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Recycle or Trash

Character Recycling  

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This is a bit of a probe into personal character use preferences. 


For example, Do you recycle characters between various plots/settings/genres? Or do you prefer to create new puppets for new surroundings? Yet still, maybe its a mix of both? 


For each option - what's your reasoning? 








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I just love my current ocs so much that I can’t not use them. Even if I moved sites I’m not done with their stories yet so they have to come with me. As a general rule however I only play any character on one site at a time. I don’t rework them or make aus so the goal is to maintain as much continuity to their individual stories as possible.  


At least one preexisting  oc must fit as-is for me to join a site. They’re kind of like my litmus test so that I can see if the place is a good fit for me since my ocs cater to my style of RP


Once I’m established on a site then I might make a few new characters for the RP, as I judge the setting’s plot needs and what sort of personality might help push the stories along. Sometimes they are little more than npcs, but if they stick, I’ll carry them over to the next place I join and so on. 

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When I first join a site, you get either Suyis, or Axel, sometimes both. Either one of these is extremely easy to plot and thread with, gregarious and friendly and charming in their ways, and very good site-newbie characters because they give me all sorts of opportunities to get a good foot in the world before I start breaking out the mopey tsunderes and loners. I do have specific "variants" of my characters, and these will be obviously based-on another one, or if you know both well enough you can see parallels and similarities, but each iteration stands in their own right all the same. What character cast I have changes very slowly over the course of time; I'll eventually stop playing any variants of x or y, and pick up new ones as I will eventually create new characters for a site based on any plot ideas I get or wanted ads, or similar. (Several of mine actually began as a wanted ad character, as an example.)


I like toying with certain characters that I'm really feelin' at the time in different variations of their same set up, or different genres, and it's fun to do this because I discover something new about them every go around. I also like having at least one or two "staples" that I know I can write at any given moment without much trouble, because new characters don't always stick, and I like to have a crutch, so to say. But I also do like making new characters if I have need of them, so I'm really more of a yes and yes type player. I'll recycle, I'll make new ones, and sometimes I do reach the end of so and so's story and stop remaking them, but by the time they've reached that point, I've got many other regulars to fill the gap.


... the one exception seems to be Suyis. I've had them since I was seven or eight, and I've never stopped playing them. Donno. They just won't peter out. I'm okay with that, I think I'd feel weird if they did.

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I think a big part of the character is the setting and their relationships. I feel as though if you strip those away/alter them, the character wouldn't be the same -- so why not just haul out someone shiny and new?


Also I'm a character whore, and recycling doesn't appease that 😉

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I think there's a delicate difference between a character as-is—stalwart and unaltered from the original setting in which you birthed them into writing—and a character concept—that elusive kernel of boiled-down existence that you continue to hold a candle for because it keeps you warm inside. 


I can recycle concepts—new faces, new careers, new time periods, new worlds.


I don't recycle characters—same, same, same, same.


It's too difficult (for me, conceptually), to hang onto someone who is so obviously custom built to fit into a specific place, but I can carry their idea with me wherever I go and am happy to recycle themes and story arcs. I find when I attempt to bring a very developed, well-established character somewhere new, it's always a bit of trying to shove a square peg in a round hole and I'm too much of an easy-going, fluid writer to do that to myself. Already, I so often app an idea for a character and breathe life into them and they take off on their own damn way as it is, so it's better for me to be adaptable and flexible as my characters often keep me on my toes already.

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I like making new characters but I'm also really attached to a lot of my old ones - while browsing a new site, if I think I have a character in the closet that will already fit, fantastic! Less prep work for me. Or sometimes I'll make an all-new character.


idk about you guys, but I think it's pretty cool to run into an RPer a few months or years later and see how much their recycled character has changed. It's very nostalgic!

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 Do you use the same character between multiple sites?

  • I chose Sort-Of, but it should be not always. If I have a really good character that fits the genre, I will recycle him or her. Generally speaking, I do choose the same play-bys simply because I have a large playby go-to library. It makes life easier.

Do you use same characters between genres?

  • Rarely. I have occasionally had characters that work between similar genres and will fall-back on them if my time is tight.

Do you create new characters for each site you join?

  • Again, it depends on the site and my time. I do prefer to go to totally new sites with a fresh crop of characters. However, sometimes the premise is so close to another one, I recycle retired characters.

Do you join sites based on whether or not a pre-conceived character will "fit"?

  • No. If I love the site and want to join, I will create a new character for it. I don''t choose based on my ability to recycle a character.
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I have a couple of staple characters that I've been using for years. Some times they get rebooted. Sometimes they get new faces. Sometimes their backstory gets changed but the personality remains the same. Rarely the backstory remains the same but the personality changes drastically. 


