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FaceClaims/Playbys and Character Death


Dragon
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When a character dies on your site, do you release the Face Claim/Play-By from claims, or do you leave that claim "spoken for" indefinitely? 

 

What about when a player leaves the site and abandons the claim? Do you release it back to be used in the future, or do you keep it listed as claimed? 

 

If you keep a claim after character death, but let it open after a member leaves - why? How and why do you differentiate that from a dead character with a permanently reserved claim? 
 

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Depends on how they died and the type of site. If the character died and it was some simple, normal death kind of affair, I'd probably release it. If they got caught in an explosion or something overly dramatic, I'd leave it there unless the player explicitly said several times that the character is done. Same for a site with superpowers, magic, and whatever.

 

If the person leaves the site, then the claim is vacated. And unless the character was instrumental in plots or something, they'll just get retconned as not existing or meaningfully existed, or they just get an appearance retcon.

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As @Cypher said: once someone leaves the site, the claim is vacated, doesn't matter who they were. At that point, it's up to anyone who had plots with them to decide on an NPC to fill their role and/or retcon whatever bits of their plots they need to.

 

As for the other bit, however, this is why I started implementing a retirement system on my sites. Through it, characters that had a wide-reaching impact on the site as a whole get to keep their claims indefinitely, death or not. Character death is not the only way to retire a character, and not every death = retirement. It's more dependent on how many existing characters on site would be affected by that character no longer existing, and take it from there.

 

Of course, the above also applies to retirement: if someone with retired characters leaves, their claims are vacated as well. Retirement is for characters who have essentially played out their story and are now meant to act as kind of "played NPCs." It's kind of a thank you/reward for people who are committed to the site and really enrich the atmosphere as a whole, though I also understand that that's a subjective means of measuring and not everyone is comfortable with it.

 

I would say if you're indefinitely holding a char's claims, the bar should be pretty high for what gets them to that point.

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Posted (edited)

When a character dies on your site, do you release the Face Claim/Play-By from claims, or do you leave that claim "spoken for" indefinitely?
If a character dies on site, and the player is still active, their face remains claimed.

 

What about when a player leaves the site and abandons the claim? Do you release it back to be used in the future, or do you keep it listed as claimed?
If a player leaves the site then their claim is freed up for another person to use.

 

If you keep a claim after character death, but let it open after a member leaves - why? How and why do you differentiate that from a dead character with a permanently reserved claim?
The answer to this is simple: if a character died as part of a site plot and the player is still around, the character is still a part of the site canon. They still exist as a part of the story of other characters and have not left the world except in the sense that they are no longer living. People who leave the site permanently (members, that is) lose their claims simply because their character is often written out or plots are worked around them. In many cases, when a member leaves, plots have to be reworked to the point that it's almost as if that character didn't exist in the first place.

 

The other reason for this is that people who leave the site/characters that are removed for inactivity will also lose their accounts eventually (we give time for them to come back if they want to, but we don't keep accounts around indefinitely) and all playbys that are saved - except for very specific case NPCs - require an account to be connected to it.

 

Edited by NyxDarklore

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A claim is vacated for me upon death or leaving a site or inactivity of a character. Really doesn't matter which one wins because at the end of the day it doesn't matter. In my head a character will always be a character that I love and appreciate no matter what but doppelgangers exist. There are people like this in the world and so it doesn't matter:

WWW.TIKTOK.COM

 

She's a Scarlett Johansson lookalike. Not even related but they look so much alike that its hard to tell the difference, especially for people that are face blind.

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This is a good question and one I’ve never really thought about. Sites I’ve typically been on release the face when the character died. It’s so typical I didn’t even think about what I would do with my site once something like that would happen. I’ve decided I’ll go with release when the character dies. I have a few reasons for this.

 

The first is that while some view the concept of a playby like casting an actor for a role, others view it as “my character looks similar to this actor, but not exactly the same.”

