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Forums > RP Discussion > Anonymous or No?

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I've been thinking about making a number of my characters anonymous for awhile now, just to separate myself from them a little better, but having them tied to me for so long now makes it seem rather silly. Plus it seems like it could make setting games up a little trickier, as others wouldn't be able to go through my characters so easily to see if they spot any good pairings. But... my brain keeps insisting that the extra separation from me would be beneficial, keeping me more out of the way of how my characters are perceived.

Anyone have any thoughts on this? The way I'd keep using them, it seems like it'd be a flimsy separation at best...

If keeping them anonymous helps you play them, you could always test it out with a few of your characters. Fortunately the anonymous button is easy to click (or unclick) if you decide to try it out.

As for making it easier for others to RP pairings with you--either you could post the list of characters in your profile or you could tell said person whether you have a character that would best match theirs.

Really, it all comes down to player preference. If anonymous characters will help you play them better, than go for it. At the very least, it can't hurt to try it out. :P

I was going to start a thread about Anonymous characters but decided to do a search first. Glad I did. Novalyyn's original post over 4 years ago asks some good questions and makes some good observations.

The reason I want to bring this up was a couple weeks ago I had someone withdraw from an RP because the character I was using was anonymous. Never mind I told the other person who was writing the character, they weren't going to write with an anon and wanted me to make the character public. Trouble was they didn't bring this up initially in the planning stage, but waited until the third post of the RP. Why it became an issue all of a sudden, I do not know. The RP ended.

I then had a second incident a short time later where comments were made about people who useanonymous characters. In this case my friend and I worked out our differences and moved forward.

The fact there is an option to use anonymous characters exists on this site, it must be seen as a valid alternative. So I ask here the questions of all the fair citizens of RP Repository:

• What is the reason for the writer to want to have a character Anonymous?
• What are the reasons someone will not write RP with a co-writer's anonymous character?
• What are the pros of writing with an anonymous character vs a character tied to one's account name.
• What are the cons of writing with an anonymous character vs a character tied to one's account name.

This is open to other questions on the topic and I hope to see the viewpoints of many.

Thank you to Novalyyn for this thread, and hope you don't mind me bringing it back up out of the depths.

In my opinion, it's a-ok. Because someone can always block an anon, right? And the mods can know who's characters they are, right? And it's fun.

*shrugs* Necro threads can be relevant once in awhile. XD Good lord I forgot this existed.

So! Some stuff I've learned (and stuff I may or may not have known back then):

  • Some folks get nervous about playing with anons because they've had bad experiences with their anon partner vanishing into the ether, completely impossible to track down to find out what happened.
  • Some folks also feel that anons are more likely to ghost than those with player names attached.
  • Some folks worry a minor may use an anon to seek smut.
  • Some people are just generally uncomfortable with not knowing the identity of someone they're interacting with. There are people here would would probably love a way to prevent anons from contacting them because it just makes them really uncomfortable, sometimes without a clear reason. Blocking an anon blocks the player entirely though.
  • Having anon characters can be a useful way to allow normal friend tracking for player posts while avoiding the feeling of being watched with character posts - which can be scary if you're stuck on one RP but really excited to try a completely different idea.
  • Some folks use anons for smut because they don't feel comfortable being associated with such things personally, but still want to explore it.
  • Some folks use anons because they're just shy and it feels like a security blanket.
  • Some folks just want to be cool and mysterious.
  • Mods do not know which anons belong to who. Even Kim can't tell without a significant effort, which she keeps to preserve privacy unless an extreme case requires looking into it.

None of my characters are anyomous. Plus the 20+ teenagers I caught on this website were all anyomous characters.They all wanted smut. One girl was 14 years old.

I keep almost all my characters anon. I’ve had trouble in the past with people deciding to forcibly try and connect to all of my characters even when I want to keep them separate. I’m usually quite open about who I am playing, but I also don’t always like to share all my characters.

That said if someone asks directly I’ll tell them if I play x or y.