A lot of times I'll use the same face claims, the same names, the same stories; but I'll mix and max them around. Like using my characters as chimeras. Some of them never change. My play partner and I have moved through several boards and some of the stories have been continuing since then. But a lot of the times I can sort of reshape the character to the new board. If the face claim is taken, sometimes I'll leave out the character; sometimes I'll find a new face. 


So I guess I'm a mix and match of yeses and nos? 

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There are a few characters I can't help but have on a site (really only one or two), but otherwise I LOVE making new characters! Hunting FCs and figuring out their personalities is half the fun to me. Plus if I'm joining a brand new site, it doesn't feel right leaving behind an existing character's plots and pretending they didn't exist, so a new character it is!


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This is such a complicated question for me. I am all over the map with this. 


I have a few characters that have been adapted, because a site/rp died and I wanted to keep playing them. But the vast majority of my characters are made for a site. I sometimes use bases, though. Like "it's been a while since you played the sweetest of characters" I might think, and then create a sweetheart, who, obviously, will have some overlap with other sweethearts i have played, but I would not say they are recycled?


Even when I recycle, they usually end up so drastically different, other than the name/fc overlap it's hard to tell... they're the same character

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So I didn't answer the poll because the answer to every question is maybe/sometimes. But here's my answers anyway. 


1. Do you use the same character between multiple sites? Every so often a board died before I could get a character off the ground and I still want to see what I can do with them. Or I've gotten attached to a character that I've played for a while. But I can count on one hand the number of times I've only joined a board with preexisting characters, rather than making a new character, even if the new one was two or three characters down the line. 


2. Do you use same characters between genres? Yeah, a few come to mind off the top of my head. It's typically a case of keeping any abilities/powers, their personality, and early/key points of their life, and rewriting the rest. I have an OC who was originally a Hunger Games victor as a teen, married early, lost his wife, and had a hard time raising his son alone. I recently transferred him to a modern fantasy site where he was in a poly relationship, his female partner disappeared, and he drove away his other partner with his grief-induced behaviour, resulting in him having a hard time raising his son alone. In both cases the character has debilitating anxiety, but it was Games-induced on the original site and GAD on the new one. In both cases he's an artist with an interest in science, and picked up swordfighting as a skill in his younger years (though for different reasons). So the big things stay the same but the details change all over the place. 


3. Do you create new characters for each site you join? At some point, usually. I prefer having multiple characters on a site, and odds are that one of them are going to be a new one. But it's just as easy for me to completely use old characters, and in some cases, I only have one or two total. I reuse characters all over the place, but I also like to take wanted ads if I'm joining somewhere new to give me an easy in. Sometimes I can do both with one character, sometimes not. It varies. 


4. Do you join sites based on whether or not a pre-conceived character will "fit"? Occasionally I'm looking to place a specific preexisting character. So I look for a specific genre/fandom that will allow me to play a certain character without changing anything (except where necessary for site canon). But usually, I join a site because I like the rules, plot, and community. I have played in just about every genre in the last eight years and I think at this point it would be impossible for me to find a board where I couldn't fit in a preexisting character. 

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1. Do you use the same character between multiple sites?

Yes, I do. I do it in my novels too. I have several embodiments of Marina, Andrea, Emilia, Alexandru/ Alessandro, in my novels, and some in the RPGs too. I like seeing them part of different stories, instead of writing AUs within the same site.


2. Do you use same characters between genres?

Sometimes, yes. Sigurd had been a Viking warrior, a merman, a police officer in present day. Marina had been a sailor girl in history or a student at foreign languages in our day, etc.


3. Do you create new characters for each site you join?

Not always. Sometimes I do, but I voted no, because sometimes I join only with one pre-existing character which fits.


4. Do you join sites based on whether or not a pre-conceived character will "fit"?

No. I join sites whose stories inspire me to further them. With a pre-existing character or one it inspires me right then.




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I don't usually reuse characters period. There's really only exception and that's if I'm rerunning an old idea and the character still fits the revamp of the idea.

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I haven't had a lot of opportunity to do this as I tend to stick to places, but I have reused a couple of characters between a few settings. Their main personality beats tend to stay largely intact, with variations to their backgrounds/what they do depending on the setting.

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When I fall in love with a character I have created, then I will always want to re-imagine them on other sites whenever possible.  That said I also never move a character that was created to be part of one genre into another.  So my rl site characters will never be made for a supernatural creatures site and vice versa.  If I make a character for that genre then they stay in that genre, unless I ever find a way and inspiration to toss them into another.  This is rare, however, and has only ever happened with one or two out of the many characters I have made throughout the years.  


But for sites that are of a similar genre then I will look into making a new version of a character I already play elsewhere if I can find a way to fit them into the world of the site.  And even if I can't, then I will accept that not all characters are meant to for certain sites even if it is for the same genre.  

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