Role Play: Ending roleplay
Sometimes you’re just not feeling it – or sometimes life just happens to get in the way. When you’re roleplaying with a guild, group, or partner, you’re not just dealing with your own roleplay. Like it or not, your story, and your character’s story, become a part of everyone else’s story, too. If you leave, it means a potentially major part of other people’s stories is suddenly going to be absent. So if you’re getting tired of roleplay and find yourself in the position of wanting to quit, how do you do it?
Identifying the issue
First things first – why do you want to quit? Is it because you’re simply tired of the game, or you have real life issues getting in the way? Are you tired of your character, or uncomfortable with whatever story they’ve gotten involved with? Try to pinpoint exactly what it is that has you wanting to take your leave.
The next thing you want to ask yourself is whether or not this issue is something you want to resolve. Can the situation be salvaged, or are you ready to just throw in the towel? Would a change in scenery or a change in story potentially change your mind on quitting? Identifying the problem will help you figure out the best course for a solution.
If you’re dealing with real-life issues, those always take priority over roleplay. In that case, simply let your friends know what you’d like your character’s fate to be – are they dead, missing, or just retired in the middle of nowhere – and take your leave. You don’t have to leave any details; you can let your friends figure those out for themselves. In situations like this, you can deliberately leave your character’s departure open-ended, in case you ever want to come back.
If your character is feeling stagnant, or you simply want to roleplay with a different character, you’re free to do so. But for the sake of being polite, you should at least try to resolve your current character’s situation before moving on. Much like departing for real-life reasons as stated above, you want to give your fellow roleplayers an idea of your character’s fate.
The main reason you want to try and come to some kind of in-character conclusion isn’t necessarily for you. It’s for the people you’re leaving behind. Your character, like it or not, has become a part of their roleplaying experience. If you simply pull your character out of the mix with no warning, it leaves them with an empty space to fill.
Certainly they could fill that space on their own – but whatever they come up with might not necessarily be what you’d like for your character. Again, your character doesn’t have to come to some kind of definitive ending when they leave. They could simply just depart for places unknown, off on a brand new adventure somewhere far, far away.
Although it’s polite to leave people with someplace for their story to go in your character’s absence, it’s not a requirement. If you don’t really care what happens to the character, there’s no need to define it. If you aren’t planning on ever making a return to that character, you can simply leave it behind.
In that case, just let your RP guild, group, or partner know that you’ll be taking your leave, out-of-character. You don’t need to offer a detailed explanation unless you feel the need to do so. If your friends don’t know that you’re leaving, they might put entire storylines on hold until you presumably return. Letting them know eliminates that problem.
If, however, you’re in a situation where you’re feeling uncomfortable, you are under absolutely no obligation to give any kind of in-character resolution. It doesn’t matter if you’re not happy with the story, or even the people you’re roleplaying with. If you want to be polite, you can let them know that you’re leaving – explain why, if you think it’s necessary. But there’s nothing wrong with simply taking off if something doesn’t feel right, or you feel like the roleplay has gotten out of hand.
If you’re just going to start over with a new character, let your friends know what you’re up to. There’s no need to say goodbye if the only thing you didn’t care for was the character you were playing. You can set up introductions for your new character, and have a ready-to-go group of RP buddies right out the gate.
Make sure you remember that this character is brand-new. Your old character may have been well acquainted with your old circle of friends, but the new character is…well, new! They don’t know anything about the characters your friends are playing. Keep that in mind, and treat your new character as a blank slate.
Whether you’re saying goodbye to a character, or saying goodbye for good, there’s never a requirement when it comes to saying goodbye. It’s polite to let people know what you’re doing, but it isn’t necessary. However, keeping people in the loop with your character – whether active or not – leaves them with a good impression. Roleplaying is a social game, after all, and a roleplayer is only as good as their reputation. If you have to take your leave, make sure you put your best foot forward. That way, if you decide to make a return, you’re more likely to be welcomed back instead of turned away.
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