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Forums > RP Discussion > "Stealing" RP ideas?

Hello!
So, I thought I'd seen this discussed before, but couldn't find it in this forum or via a search, so I'm going to post about it.

Basically, my question is, what constitutes "stealing" an RP idea? Would it be an exact copy+paste sort of thing, or would an adaptation on the original idea count too?

For context, I was browsing through RPs, and there was one that caught my eye. I was reading through it, and it didn't really make me want to join the RP (especially because it was a group RP), but it sparked an idea that I would love to try out in a 1x1.

If I posted up the idea, would that count as 'stealing' that person's RP idea? The only thing I'd be using is the base setting, which is kind-of-generic post-apocalyptic. Should I check with the original poster first to see if it's okay?

I would just like to be advised on how to proceed. I don't want to steal any ideas from anyone. :)

Hi Celestina,

I wouldn’t mind at all if someone copy-pasted my idea, unlikely as it is. I wouldn’t see it as stealing, more like them being really interested in it and obviously unable to RP it out with me from the same perspective (for example, F in a MxF RP).

Or maybe their take is slightly different and they changed it a bit and don’t want to do it with me.

Either would be fine with me. I wouldn’t mind being contacted about it but it wouldn’t by any means be necessary.

I kind of assume the majority of rp ideas are recycled plots and settings, and I have trouble seeing someone take a not-for-profit idea to reuse for another not-for-profit purpose as theft unless the one barrowing the idea is trying to claim it as their own or lures players away or something. I do think checking in or at least crediting is respectful and to be encouraged, though it can prove difficult if the person can't be contacted or you can't recall where the idea came from or how to credit it.

I am open to correction, though.

I wouldn’t call what you describe as ‘stealing’ but more of being inspired by the one you read. Maybe a short line in the opener saying the idea was inspired by (post link) or something.

ShadowWeaver wrote:
I wouldn’t call what you describe as ‘stealing’ but more of being inspired by the one you read. Maybe a short line in the opener saying the idea was inspired by (post link) or something.

Shadow is right. At least give credit where credit is due. That way in case there is potential issue, which I hope there wouldn't be, you'd at least have stated the fact you got it from that particular source.

And I personally wouldn't mind if someone borrowed an idea of mine. Just please give me a heads up if you ever do, is all I'd really ask.

Nothing is new under the sun.

You want to use the exact same idea as the person, sure, maybe drop then a pm if you really are that enthusiastic but don't refrain yourself from getting inspired by others. Remember that Lion king and Hamlet are, in essence, the same premise but executed vastly different.

Well concepts I think are free for everyone. Unless its a home brew with very specific hand crafted lore.

Like.. you cant say doing an rp where your character is kidnapped is "stealing" no more then name of your baby 'John' is stealing from all the other Johns in the world ...

Ive actually had my homebrew content stolen and a character more or less copy ans pasted onto another by someone I role-played with. And used it without permission woth others. Really took my passion out of my OC and ideas... I still struggle with that.

So I think there is a pretty well defined line between doing the same concept in outline basics ans making it your own... And stealing.

Mipps Quote
Mipps wrote:
Well concepts I think are free for everyone. Unless its a home brew with very specific hand crafted lore.

Like.. you cant say doing an rp where your character is kidnapped is "stealing" no more then name of your baby 'John' is stealing from all the other Johns in the world ...

Stealing is.. more direct I think. Here is an example that happened to me:

I was role-playing with someone new not on this site. It spurred into several months of RP and hundreds of pages in google docs. It was so good our friends were reading it like a novel asking what would come next.

Our characters ended up having a child together.. and in the end he really pished to be the player for her. I relented .. I even painted the adult form of her for him as a commission.
And then he cut ties with me. In a nutshell

Then i found out he copied my main character to the "daughter" . Same personality, quirks.. same abilities.. and using the same campaigns including using my personal home brew with other people.
Every single one of my original ideas he used with other people in detail without my permission.
He never said he was sorry or anything when I called him out on it. He is still out there playing my ideas ans character. It really kills vibes to ever play my OC he stole from again.


So long story short.. I think there is a pretty well defined line between doing the same concept in outline basics ans making it your own... And stealing.


That is definitely stealing... plagiarising actually. It would seem it became premeditated at some point during your writing. :(

Quite different from being inspired by someone else’s rp idea.

Sorry there. I decided to redact my example story. I was worried I might get moderated for it.

An RP prompt/concept is difficult to steal because they tend to be pretty generic, and being inspired by a prompt is not the same as stealing it. It's the specifics and characters involved that change the way it's handled.

'Character A and Character B meet in high school and develop feelings for each other, until one day one of them gains a superpower and has to keep it a secret.' This is a pretty generic plot that, as a concept, doesn't belong to any one person. It's a template that you fill in yourself with a character that belongs to you, and one that belongs to your RP partner, which means you're creating a unique story using the prompt as... well, a prompt!

'Character A comes from the planet <name> and has <special powers derived from the planet>, and their unique species traits are <list>. They meet Character B who is a regular human being, and together they go on adventures.' Is still pretty generic, but if their alien species is an original and you copy the character and/or these very specifically detailed traits instead of substituting your own, it starts to cross a line where you're copying someone's character, which is not okay. It would be okay to have a similar prompt where you create your own alien species with powers and traits, because that is a generic idea and again behaves as a template.

It's always best to be considerate of others of course. When in doubt, please do ask or feel free to reach out to a moderator. :) We can help figure out if there's an issue. A good rule of thumb is to consider how unique the prompt is. Are you going to RP a similar concept that becomes your own unique story with your own characters, or are you going to RP a specific character that is a copy of someone else's?

Everyone, thank you so much for your input on this matter! It really helped, so much! I was indeed inspired by the generic pieces of it, and nothing specific or character, so I feel much more comfortable knowing that it's okay if I use that inspiration for my own prompt! My idea definitely veers away from theirs, so it's certainly going to have its major differences.

Thank you again so much everyone for your assistance!!

(moderators can close this if need be, because I got my answer! :) )

Moderators: MadRatBird, Keke, Libertine, Auberon, Copper_Dragon, Sanne, Dragonfire, Heimdall


Forums > RP Discussion > "Stealing" RP ideas?