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 red flags in writing ads
alyeska
 Posted: Apr 11 2016, 09:43 PM
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pretty much exactly what the title says ! also may or may not be vying for a post get.
anyway !

think of all the ads you pass over. we all have things that constitute deal breakers or red flags in our minds. we probably even list several in our own ads. but, barring someone butchering the language you're roleplaying in or insistently sending one liners, i feel like there's also something more subtle that makes us think twice. maybe it's their email server, maybe the use of capitalization, their preferred punctuation...

so, what i want to know is what makes you think twice about contacting a person ? what about replying to someone when they contact you ?

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Rica
 Posted: Apr 11 2016, 09:50 PM
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Usually I avoid all together if it looks like the person is aiming for a smutty RP. Like entirely smut. With no plot.

And when it comes to canon x oc pairings I'm very picky about how certain characters are played and so I sometimes I get a niggling hint that they might play a character in a way that really really bothers me. Like the most dumbed down, noncomplex versions of a character being played.

Oh and when people say there is absolutely no way they'll do a certain type of pairing, even when they are getting what they want as well I get sort of iffy because the excuse is usually mildly homophobic (for those that don't do M// or F//) or laziness.

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alyeska
 Posted: Apr 11 2016, 10:04 PM
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participating in my own thread, woo.
so. i actually have a lot because i am obnoxiously picky for someone who spends 28 days out of the month as a ghost but.

two major ones for me are when people write what ends up being the same word count as a short story as ads (i'm sorry like if you have several paragraphs i'm just gonna close out, im sure you're a wonderful writer but i cant focus that long)

or when people say they write 'both genders' bc the quickest way to ensure my disinterest in writing w you is by erasing my gender so kudos. also i realize there's probably a lot to be said about education there or tolerance or whatever but honestly i don't see it as being much different than when people refuse to write male or female characters bc they have their own set idea(s) about the characters they want to play, but imo i've come to the general feeling that a characters gender is one of the least interesting things about them in most cases... but also i think this broaches a larger topic about attitudes and tendencies around gender in roleplaying, and how they evolve too bc when i joined barber i was writing solely f// and now years later i've only got nb, agender, queer, gay, and ace men on my roster. okay i'm babbling now but yeah basically it's the wording of it all that makes me cringe.


bonus:
also when people reply, i tend to be a bit apprehensive about people who reply within the same hour. it's just a thing i have about the disproportionate amount of time i take on a reply vs their immediate response. plus it really highlights how fucking slow i am.

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knox
 Posted: Apr 12 2016, 09:00 PM
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here's a list of things that turn me off almost immediately:
  • "doubling is required"
the concept of side characters is often beyond this person.
  • "odd pairings"
GROAN.
  • an ad that is millions of paragraphs long
i just... prefer things written with brevity.
  • "i will match your posts, i expect you to match mine"
GROOOOAAAAN.
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Poette
 Posted: Apr 12 2016, 11:22 PM
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I second "doubling is required."

Something along the lines of "I only play submissive characters," which is often code for "you have to initiate everything." e.e

If the ad shows a lack of caring about grammar and capitalization-- "oh but when I role play, I don't use chat speak." ...I mean you might be the best partner ever but getting too casual in an ad can come off as lazy or 'look at me, I am so cool I don't have to try and sell myself. I don't use capitalization to stand up against the institution.' I mean this mostly in an extreme situation.

I will reiterate too much focus on odd pairings / smut based. To me, the chemistry between characters is important and forcing it too soon just ruins it.

If someone includes a kink that is very much a 'no' for me. Anything crossing my limits is an instant no (obviously).

...maybe it is shallow but I don't like ads where people have a list of characters and bios for me to pick from. I am very much a create a character for the role play person, so being asked to pick a pre-set character is kind of ehhhhh. Let's make new stories and new characters, not just fit your existing one into a new situation. It's not the way I operate so I guess it's just something I prefer not to deal with personally.
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alyeska
 Posted: Apr 13 2016, 12:11 AM
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QUOTE (knox)

"odd pairings"


i agree, to an extent. i think there should be a better term for the circumstances between characters that causes that romeo&juliet sort of star crossed lovers vibe. if someone knows of one pls enlighten me.

but anyway k would you mind elaborating ? i'm curious about this one bc while this is something that i think comes up quite often, it's also a turn off for a lot of people. which brings me to:

QUOTE
I will reiterate too much focus on odd pairings / smut based. To me, the chemistry between characters is important and forcing it too soon just ruins it.


so, poette, do you feel odd pairings have negative bearings on the build of chemistry between characters ?


