The Roleplay section on SZ is trying out a new Canon idea, where things are separated by canons, rather than just IC, OOC etc. There is a bit of confusion on how this works, so here is the place to ask questions, provide feedback on the idea and talk to @Glitter about any concerns.
Apologies in advance for the wall of text.
So I’ve gone back and read the canon idea a few times and immediately it brings back vibes of a project some may remember, “The World of Pokécommunity”, this alone worries me greatly but I think above all else I’d like to pose some questions that are immediately concerning to me.
- It seems highly unlikely by how things have developed so far, that any RP not involved with a canon will be given a similar amount of attention compared to ones involved in canons. With the focus on RPs being created in canons and the implication that one should consider assimilating their RP once a canon fits it… well right off the bat it feels like if you abstain from being in a canon that you’ll be an outlier who isn’t participating in what this Roleplay section is all about. If that alone is true then I doubt I want anything to do with this section and that’s depressing since it was something I looked forward to.
- Meaning this in the most constructive way possible… but do you really think people who GM RPs are going to take to this canon thing without problems? A GM makes an RP so that they can set their own rules, pace and story, a story that they then share and create with players who approve of and are passionate about being a part of that creation. Why would a GM looking to run an RP ever join a canon, regardless of how similar it is to their idea, and submit themselves to the restrictions set by the Canon Creator? Why not just make their own RP separate from the canons so that they can have full creative freedom with the idea for their RP?
If the response for this is “Then they can make their own canon.” then can the site really afford to host so many canons at a time if they are all well written and applicable? If everyone has their own canon then why bother making canons in the first place? If a canon is rejected for being similar to another canon then is the creator thus forced to make an RP separate from the canons entirely and to pull back to my previous point, would this RP then suffer drastically because the canon has vastly more player AND site support… and then a GM faces automatic failure for wanting to stick to their own creative vision entirely?
- What, to be frank, is even the benefit of these RPs being part of a connected canon? The world building is done by multiple people…? I feel like that’s not a good enough reason since RP is generally more focussed on character building and interaction, its what sets it apart from other similar mediums. Won’t this entire idea lead to players being able to add small, subtle bits of world building all for the purpose of giving their character an edge or getting an excuse to do something that would give credence to godmodding? What exactly is the major appeal of the “Canon” system from a purely RP focussed perspective… and is it worth the list of potential problems that, at least from what I’ve read so far, outweigh any benefits?
To me RP is creative expression being shared in a unique way, it allows a GM to create and share a world with players… and it allows players to explore characters and express their ideas and sometimes even to just be a part of an unfolding story that could take any number of turns. This canon system as it is seems like a neat little project and if it was one sub-forum or idea then I’d wholeheartedly approve so long as the norm of RP was this sub-forums focus.
But that is not the case.
You’re taking SZ’s only sub-forum for RP and using it as grounds for an experimental idea that to be brutally honest, I really don’t think is going to work unless you’ve got good answers to all of these concerns. At the very least I would have been content with seeing it experimented with as a sub-forum behind a regular IC, OOC structure, with the potential to become the norm if it took off and did incredibly well.
I want to remain a part of the greater SZ community… I’m done with PC completely… and Playwrite isn’t up my alley either. If this is the way the SZ RP section goes then I can’t say I’m too keen to get into it and that leaves me with no place to RP again as I intended to… I doubt I’m the only one who feels this way too, in fact talking to a few people whom I won’t name unless they wish to step forward themselves, I know that I’m not.
So this entire concept is honestly pretty upsetting right now.
You’ll have to excuse me if my responses aren’t perfect because it’s six in the morning and I wasn’t expecting to be awake for another two hours. Anyway, onwards.
RPing outside of canons is perfectly welcome. Yes, those RPs can be moved into canons at a later date but that isn’t a requirement and nor will it be. There’s no need to be concerned about attention either as the main category is where these standalone RPs will go while the canon RPs will relegated to their own specific sub-forums. I’m hoping that the slightly confusing layout with canon threads still appearing in the main section can be cleaned up somehow.
I don’t know about you, but if I want complete control over a story my first instinct isn’t to hand the world I make over to other people. Part of the fun of RPing is building something and then seeing what other people do with it. If you want to create something and have the utmost control, you can create your own canon or have a standalone RP but part of the fun of the canon concept is that you’re building something together - a vaster world that will gradually shift over time as the RPs within amass and change it little bit by little bit. With +20 as an example, we’re currently laying the groundwork but the events of the RPs within can alter the world itself. When the idea was posited to staff and planners it was well received and I think that warrants at least giving it an attempt. It might not be for everything but that is why me made certain that standalone RPing would still be available and visible (something that is still being worked on as we sort out the kinks with the layout etc).
What’s the benefit to not doing it? The benefit here is that it’s a fun new way to experience an old hobby and it’s completely optional so it’s not forcing anyone to do anything either. It’s adding the option of another layer without ever really taking anything away. It’s basically what the Multiverse back on PC could have been if an RP forum hadn’t already existed but as SZ is a fresh slate, you now have all those options opened up to the fullest extent that you didn’t before while still retaining the ability to RP as you had previously. Additionally, it’s a fun way to get those who aren’t already RPers involved and interested in the hobby.
The bottom line is that the canon idea is something open to people, but not something being forced on anyone. It is experimental so working out kinks like the layout is an ongoing process but it shouldn’t hamper other RPs in any noteworthy way in the long run. I appreciate your concerns, so I want to make it very clear that nobody is going to try and strongman GMs into existing canons. I’d personally appreciate people giving them a chance, but there’s absolutely no way I’m going to force anything - especially something experimental - on anybody. Your worries are already being taken into account and will continue to be going forward.
Dakota got the subsection working properly so hopefully that helps alleviate your concerns a bit.