As for the adult issue, I only rp with people who either message me from The adults only lfrp or I find over there. Alternatively if they message me from their main account where their age is listed.

On top of that I am incredibly picky about what I play and with who and where. I personally don’t rp smut with anyone except two people currently.

What is the reason for the writer to want to have a character Anonymous?
As a former moderator of RPR, I started making most of my characters anonymous because a lot of people felt intimidated by my role on the site and were too nervous to approach me about a potential RP. As anonymous characters, these same people had no idea and felt more comfortable RPing with me.

I've also had a lot of bad experiences where, when I turned people down for RP, they threw fits and got upset, which meant they were mad at me and every character on my account if my name was tied to it. Being anonymous gives me an additional layer of protection from people who don't take rejection well, or who get kind of obsessed with blurring the lines between IC and OOC.

What are the reasons someone will not write RP with a co-writer's anonymous character?
It can be hard to verify someone's age. This is why I typically try to post and only look on the LFRP-AO forum and reject RP requests from inboxed anonymous characters unless they can show me a post in the AO forum.

What are the pros of writing with an anonymous character vs a character tied to one's account name.
I honestly think being anonymous protects you more.

What are the cons of writing with an anonymous character vs a character tied to one's account name.
You're anonymous, so it can be harder to connect to the other player on a personal level without revealing your identity. It also makes it more difficult to age check, although being anonymous doesn't really do much other than hide the main account - a minor can still use a fake birthday. (Always verify age before starting a roleplay!)

What are the reasons someone will not write RP with a co-writer's anonymous character?


I personally don't RP with anonymous characters unless I already know the writer. of course. I used to have a lot of anon characters, and RP with anon characters of whom I didn't know was writing them; and it just wasn't for me. After spending about a year and a half mainly rping with non-anon characters, and comparing it to before, I like it much better.

For me personally, I need to know the person behind the character. It makes me uncomfortable not to. I feel safer if I do. Which sounds...weird I realize, but that is just how it works for me. I am friends with my co-writers. I am uncomfortable only being someones co-writer and not also communicating OOC and I noticed often times with anon character the co-writer was not interested in much OOC chat at all. Which is their prerogative, but it wasn't working for me.

OOC chat is how I seperate the RP and RL. Knowing the person I am writing with makes me feel safe and comfortable. Anon characters whose writers barely talk to me, make me anxious and uncomfortable. I am a very friendly person, and I'm not here just to write and be quiet; I have realized in my time here that I am here to write and make writer-friends, and I have. :)

Not to mention, I like knowing the person I am RPing with because I generally don't rp with bunches of different people. I had 18 rps in the summer, a little less now, but I was/am only rping with five or six people; I just have multiple rps with the same writers; because we realized we click as writers, so we tend to stick together. This just isn't really possible with anon characters of whom I don't know who is writing.

I will make the occasional exception, I made one recently, I am rping with one anon character - and I do know the writer, information about said writer, and they talk OOC, but they just don't give me their account name. I'm not 100% okay with it, it's still strange for me, but I made said exception because I was very interested in their character. I don't plan on making another anon-exception though anytime soon.

I've been very long winded with this, but I just wanted to share my thoughts.

There's nothing wrong with having anon characters; I realize that I am probably in the minority of people who feel more comfortable and safe with non-anon characters. Many people have anon characters because that makes them feel safe, which is completely valid - it just isn't the same for me personally.

I can't even have anon characters at this point haha. I will make my characters anon sometimes while I am creating them, but because I have such a specific character page layout system and very specific voice in my LFRP posts, the several times I have posted with characters before unchecking the anon box, people have messaged me saying they know that I am damnationfromafar because of the how the characters page is laid out, that they recognize my writing on the page and my writing in the LFRP post.

I'm fine with this; being anon isn't my thing and it's kind of flattering that my characters and me are so well known it seems.