i agree on quite a few of these but especially doubling as a necessity.
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alyeska
 Posted: Apr 13 2016, 12:21 AM
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QUOTE (Poette)

If the ad shows a lack of caring about grammar and capitalization-- "oh but when I role play, I don't use chat speak." ...I mean you might be the best partner ever but getting too casual in an ad can come off as lazy or 'look at me, I am so cool I don't have to try and sell myself. I don't use capitalization to stand up against the institution.' I mean this mostly in an extreme situation.


i will admit i'm guilty of this.
what can i say, i'm an anti-capitalist.


okay but fr lame jokes and me being the laziest texter ever aside, it's interesting you mention this bc this is actually something i look for in a way. i guess it's like, if someone can string together coherent sentences w proper grammar and syntax while also typing like a gorilla, i tend to lean more towards trusting them to keep it together in a more 'formal' setting within the roleplay itself.

on the flip side of that, do you / anyone else ever find less casual ooc chatter to be slightly intimidating or feel a bit more pressure in that scenario ?
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Asha
 Posted: Apr 13 2016, 07:16 AM
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"I only play female"
"I can play both genders but I'm new at playing men"
"I can try a male character but I'm not very good"

Even if it's a roleplay where I want to play the male role, the fact that someone thinks themselves physically incapable of writing one gender means that... well, they're probably not a very good writer.

Doubling is always such a red flag. TBH I love expanding the cast of characters as a roleplay goes on, which I guess would be counted as doubling -- but as it appears in roleplay ads it usually just means "I'll write you a 'perfect' pairing and you write me a 'perfect pairing'.

On that note, I once was emailed by someone who wanted to write two of the same roleplay at the same time, with each of us playing each role in one of them. I can't think of a way that would ever work out.

Not an ad thing, but when people just don't add anything to a plot you suggest. Like, if someone's not going to help me brainstorm a plot then how are they going to add to it as we write?

Totally agree with the whole 'submissive' thing too, though the same goes with people who only play 'dominant' characters too. I mean, no one is truly submissive or dominant unless you're in a BDSM scene. Power plays in relationships are so interesting, I don't know why you'd want to simmer it down to something so simple and boring.

And EMAIL CLIENTS seriously! Maybe it's because I'm a tech-head but I'm such a Gmail snob and if I'm on the edge about contacting someone, I probably won't contact an Outlook/Yahoo/AOL email, but I would for a Gmail account. Too many problems with emails from outdated clients going missing, or coming through in a weird format.

Aaaand with that said I'm going to go think about making an ad. An ad with no red flags... maybe?
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knox
 Posted: Apr 13 2016, 07:33 AM
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QUOTE (alyeska @ Apr 13 2016, 01:11 AM)


i agree, to an extent. i think there should be a better term for the circumstances between characters that causes that romeo&juliet sort of star crossed lovers vibe. if someone knows of one pls enlighten me.

but anyway k would you mind elaborating ? i'm curious about this one bc while this is something that i think comes up quite often, it's also a turn off for a lot of people.


there should be a better term for it. it's been at least eight+ years since its origin- you'd think there would be. i mean, what is "odd" about them anyway?

i digress.

my main issue with "odd pairings" (as far as my experience goes) is that the set up (usually an opposites attract kind of thing ala city boy x country girl) often gives rise to lazy characterization. why think about your character when you have a mold right in front of you?

let's say that the following traits are part of the country girl trope. country girl: innocent, shy, knows nothing of the world outside the farm, overalls. JUST A SMALL TOWN GIRL. LIVING IN A LONELY WORLD. there is nothing that strikes me as inherently wrong about this character. it's just that, well, chances are rper didn't draw too much from their imagination or their own research and discoveries. they have chosen to select an accepted and very generalized representation of country girl instead. and actually, i wouldn't go so far as to say that they've actively chosen to go with the country girl trope. they've just kind of resigned themselves to it out of convenience. at worst, it smacks of stereotyping. this is especially problematic for me when the pairing is drug addict x "druggy" or in the closet x openly gay.

not always the case, but i find that it is more often than not. when a rper has well thought out, compelling characters there is almost no reason to use or play out an "odd pairing" set up.

(note: i try not to take things too seriously. i know "odd pairings" are mostly harmless and all in good fun, but i still want nothing to do with them. kind of the same way i never want to watch "girls.")
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knox
 Posted: Apr 13 2016, 08:19 AM
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QUOTE (alyeska @ Apr 13 2016, 01:21 AM)


on the flip side of that, do you / anyone else ever find less casual ooc chatter to be slightly intimidating or feel a bit more pressure in that scenario ?