 

The second is because there have been various times in my life when someone has come up with me and say stuff like, “Rachael/Rebecca, I haven’t seen you in forever! I thought you moved to Fresno. How’s Mark and the kids?” Then I have to tell them that my name is not Rachael/Rebecca (typically seems to be those two names for whatever reason), I’ve never lived in Fresno, that I’m single with no children, and that I’ve never met them before. Celebrities are sometimes mistaken with each other like Keira Knightly and Natalie Portman. This can also be a hook. A woman who was recently widowed sees a man that looks a lot like her husband, so she can’t help herself but strike a conversation with him.

 

The third is one of more practicality. While I’m in the slow process of adding more playbys in part to help expand people’s horizons, a lot of people use the same small pool of faces. People like that sense of familiarity (McDonalds vs a local place even when the food the same price). Some people won’t join a site if their character’s face is taken. Now we have a situation where a face is taken, but isn’t actually in play. By releasing the face, I can gain a member, and if they get comfortable can add that their character is a distant relative to the deceased. Again, providing a hook or connection.

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Posted (edited)

Characters are never retconned from the story. They existed and died (or left the area) and get proper respect, including fond remembrances from time to time, which is the logic thing to happen. Otherwise, it would mean disrespecting both characters and writers who contributed to the story. 

 

If I die tomorrow, my colleagues will still remember that they received a book from me, or that I always put that song louder, or my husband that he used to be married once to someone who liked the coffee sweet. Things like this. They would not pretend I never existed. It is the same with the continuity of a story.

 

Face claims are freed, but those who choose them are kindly asked not to use the same photo like the deceased / missing character. However, if they are adamant to use the same photo, it would still be accepted.

 

 

Edited by Elena
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if someone goes inactive, the face claim is reopened. easy to justify, because there's a lot of people who can look similar to each other.

 

if someone leaves and they've been on the site a while/had an active part in the plot, their character is kept as canon and their face claim is retired. 

 

if a character dies, their face claim is retired.

 

of course it depends on the situation, and it's all circumstantial, but those are the general set of rules i go by.

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On 5/29/2021 at 9:09 PM, Dragon said:

When a character dies on your site, do you release the Face Claim/Play-By from claims, or do you leave that claim "spoken for" indefinitely? 

 

It really depends on the site setting and how impactful that character was. If the setting is in any way fantasy or sci-fi, I'd figure out a way for the dead character's PB to be used through cloning or other random logical ways. If it's a generic high school setting it might be a little different...

 

If it was a character that interacted with a large majority of other players' characters and held a pretty high reputation amongst the site I might have the PB be locked until those player characters (or the players themselves) no longer were an active part of the community.

 

To bypass that I might try and just say that this character happened to look like a character who passed, and let player characters react to that uncanny resemblance however they saw fit; be it a shock, or anger, or sorrow, or friendship, or even a way for a lover to (unhealthily) get over the initial character's death and cause some drama over it that would later spark a character growth.

 

So much could be done with that, so I try not to lock PB's if I can avoid it.

 

That being said, if the character died a week ago and someone wants to grab it...I'd probably say no for at least a month or two irl time to give some time for that character to fade from people's minds and hearts. I think it'd downplay the impact of death if PB's were just given out immediately after. Even if the character using the PB is completely different. You naturally and subconsciously associate that character with that PB, especially if that character is highly involved in things.

 

 

 

On 5/29/2021 at 9:09 PM, Dragon said:

If you keep a claim after character death, but let it open after a member leaves - why? How and why do you differentiate that from a dead character with a permanently reserved claim? 
 

 

When a member leaves (and the characters who played with the PB leave) that impact I'm shielding for the sake of character development no longer applies, so there'd be no point in holding the claim. The reason I prefer to have semi-open PB's after death in that way is because I don't want to stifle my players for something out of their control, and I also don't want new players to feel as if they can't play what they want. Sure, they might have to wait but it's better than an outright denial, right?

 

I was apart of one site where I randomly decided to switch my PB because I found a better one, and the admins allowed it. Things went pretty smoothly and it didn't really ruin too much since it was only a few weeks after I began writing on the site. So I don't see why the same couldn't be done if someone wanted a dead character's PB. Give it some time to appreciate the impact, then do it if you still want to. It's a bit of a sentimental thing I suppose.

 

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