Timeless Thoughts: Text-Based Role-Play

Timeless Thoughts

It’s time for another round of Timeless Thoughts, a monthly blog link-up hosted by Georgie and me. This month is being hosted by Georgie, so head over to her blog and join up by submitting your post to the widget at the end of Georgie’s entry! This link-up is opened for two weeks, and your entry can be about anything you find unforgettable from your past or present! It can be an object, an event, a person — anything goes — and you can have more than one thing you miss. For this month, here’s what I’ve been missing lately!

Typewriter (Image from Unsplash.com)

The other day, a bunch of us were talking about random topics. One of them mentioned text-based role-playing, and that got me to think about all the role-playing I did previously. For my friends and I, we basically took on a role of a character, and we took turns typing out our stories. We role-played through instant messengers and Google Docs. Our sessions lasted anywhere between 30 minutes to several hours, and we accumulated pages and pages of role-play. Some of these stories consisted of original characters and settings, but a good chunk of our role-plays were based on existing works like Harry Potter. By doing this, it allowed us to explore character and plot development, and this gave us an opportunity to do collaborative writing.

I miss role-playing. I saved all the sessions, and I even converted them to Mobi files to read them on my Kindle. These logs focused mostly on shounen-ai/BL/slash relationships that we were interested in exploring. Honestly, I wince at what I wrote, so I can’t say I was proud of my writing skills back then. But what I truly miss is the camaraderie I had with my role-playing partner and all the fun we had together when we planned and typed out our sessions. I especially liked the sessions we did where it all interconnected one another. One of my friends and I role-played various Kyo Kara Maoh characters in various relationships, and it all took place in the same universe and timeline.

I no longer role-play because of lack of time and shifted interests. Instead, I think fondly of all the memories I had with my friends. I can go down the memory lane further by reading the saved logs and be reminded of some bizarre plot lines and scenarios we wrote. Who knows. Maybe I’ll get back into role-playing again in the future!

Did you ever role-play? Did you enjoy it, if you have? What was your preferred method? Did you create original characters and universes or did you stick to established works? Share your experiences with me in the comments!


  1. I used to do the Harry Potter role-plays. I’ve always mostly joined role-playing groups, though, which were typically based on the HP books, if Harry Potter-based. I didn’t always understand certain things, and…eh, if I went back and looked at my writing back then, I’m certain I’d be appalled.

    I still role-play to this day because it’s fun. I’ve found a way to balance it between what I need to do and what I want to do, and it helps me write my own characters sometimes, because I can test things out more…plus, writing fiction used to be really hard for me, and now, it’s so, so easy. :3 (I say that loosely, of course.)

    The role-playing I do today, though, is with completely original characters, whereas before, it was semi-original characters. The more tortured and/or mean, the easier they are to write—I do easier with opposites or autistics…autistic characters actually happen by accident. XD

    • Ahhh! I did quite a few HP role-plays. I think it’s good you still role-play. It’s a great way to practise writing and to get into the mindset of the characters and such. I did way more original characters role-play, but I still liked doing that and the fandom ones :D

  2. This was an interesting read, Tara! Thanks for sharing! I haven’t actually ever done role-playing before in my whole life but I’ve had several friends who have done some for like Harry Potter and certain animes. I remember being really interested on the whole thing, but I could never really get into doing it as a hobby!

    I guess a role-playing time of my life could be when I was lead of my theatre group at school, I did a lot of acting and role playing – I guess that counts? :P

    • It’s not for everyone, for sure! I think acting is also a form of role-playing, too! Role-playing comes in quite a few different form, and different people prefer different delivery :3

  3. I’ve seen plenty of text-based RP’s happening throughout my life. It always looked interesting because you get to be part of the action and unleash your creativity! Though, I never got into it myself ;~;. I wanted to give it a try some time ago, but always stopped myself because I was worried that someone else might not like what I put to the table XD. Glad to hear you have plenty of fond memories with RP’s! :D.

