you feel appropriate) that you feel the plot is dull because your characters don't seem to be doing anything. If it's something else, talk it out with your partner, see what's going wrong, and fix it. If in the end, all hope seems to be lost, you can try one last thing before abandoning ship, stop the game and suggest starting the plot over (or trying a different plot) with different characters. if that doesn't seem to work and you don't feel like trying again, you may have to drop the roleplay and move onto the next (let your partner know though.). Keep in mind though that this may not be the fault of your partner. Make sure to be aware of how your character acted during the rp as well and think about what you could have done differently if anything.
But, sometimes it just could be a simple fact that some characters can't click, and that's okay.

Oof, if you managed to stick around this long, thanks for the read. If you don't feel like using this in your own rp that's fine, I just wanted to get this idea off my chest and throw it out there. Hopefully, it was entertaining at least.

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