If you're wondering how exactly I don't RP with anon characters; well first of all I usually 99.8% of the time don't ask people what their account is or ask them to not be anon. The only time I've ever asked is if I've made an exceptions but I really really want to be able to leave a kudos and we've been rping for a while. Even then I try to be as casual as possible and no pressure. I will also sometimes if I see a anon character that I think is someone I already know, message them to ask them - because I've gotten that as well like I stated above.

Otherwise, when I get an anon character messaging me I usually simply say I'm not interested in their character, I'm no longer looking for players, or that I'm just not interested - but I don't say 'I don't rp with anons' because I feel like that would be rude, and that's not even remotely my intention. I do like I said give exceptions, if a character is very well made and I'm very interested - but often time in the case where a character is very well made and catches my eye and I say yes to RP with said anon character, that character is made not anon very quickly after the RP starts without me even asking.

I haven't had that happen in quite a while though - and I don't want to assume anything; but since I changed my account to not allow minors to message me, I have gotten way less anon inquires. Which...makes me mildly uncomfortable is also why I'm not going to RP with anons, even though I have the filter turned on so minors can't message me. It still makes me nervous.



What is the reason for the writer to want to have a character Anonymous?


For me personally when I used to make anon characters it was either because I had a character whose romance was going to have specific adult content involved in it, and I wasn't yet comfortable airing publically that yes several of my characters tend to be into D/S stuff for example. I was nervous about being judged, or accused of nefarious intentions; and I'm demisexual, so that's also literally impossible for me, but also very hurtful to be accused of something like that.

Another reason I had anon characters was because I was still too nervous at that point to end RPs if I didn't want to do it anymore or didn't like it; so I would tend to just never reply again, but then could still be in the LFRP forum without having the anxiety of them knowing who I was exactly - which has changed since then. I have gotten a lot better at ending rps, or just communicating with someone now. (another reason I am not anon anymore because I feel it forces me to take more responsibility to avoid broken friendships and a bad reputation, therefore if I want to end something I have to tell them.)



What are the pros?


The only pro I personally felt to having anon characters was being able to stop replying and not feel as guilty - which is unfortunately also a con tbh.



What are the cons?


RPing with anon characters means I can't connect to someone as friends like I prefer usually, and makes me feel anxious and unsafe. Playing anon characters means I don't feel I have as much responsibility, I tend to get willy-nilly with not replying to people if I'm playing anon characters, and having anon characters for me for some reason makes me start feeling guilty like I am hiding something, and I hate hiding stuff.



A bonus.

Cons to not having my anon characters anymore:


Since making all my characters non-anon, having a falling out with someone often means having a falling out with almost everyone them and I are friends with without being able to explain myself, - and just having to swallow that as fact.

Not having anon characters for me means feeling anxious about what I say to people now and anxious about defending myself because if they decide they are displeased with me I could lose other people not just them.

This is a really eye-opening post and I'm glad I stumbled upon it! :) I have also wondered whether or not I would want to make my characters anonymous.

Wow! Kind of glad I brought this back up! Some good insights here! Thanks everyone for sharing your thoughts. Sanne, your thoughts on this is fairly close to my own.

I've had a few characters that were identified with my account that I had made anon a couple months ago due to some identifiers with the characters from other sites. As I have a semi-active stalker from the last ten years or so, it was a precaution I took when I got an email from them out of the blue a few months back about a particular RP we were involved in that had the character name I used here.

I did give this anon policy a re-think and considered making my characters identified, but I did that to one character and the active daily-posting RP that character was in ended abruptly once I did. Obviously the co-writer didn't want to write with Dunedain-Ranger. Their character was anon also, and a few days later their character was lined out. So I will likely keep my anon characters anon until such time any specific RPs they are in either finish or goes dormant for an extended period of time, and any new characters I make will be identified.

I made one anon character as an experiment to see what having one was like and also because the character was quite a bit different then the rest of my roster. I haven't roleplayed with it in quite some time since it was difficult to find rps for. Could be because of the anon tag or simple lack of interest in the plots I presented. Sometimes I think about making it public, but haven't done it.

