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RPR Archive Discussion Topic: 1st, 2nd, and 3rd person Role Playing

Discussion in 'Role Playing Resource Archive' started by blubeast1237, Nov 12, 2007.

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  1. blubeast1237 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 2007
    star 5
    Hilo all! I have come to you with another topic for discussion from the depths of my terrible mind.

    To start off, when I role play, now that someone actually has me thinking about it, most of it is done in 3rd person, with me mentioning my character's name many times because in my head, I'm not him, but actually the storyteller of him. My eyes tell me that my character is like a legend, which is why I often speak in past tense, and I'm like some weird, crazy shaman retelling a great tale, instead of actually being there.

    I have seen some 1st person role playing, where the player and the character are the same person, for the game(hopefully:p ). That works out fine too, I find their post to be alittle more interesting because they are, in a more intense way, putting them in their character's shoes, which is very entertaining sometimes to sit down and think, "What exactly would I do in that situation?"

    And to the last, I've never really seen someone role play in 2nd person and don't think I would know how to go about actually doing so. In a sense, its role playing, but to what degree?

    How do you role play and why?


    -BeastoftheWonderland-
  2. SkyeLightrider Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 12, 2003
    star 6
    It depends really on the format of the story. For example, you play 3rd person in the Jedi Outcasts becasue everyone does; it's how the story is formatted. Past tense is usually done here because one can say "he/she did this at this time". 1st person is trickier, mainly because it's hard to describe situations in the first person. Also, one cannot be abstract, such as describing action scenes, well in just a 1st person perspective. It's why in Star Wars the battles are never just cockpit views.

    As for 2nd person... well the problem with that is technically you'd be RPing two characters: the character you are playing, and this extra "observer" being. 2nd person is the whole "you" aspect, so you'd either be RPing two characters or you would require the need to take over other player characters on a regular basis, not easy to do.


    edit: Sure, 2nd person works for traditional tabletop RPGs "you walk to the door", but here in the JC RPG I don't know if any games try to do the who GM does all the narration and players build off of that. Just seems too structured.
  3. Penguinator RPF Modinator and Batmanager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    May 23, 2005
    star 6
    I prefer third person, as it's a comfort zone, but it's actually much easier for me to write in the first person. For example, a character in third person actually makes it easier for god-modding to occur (in my opinion) - the player has to write in a limited-omniscient point of view, which can be tricky.

    First person has you writing as the character, thus it's much easier to discern what you don't know from what you do know. You become the character, so it's a mite easier to figure out how "you'd" act in the situation.

    I avoid second person like the plague. It's more prose and fiction, in my opinion, and has no real place in role-playing.
  4. DarthCemeroX Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 28, 2007
    star 4
    I think third person is the way to go. It's easier legistically to control environment and give a clearer way to describe a scene.

    First person however is very intense, sentinel001 has done a good number of it in past rpgs. And it's very intruiging to read.
    I think it'd be hard for a whole game of people to post in first though.


    And i do second accidentally when I control two characters. But i dont plan it
  5. CountSephula Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Oct 10, 2007
    star 1
    For me, it's simply a comfort thing. I started RPing in first person, and then at some point, first person just didn't feel right and I moved on to third person.

    I think, in general, third person is somewhat more objective, and thus easier for others to work off of.
  6. NaboosPrincess Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    May 14, 2001
    star 6
    Sometimes first person can be good, but most of the time it's a little weird, in my opinion. I always have trouble writing it. Third person is the way to go.
  7. Penguinator RPF Modinator and Batmanager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    May 23, 2005
    star 6
    I'm actually going to try more first-person stuff now. It doesn't feel as forced as third person can be (especially when you can really only post three sentences in response to another post). Instead of writing:


    IC as Bob

    Bob stared as Jim whipped about the kitchen, stunned by the man's speed with a knife. When Jim asked him for the peanut butter, Bob hurriedly passed it to him. A few minutes later, Jim had three peanut butter and banana sandwiches neatly prepared on the plate.

    "Voila!" announced Jim proudly.

    Bob laughed.

    Tag: Jim


    ...you can add far more to this by putting it in first person and have it sound more casual than some forced characterization in third person.


    IC as Bob

    I stared in apprehension at Jim's wild movements with the knife. Obviously, he knew what he was doing; he reminded me that guy in Aliens with the big knife trick, stabbing it between his fingers. If I tried moving like that with a sharp object, I'd be rushed off to the ER. I reminded myself that Jim was a cook, and that he probably did this on a regular basis.