    • I think if you find a partner or group who is open-minded and all, they won’t care what you put out on the table. Reading and writing fanfics along with role-playing has exposed me to so many weird concepts and fetishes that I am hardly fazed now, haha!

  4. I used to roleplay a lot but it was only based on my oc. There was this girl named Ebony at Deviantart. She’d roleplay with me whenever she got free time before and after school. I don’t roleplay any more but I do miss those memories that I had with her.

    How you been doing? Hope you’re well

    • Role-playing is definitely hard to get back into when you stop. I guess my priorities have changed over the years ^^;

  5. I have also roleplayed! Mostly through forums like Jcink/Invisionfree. I am fairly busy as well but I try to make time for it as well. This was really interesting to read! I haven’t done any of the personal roleplaying through Google Docs but that sounds like it would be a lot of fun. I find that it’s fun to see all the different interpretations people have of characters and settings.

    • Google Docs is a great medium to role-play through because you can be in different time-zones! Like if I write something, my partner can write her part when she gets the time, and we just go back and forth. And you bring up a great point about seeing different interpretations from others. It’s really neat to see that :D

  6. The only roleplay I did was for a Harvest Moon forum but it didn’t stick. :’D I much prefer writing fanfic. I haven’t updated my fics in a long time but I still get a kudos or review every so often. I need to get back on that!

    I’ve written outlines of a couple of original stories that I have yet to write. Writing is so hard, it takes me forever to finish a chapter. :(

    • I hope you can get back to your fics! I know how it is when RL takes over your life X_X;

      Writing is hard X_X I find that it’s so hard to come up with something “original”. Like I could write original stories, but I’m afraid it’ll be similar to someone else’s stories and then problems arises!

  7. Oh this brings back memories! I used to roleplay so much on a Neopets guild, haha. It was always based on some other fiction, but I remember starting because I joined a Pirates of the Caribbean guild, which I looooved in middle school. (I mean, I still love the movie though and watch it repeatedly, so I guess nothing has changed.) But, once I really got into roleplaying and realized how much I loved to write and hangout with these new friends of mine, we branched out into other writing, one based off of a book series and one of our own original works.

    I think as we got older, we outgrew our interest in roleplaying. I still love writing, but roleplaying just doesn’t pique my interest like it used to. I still am friends with my roleplaying buddies, though! They were truly some of my closest friends back in middle school and are still very near to my heart today.

    That is such an awesome idea to write using google docs because all that writing was saved! I wish I could go back and read some of what we had written, but it was forum-based so it deletes after so many messages and amount of time. Then again, maybe it’s a good thing because it probably wasn’t very good. :’D That being said, it did foster a love of writing, so it’s all worth it!

    • Neopet Guild? Now that’s an interesting place to role-play! I don’t think I’d ever considered that!

      Thank you for sharing your role-playing experience. I’ve fallen out of touch my RP buddies :( Maybe I should contact them again . . . :D

  8. I’m OBSESSED with role playing! XD Actually have a giant section for it at my forum! Would role play on forums (still do) and through instant messages. Was so much fun! I love to read over old role plays.

    • They were very addicting when I was doing them. Now I can’t imagine doing them for eight hours a day again!

  9. Adrianne on

    I used to roleplay, right at the same time as I began building my first anime/manga/video game shrines (late 1990s-2000s). My very first website is a DBZ fanfic site and some of those fanfics were based on roleplays I used to do back at the old wbs chats. I even did roleplays on my long-term J-Pop fandom too. One of the things that my friends and I did was to create LJs of J-Pop idols and roleplay as them as if they were blogging about “a day in their life.” LOL

    Nowadays, I’m not really much into roleplaying anymore. But the benefits of roleplaying is that it helped me unleash so much of my creativity in writing original fiction. I have to thank roleplaying for that. :)

    • Yes, I think role-playing for allowing to explore my creative side :) I didn’t RP much when I was in the anime fandoms, but I did later on when I was really into RPing :3

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