That being said, I can also see how anon characters can be useful in a group rp to add a sense of mystery. For example, there was this rp I was in that had umm...11 characters I think? Of those 11, only 5 were controlled by an actual player as the others were essentially NPCs controlled by the two GMs. The anon tag made it impossible to figure out who was a player character or a npc. Sadly the rp fell apart as the two DMS just didn't have the time needed to maintain it.

Novalyyn wrote:
*shrugs* Necro threads can be relevant once in awhile. XD Good lord I forgot this existed.

So! Some stuff I've learned (and stuff I may or may not have known back then):
  • Some folks get nervous about playing with anons because they've had bad experiences with their anon partner vanishing into the ether, completely impossible to track down to find out what happened.
  • Some folks also feel that anons are more likely to ghost than those with player names attached.
  • Some folks worry a minor may use an anon to seek smut.
  • Some people are just generally uncomfortable with not knowing the identity of someone they're interacting with. There are people here would would probably love a way to prevent anons from contacting them because it just makes them really uncomfortable, sometimes without a clear reason. Blocking an anon blocks the player entirely though.
  • Having anon characters can be a useful way to allow normal friend tracking for player posts while avoiding the feeling of being watched with character posts - which can be scary if you're stuck on one RP but really excited to try a completely different idea.
  • Some folks use anons for smut because they don't feel comfortable being associated with such things personally, but still want to explore it.
  • Some folks use anons because they're just shy and it feels like a security blanket.
  • Some folks just want to be cool and mysterious.
  • Mods do not know which anons belong to who. Even Kim can't tell without a significant effort, which she keeps to preserve privacy unless an extreme case requires looking into it.

I agree with all of this ^^

To be honest, if someone's anon, I assume it's because they write adult content and don't feel entirely comfortable having it linked to themselves lol. I'm always surprised when I see an anon outside the adult forum, because i've come to associate them specifically with that.

But I don't mind anons, a fair few of them still chat sorta oocly and to be perfectly frank, the anonymity of the internet is such anyway that we don't know who someone is even when they have a username. I to this day know a great many people whom I have only ever known by a username or as an online persona/icon, so what real difference does it make if that name is a username or a character name? To me it's pretty much the same difference. *shrug*
everyone's anon online when you really think about it, heh.

Unless you're lazy like me and use the same username most places, but even then, the most anyone can find out about me is I write a blog about dolls. (ooo shocking!) hahaha.

My only concern with anons is that there's the risk of running into a user you didn't get along with/had a falling out with and not realising it. But I feel like that'd be a pretty rare situation. Most of the anons i've encountered have either been pretty clear about which other anon characters are theirs, or they'll tell you straight up "lol you replied to my other character thread".

Now personally I don't drop into anon purely because I can't be bothered. I could of course, but who am I trying to hide from? My characters aren't just used here so a simple search of their names would probably find my DA page anyway, anyone who actually wanted to could trace me even on anon so why bother? Also it allows people who've rped with me previously or contacted me previously to get back in touch a little easier and track my activity (maybe that's another reason to anon, so people don't know if you're active after you bloody ghost em -_- ) but it's worked because a while back someone I rped with waaaay back in Jan contacted me for a new rp and I was all "oooooh! HI!" hahah.

Maybe though, if I was going to try out some overly dark or twisted concept I might want a security blanket of anonymity intially at least. Or if I had a problem with some people elsewhere.
I admit there's times I have wanted to be anon just to avoid people I know irl who use this site seeing my threads but the problem there is they know my character names anyway! so it wouldn't work hahaha. And there's no real reason for me to be shy, it's just me being silly. It's not even like they care and check my searching for rp threads.

This is something I've thought about a lot recently. All of my characters are set to anonymous because they are currently WIPs and I haven't had time to get back into RP. However, I did debate whether or not to make them public once they're finished.

At the end of the day I decided that I have no reason to go anonymous, but the thought process left me wondering how I'd handle anons who choose to approach me. There are so many pros and cons here that I can't seem to decide. One thing I'm particularly worried about is being approached by someone using the anon feature for... Unsavory reasons.

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