    "Hey, Bob, pass me the peanut butter," barked Jim, hands still moving quickly. I shook myself from my thoughts and opened the cupboard, reaching in for the smooth stuff. I wasn't much for crunchy bits getting stuck in my teeth.

    Jim's free hand reached back, taking the peanut butter from me. He unscrewed the top and spread a generous portion on each slice of bread. The bananas, freshly cut, came next. Jim loaded mine with the fruit, and placed a few slices on his own. The other piece of bread was dropped on nimbly, and before I knew it, he had them on a plate in front of me.

    "Voila!" announced Jim proudly.

    I could only laugh at his dramatics.

    Tag: Jim


    Now, I know I went a little overboard there, but the thing is, adding in all those little details would be a little forced in third person, especially when you're trying to merely get on with things. But in first person, you can get away with short little asides and not have it detract from the flow of things.
  8. DarthXan318 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 12, 2002
    star 6
    I dunno, I think your first-person version could be rewritten from third-person without it being forced. Only difference is that you avoid some pronoun confusion - "he had them on a plate in front of me" instead of "he had them on a plate in front of him", but if either character was a girl, you'd avoid the problem as well.

    I find it easier to RP in third person myself. Well, I find it easiest to write in third-person and present tense, so I usually end up having to go back and convert it all to past tense, but that's something else.
  9. Darth_Vaders_cousin Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 12, 2004
    star 5
    Yeah I usually mix both of Pengs examples. It's easier being the outside narrator because that is how we read stories, how we hear news and tales told to us. Nobody uses first person, not even the cut scenes in FPS Games like Halo aren't actually in First Person.

    Peng, I think you can elaborate in the same manner as your first person example just as easily in third person if you want to do it.

    IC: Bob

    Bob had never seen anyone whip around a kitchen that fast. Jim moved his large blade with stunning accuracy, seeming to narrowly miss his fingers on various occasions. Bob almost envied the man, last time he had even looked at a sharp object he'd gotten cut. Splinters usually made him cry, especially when he tried to get them out with a needled. He'd never really grasped that act to be truthful, it usually ended in him with a splinter and massive blood loss.

    "Hey, Bob, pass me the peanut butter." Jim called out, never stopping his work. Bob, lost in his thoughts, took a minute to react, then frantically searched the cupords, having no bloody idea where the peanut butter would be. It wasn't long, thankfully, before he found it. He liked his peanut butter like alcoholics liked their whiskey, smooth. He haded the jar of Jiffy to Jim, who was reaching back with a free hand. Jim, a magician in the kitchen, managed to somehow easily open the Jar singlehandedly, sending Bob into another of his Jealos fits. He could hardly open those jars with two hands, let alone one. Don't even ask about pickles, lets just say Bob hadn't eaten a pickle in over three years, and the scar on his hand had hardly faded in that time.

    Master Chief...erm...Master Chef Jim work diligently, spreading a think layer of peanut butter on the bread he had just sliced ("'cause it keeps fresher that way.") and slapping freshly sliced pickles atop that, explaining to Bob in detail how the pickles had been purchased green a week or so prior because as they yellowed they would turn their stored energy into glucose, making them sweeter. Bob feigned caring, focusing instead on how good those sandwiches were going to taste, and telling himself that to attack Jim with one of the many knives in the kitchen would probably leave him for physically harmed that Jim.

    "Viola!" Jim said, nimbly dropping the top slice of bread onto the plate. Bob put on a happy facade, while deep inside he was wondering if Jim could actually speak French too, which would have just added insult to injury. No wonder Jim got more dates....Bob laughed at himself, and realized no matter how self conscience or painfully inept he was with cooking...and sharp objects...and occasionally dull objects as well, he could never, ever hate Jim, who was by far the worlds greatest paternal twin brother.
  10. Sith-I-5 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 14, 2002
    star 5
    I used to write fan fiction in 1st person, then for some reason graduated to third person.

    I now RP in third person as it just feels more comfortable. Until a previous poster mentioned 2nd-person, I had never encountered it, heard of it, and probably wouldn't know how to deliberately do it.
  11. LightWarden Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 2001
    star 4
    Easy, it's perfectly do able if you're the GM. Works best with one on one or with players who use the first person perspective.

    "I grab a hold of the burning drapery and attempt to slide my way down to the lower levels, avoiding the lethal fall!"

