Roleplayers come and go, it’s part and parcel of the RP community, and they leave for a myriad of reasons. I don’t want to comment on or discuss the reasons people leave, we don’t judge (I’d not want to be judged, and I have taken hiatus from RPing before and left sites for all kinds of reasons, good and bad). What I want to address is how we fill the gaps left by the people and characters we got so used to having, or were needed for plots and RPing.
So, here are a few points I hope can help:
- Don’t panic!
- I know, from experience, that the first instinct when facing this kind of loss is to panic over the fate of your characters and plot. Take a breath, meditate, have some wine or chocolate, go and play the PS4 or binge watch on Netflix. Just don’t think about what you think is a catastrophe. Believe me when I say distracting yourself and sleeping on it makes it mostly better. It’s certainly not a good idea to react right away. The worst decisions I ever made were when they were made out of panic and fear.
- Mourn the loss
- Whether it was one week or five years that you played with this character it hurts to lose them, it can be an emotional loss too. Perhaps this plot got you through a hard time during your personal life, or the RPer who left was a friend who has disappeared outside of roleplaying too. Either way it’s something we may feel emotional about, whether rational or not it doesn’t matter, emotions don’t have to be rational. Pain does not have to be rational.
- Don’t get angry
- It’s a waste of energy – channel it instead into healing. The longer I’ve been online the shorter the refractory period has been for this kind of thing. I’ve gotten it down to a couple of tears and a few angry IM posts. It used to take me MONTHS to recover (I still hold grudges though :P).
- Use every tool at your disposal, plot topics being the first and foremost. First, update your fellow players if you are running a plot. Decide OOCly what happens and then play out the consequences. Only kill off characters you created (so adoptables/NPC’s you made) and try to write out a character where possible. Sometimes people do return so writing them out is nice, but sometimes the only option is death – even if the person leaving is still a friend, they’ll understand if they truly are a friend.
- Ask for help
- The staff and your fellow players are here to aid you! Please let us?! Talk to us privately via PM or use the support forum.
- Remember that any lore added to the wiki stays in the wiki
- Unless staff remove it because it’s not used by anybody the wiki stays intact. Anyone who adds to our world cannot rip out the things we collaborated on – that is unrealistic and unfair and we don’t allow it. So please, don’t worry about the foundations of your stories. Yes, they can remove their short stories, their art, their characters (unless they were adopted or Restricted Roles, those are the property of the adoptees and the site admins) but they cannot take apart the things we all built together. That is what a community project is – a collaborative work.
- Adoptables (re-adopting)
- Make new adoptables to cover the role of the departing player, or if possible get a new player for the character whose player has left. Make sure the person adopting knows that this is a character who has been played before. Reassure them that they won’t have to give the character up if the former player returns.
- Don’t let the grass grow under you feet.
- Yes, I know I said to take time to heal, but part of healing is reworking your plot and character. I have, in the past, changed a character’s entire history in order to keep playing them – it is a very therapeutic experience!
- Finally, remember – communities evolve and a change in membership is inevitable. No group stays the same over time, whether it is a membership in your local Church or the Red Hot Chili Peppers!