NOPE. NEVER. I AM THE PRESSURE.

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alyeska
 Posted: Apr 13 2016, 09:06 AM
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QUOTE (knox @ Apr 13 2016, 08:19 AM)
QUOTE (alyeska @ Apr 13 2016, 01:21 AM)


on the flip side of that, do you / anyone else ever find less casual ooc chatter to be slightly intimidating or feel a bit more pressure in that scenario ?



NOPE. NEVER. I AM THE PRESSURE.

user posted image


this... doesn't surprise me in the least.

OKSO next question in this vein,

on a scale of 1-10 how cheated do u feel when your partner writes with proper punctuation and capitalization and basically keeps it together ooc in ways beyond my comprehension, only to fall short when it comes time to actually write ?

i'm gonna go ahead and evolve from trash prince to drama king to say TEN bc wTF i TRuSTED yOU i felt PreSSURED to be a PROPER HUMAN over my natural gorilla tendencies and YET.
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Poette
 Posted: Apr 13 2016, 09:19 AM
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QUOTE
so, poette, do you feel odd pairings have negative bearings on the build of chemistry between characters ?


Mostly when people start trying to plot for it and it usually boils down to 'romance!' The pairings themselves are fine but the implication of romance is the problem. Or maybe it's the expectation. Sometimes it can be rushed. But this is a universal problem outside of odd pairings. But odd pairings comes off as a sleazy way to get romance -- even if it is not the case!

QUOTE
on the flip side of that, do you / anyone else ever find less casual ooc chatter to be slightly intimidating or feel a bit more pressure in that scenario ?


lol
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bird
 Posted: Apr 13 2016, 10:27 AM
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QUOTE (knox @ Apr 13 2016, 08:33 AM)


my main issue with "odd pairings" (as far as my experience goes) is that the set up (usually an opposites attract kind of thing ala city boy x country girl) often gives rise to lazy characterization. why think about your character when you have a mold right in front of you?

let's say that the following traits are part of the country girl trope. country girl: innocent, shy, knows nothing of the world outside the farm, overalls. JUST A SMALL TOWN GIRL. LIVING IN A LONELY WORLD. there is nothing that strikes me as inherently wrong about this character. it's just that, well, chances are rper didn't draw too much from their imagination or their own research and discoveries. they have chosen to select an accepted and very generalized representation of country girl instead. and actually, i wouldn't go so far as to say that they've actively chosen to go with the country girl trope. they've just kind of resigned themselves to it out of convenience. at worst, it smacks of stereotyping. this is especially problematic for me when the pairing is drug addict x "druggy" or in the closet x openly gay.

not always the case, but i find that it is more often than not. when a rper has well thought out, compelling characters there is almost no reason to use or play out an "odd pairing" set up.

(note: i try not to take things too seriously. i know "odd pairings" are mostly harmless and all in good fun, but i still want nothing to do with them. kind of the same way i never want to watch "girls.")



^^^ this pretty much

as an aside i would love to see, just once, an 'odd pairing' roleplay that turns my expectation of what it's going to be on its head. like, make the country girl an extrovert party girl who's like "fuck you buddy i wanna see SKYSCRAPERS!" (i know a lot of those - have you never met those people who are studying in a big city for the first time? they're not shy. they go apeshit. bad veering-on-manic-pixie-dream-girl example, but still) ... but i probably never will.

and you know what, sometimes the [bleh] x [blah] thing isn't terrible shorthand for certain kinds of stories! but as soon as i see it i feel the same way as i did about the old seme x uke thing - the story is now immediately predictable, and the characters are immediately predictable, and there's now this expectation to make the whole thing a romance, and i just get kind of annoyed. also, maybe i'm just a dick, but figuring out our characters as they fit into the plot and the world around them and their weird messy relationships with each other is one of my favourite parts! i like coming up with that stuff. pairings, to me, read like "i play a half, you play my perfect other half" - i mean, i might end up doing that anyway, but gimme a break.

my least favourite is when it's something like drug addict x [whatever] or mentally ill person x whatever or marginalized person x whatever. like, idk, i have nothing against writing that, but calling it an 'odd pairing' does not suggest to me that you have a nuanced understanding of mental illness or addiction or whatever else. because in that particular scenario you're probably not asking me to write, say, any addict; you're probably asking me to write this very particular picture in your mind of an addict who is probably young and attractive and white and otherwise romantically compatible to your character save this one awful little flaw that your character needs to 'fix' and hoo boy do i have issues with that.