    "You fail."
  12. PRENNTACULAR VIP

    Member Since:
    Dec 21, 2005
    star 6
    As the main reason I RP is the writing and the story telling, I'm really not a big fan of first person RPing. While I'm sure one could make a quality post in first person, I've yet to see it done successfully in-game, while the game is also telling a great story. I think that third person simply works better for cooperative story telling, like we find in the RPF.

    That said, if your goal isn't to tell a story, but rather act out a story, first person should work fine.
  13. Penguinator RPF Modinator and Batmanager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    May 23, 2005
    star 6
    I think that's a gross generalization and oversimplification. Neither form is more dramatic, nor does either form lend itself to a certain degree of artsy-fartsyness. First person isn't limiting either - it's bringing both together. It may not be the most appropriate style for role-playing, but in terms of adding character, depth, and style to a plot, it couldn't be much better.

    Third person can feel coldly impersonal at times and first can be a little too full-on, but that's the challenge. And if we're here for writing and story telling, then don't we want a challenge?
  14. Kev-Mas_Colcha Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 15, 2002
    star 5
    Well, I actually want to give 1st Person a shot. So, I will take my most recent RP Post, which is in 3rd Person, and convert it.

    3rd Person...

    IC :: Kev-Mas Colcha :: Old Command Center

    "Great," complained Kev-Mas, muttering under his own breath, "So we have to send a Sith Spirit back to Chaos, one that had to be sent to her death the first time by the one and only Luke Skywalker..."

    In the same moment as Lumiya lunged towards Vincent, a torrent of Force Lightning lept out of Kev-Mas' left hand at Lumiya, his lightsaber coming to life in his right hand.

    TAG :: GM, Vincent, Tracyn, Arlic

    1st Person...

    IC :: Kev-Mas Colcha :: Old Command Center

    I saw it before my very own eyes. It was Darth Lumiya, the former Dark Lady of the Sith, immortalized in spiritual form and illuminated by the crimson hue of a lightsaber in her hand. She was followed behind by that Yuuzhan Vong Sith intruder, holding his ignited red blade in one hand, Lumiya's glowing holocron in the other, emanating a dark presence.

    "Great," I complained, muttering under my own breath, which was muffled even further by my helmet, "So we have to send a Sith Spirit back to Chaos, one that had to be sent to her death the first time by the one and only Luke Skywalker..."

    Just then, as I saw her lunge for my comrade, Vincent, I reacted, out of gut instinct. Channeling the force through my body, a torrent of Force Lightning lept out of my left hand at the Sith Lady, and my lightsaber coming to life in my right hand, it too spewing forth a crimson blade.

    TAG :: GM, Vincent, Tracyn, Arlic

    It looks much better in 1st person, in my opinion, and is much more fun to write. It feels like you are a retired hero, telling your story to young children.
  15. NickLitYouAFlame Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 27, 2007
    star 5
    I think that the best place to use first-person successfully would be in a flashback.
  16. darth_nemisis Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 15, 2004
    star 6
    This is an interesting topic.

    I personally like first person better because it seems more interesting to me. I started with third person because that's the only form I had seen around the forum. Then I started reading Chuck Palahniuk, who mainly writes in a first person view, and my interest for first person grew. However, I find it difficult to write in first person. That is perhaps why I might like it more, because it's more of a challenge.

    Even though I like first person better, I have usually used third person because most people use it. I have tended to vary though.
  17. Sentinel001 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 18, 2007
    star 2
    I wish that first person wasn't as taboo as it was on this site because it's so much easier to relate to your character when you are your character.
  18. DarthXan318 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 12, 2002
    star 6
    I've actually never gotten the impression that first person is taboo here. I've never seen anyone do it, but I've never seen anyone start posting in first person and get told to stop, either.

    Just like when I first started RPing, I wrote entirely in present tense. Nobody ever told me to stop, I just realized things flowed better if I wrote in past tense.
  19. Rilwen_Shadowflame Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 27, 2005
    star 6
    I prefer third person, past tense, but I regularly italicise present tense first person bits, as the character's thoughts.

    IC: Mr Example

    Mr Example strolled back and forward, parading his creator's post style for all to see. It wouldn't last long, since it was only, indeed, an example. Just as well. My legs are getting tired.

    Tag: Nobody.

    :p
  20. Darth_Vaders_cousin Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 12, 2004
    star 5
    Alot of n00bs, for lack of a better term, post in first person and I've seen them be told to stop since every other post was in 3rd person and their posts were lacking in both substance and style. The usually quit a few weeks in so it's not too big of a deal.
  21. DarthXan318 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 12, 2002
    star 6
    But the fundamental problem was that their posts were lacking, not that they were done in first person, no?
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