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Potter’s Army is a roleplaying site that's been up and running since 2007. We pride ourselves on fostering a welcoming and helpful community where all levels of writers are accepted.

In this alternate universe, Lord Voldemort is dead, but so is Harry Potter. Factions continue to fight, Hogwarts educates the next generation of witches and wizards, and the Ministry of Magic does its best to hold everything together.

It is 2030 in the Wizarding World

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Why aren't my Open Threads and RP Requests getting replies?

on Thu Feb 12, 2015 11:48 pm
Message reputation : 100% (1 vote)
Ever put up an open thread that never got a reply?  Or started an RP request but never got around to the actual RP?  Ever wondered why that happens?

Open threads and RP requests both involve an element of chance.  If someone replies to your thread, they're taking a gamble on enjoying the outcome.  

If you go look at the RP request forum, you'll see that the majority of requests are essentially a description of character traits followed by "does someone want to RP with my character?"

Likewise, many open threads tend toward a description of the character's environment along with an internal monologue.

These approaches both suffer from a lack of direction.  People are hesitant to commit themselves to a situation where anything could happen.  Partly from fear that they won't enjoy themselves, as I said earlier, but far more because they're frightened of taking the thread in the wrong direction or suggesting the wrong thing and upsetting you.

Giving your RP Request direction

Start from the presumption that your character is a person

Your character should already know most things appropriate to their group.  If they are a student, they should at least be able to recognise everyone in their year and house.  If they are an adult, they should remember characters from their schooldays (this might mean reading other people's profiles).

You want something, ask for it.

You created your character for a reason.  Either you want something as the writer, or they want something as the character.  When you start your thread, ask for that thing.  

Holding back might get you more replies to your request thread, but you won't actually RP with those people because they won't be making suggestions in like with what you really want.  It makes you frustrated and everyone else frustrated.

Do NOT ask for friends, enemies, etc

You'll make those through the course of RPing anyway.  It's also a real bummer when it turns out that the person you planned for your character to be besties with turns out to be someone your character has an irrational hatred for.

Giving your Open Thread direction

Call to Reaction

In marketing, they have a call to action.  In RP, we have a call to reaction.  If you want anyone to reply to your open thread, you need to finish your post with something that calls on them to react to what your character was just doing.  

Things like injuring your character or breaking school rules practically invite other characters to hinder or help yours.  Things like reading or long inner monologues are for planned threads.

Craziness

Can I just say one thing?  Magic.  Put some fecking magic in your open threads.  Random magic.  Magical creatures.  Magic you screwed up and now you have antlers.  Whoops!  

Open threads are way more likely to get responded to if it's clear they're not deep and meaningful. Also, it adds to the feel of Hogwarts.  Double the fun.  And I can't count the threads that started out as weird one-offs but went on to become important site plots.

Answer other people's open threads

Logically speaking, if heaps of people make open threads but don't reply to open threads, that would explain why you don't get replies.  So before you make an open thread, go see if you can answer one first.

Get comfortable out in the open

Did you know most of my threads are open?  Even if it's reserved for someone, I usually label my threads (name + open).  And then get disappointed when nobody joins us.

Let's face it, you can't restrict what happens in real life, so why would you that to your characters? You're depriving them of a full life experience! So unless your character is in their private home, consider making your threads open.
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Re: Why aren't my Open Threads and RP Requests getting replies?

on Fri Feb 13, 2015 1:12 am
Going a little off your last point, part of an open thread is being open to an outcome. Sometimes, I'll see an open thread that has already gotten lots of responses and join just to shake everything up, just to have a little fun. The thread is still open to it - have fun.

Open threads are great for those characters that don't have super developed plotlines. I can understand why you might be a little hesitant about making a thread open if it's supposed to progress very specific plotting. But if you don't have much for the thread or the character, let it take you somewhere. The worst thing that can happen is your character looks stupid - that's not even the worst, that's fun sometimes. The worst thing that can happen is a boring thread. But if both people are open to it, that's not as likely.

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Re: Why aren't my Open Threads and RP Requests getting replies?

on Fri Feb 13, 2015 1:26 am
Message reputation : 100% (2 votes)
Yeah, I put up notes about this a while back, here: http://www.pottersarmy.net/t18860-open-threads-are-fun
and here:
http://www.pottersarmy.net/t18778-filling-out-your-characters#388851

These are definitely sections everyone could take some time to work on.
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Re: Why aren't my Open Threads and RP Requests getting replies?

on Fri Feb 13, 2015 2:30 am
Yep, Addie, I have read those and I agree with them.

I wasn't trying to step on toes here, just putting out some thoughts on the way the two situations are similar.

Also trying to get in some practice for my blog Smile
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Re: Why aren't my Open Threads and RP Requests getting replies?

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