and maybe that's generalizing too much, but that's what i've seen a lot of! also, honestly, i don't know where i get off saying this because i'm just as i'm guilty as anybody else of writing stuff that probably came off as awful/tokenizing/poorly researched/terrible. and for all i know the writer putting up this ad is actually great. but, it's like making a profile on a dating site, right? you have to use shorthand to show complete strangers what you're about. and this particular shorthand does not make me want to write with someone. :^)

(i might still do it, if the rest of their ad is cool. but more often than not as soon as i start playing my character a little bit out of the 'box', that usually kills it)

also i barely respond to ads now at all so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
i could very easily just be out of touch

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alyeska
 Posted: Apr 13 2016, 10:54 AM
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QUOTE (knox)

(note: i try not to take things too seriously. i know "odd pairings" are mostly harmless and all in good fun, but i still want nothing to do with them. kind of the same way i never want to watch "girls.")


lol k, our resident fun stealer.

jk i think you're wonderful and i agree 100%. but also like i did make this thread knowing there was a possibility to step on toes oops,

every roleplayer is different and looking for different things though. i was just curious about what we either consciously or subconsciously look for to eliminate a possibly rp vs what we look for in said roleplay.

(also i'm working my way backward with all of this, sorry guys.)

QUOTE (knox)

often gives rise to lazy characterization. why think about your character when you have a mold right in front of you?

QUOTE

i wouldn't go so far as to say that they've actively chosen to go with the country girl trope. they've just kind of resigned themselves to it out of convenience. at worst, it smacks of stereotyping. this is especially problematic for me when the pairing is drug addict x "druggy" or in the closet x openly gay.


so addicts and closets are actually two that i think about almost instantly when it comes to my own issues with "odd pairings".
anyone remember our lovely writing beyond your life experience thread ?
i'm gonna redirect there for the much larger topic of people writing addiction and coming out when they have no experience or empathy, for lack of a better word, towards those who have experienced them... but k you brought up a good point that i am going to pair with this.

QUOTE
and while we're at it can we quit romanticizing mood and anxiety disorders?


i think this goes hand in hand with some of these, and it's another thing that makes me stay away from a lot of odd pairing set ups, even when it's usually not explicitly stated. maybe it's presumptuous of me, but in my mind i tend to equate certain odd pairings with what ends up being; x character saves y character from themself through the power of LOVE and FORGIVENESS and DRAMA. i don't know if i'm like yikes or ouch or both.

also, like you said, i think these scenarios tend to focus more on portraying stereotypes of tropes of characters over creating a compelling character.


tldr; if the most interesting thing about your character is them being 'oppositional' to the other writer's, congratulations, you have not succeeded in creating an interesting character, merely a circumstantial one.


SO do you think that there is a correlation between writers who seek out odd pairings involving certain roles / dynamics and writers who are more prone to romanticize, fetishize, or i'm gonna go so far as to say exploit, real life scenarios which are actually quite difficult ?
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alyeska
 Posted: Apr 13 2016, 11:22 AM
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ohmygosh guys i am so SLOW

QUOTE (bird)
calling it an 'odd pairing' does not suggest to me that you have a nuanced understanding of mental illness or addiction or whatever else. because in that particular scenario you're probably not asking me to write, say, any addict; you're probably asking me to write this very particular picture in your mind of an addict who is probably young and attractive and white and otherwise romantically compatible to your character save this one awful little flaw that your character needs to 'fix' and hoo boy do i have issues with that.


yes to your entire post but this is a much more eloquent version of what i was trying to say and i feel like it bears repeating.


also
QUOTE
i would love to see, just once, an 'odd pairing' roleplay that turns my expectation of what it's going to be on its head.


this is my dream. i will admit i am a sucker for character dynamics that could fall under the 'odd pairing' umbrella but are more specific to haters to lovers or opposites attract types. there's something about two people who have no business being together or falling in love that is just my kind of romance lol.


which also brings me to a point:

WELL DONE 'ODD PAIRINGS'. are there any you like to see ? any you're guilty of yourself ? if you don't refer to them as odd pairings, what do you refer to them as ?

this is also where i ask where all my other Anything But Your Kind fans are. (this is where i also formally apologize to both xander and abbey if seeing their work described as an odd pairing makes them cringe. i'm sorry. i really would like a better word for this.)
however
i think there's something to be said for everything about leon and reese's dynamic and i'm just. i love. everything. about it. the characters themselves are so compelling and if anyone ever wants examples of well written, fleshed out characters, i present exhibit a....byk....
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