How to win at roleplaying.

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Profile photo of Eleri Pentewyn

pagelawless resident


The Game Theory and How to win at roleplaying!

In any given situation, with two or more people, you can model out a game, and figure out the best outcome. In roleplaying, we can use the idea of a trust game.

Winning at roleplaying, through the lens of game theory, is about maximizing collective enjoyment and storytelling richness. It involves understanding and aligning with others' motivations, building trust, making cooperative decisions, and being open to the unpredictable paths of collaborative storytelling. By applying these principles, you can turn roleplaying into a game where everyone wins.

In game theory, a Nash Equilibrium occurs when all players choose the best strategy they can, considering the choices of others. In roleplaying, this means making decisions that contribute to the story in a way that’s enjoyable for everyone, rather than just optimizing for your own character’s success. Aim for decisions that support the collective narrative and enjoyment.

As roleplayers, we often find ourselves in repetitive scenarios as we seek to create and collaborate on stories, world-building, and character development. Despite our efforts, there are times when disappointment is inevitable. Our objective, then, is to optimize our experiences to ensure that we enjoy as many moments of engagement and creativity as possible.

I’ll just cut to the big reveal. The best chance of winning it big boils down to four points.

Be Cooperative: Start by trusting others. Viewing fellow players as adversaries from the outset is counterproductive. A foundation of trust enhances your likelihood of success, fostering more win-win scenarios in the long run.

Don’t be a push-over: While trust is crucial, it's equally important not to roll over. Yes, trust is a virtue we've discussed, but the moment someone exploits your trust, it's imperative to confront them and hold them accountable.

Be Forgiving: Experiencing a breach of trust can be painful, yes. But maintaining an openness to the possibility of change is vital. People can evolve, learn, and improve. Adopting a stance that allows for holding others accountable, yet also offering forgiveness, tends to yield more favorable outcomes over time.

Communicate Openly: Transparency about your principles is essential. Misunderstandings and mistrust often arise from a lack of clarity. By being forthright about your values and approach, you encourage others to reciprocate, laying the groundwork for enduring trust.

This brings us to a critical conclusion: adopting a fair yet firm approach yields the best outcomes. This perspective offers an optimistic blueprint for interaction, a viewpoint not commonly held. In a competitive environment, it's all too easy to fall into the mindset that everyone is out to surpass or target you. The natural inclination might be to shut out those who have wronged us previously. However, mathematics, and more specifically game theory, challenge this assumption. They demonstrate that cooperation, balanced with assertiveness, not only enhances personal success but also contributes to a more positive and productive collective experience. This evidence underscores the power of strategic collaboration over isolation or adversarial strategies.

This is particularly relevant to roleplaying, which inherently operates as a positive-sum game. In such an environment, it's not just one person who can emerge victorious; multiple participants can succeed simultaneously. In fact, the success of others often amplifies our own victories. When I first ventured into roleplaying, I felt threatened and frustrated by others who introduced ideas similar to, or even improvements upon, my own. I had been working hard to attract attention to my creations, and then a well-known roleplayer appeared, seemingly overshadowing me with their acclaim. I felt as though I was about to be completely overshadowed. My response was to become defensive, claiming precedence and attempting to outdo them. However, an unexpected realization dawned on me: the competition I feared was actually enhancing my engagement and narrative opportunities. The very ideas I had been promoting were gaining significance, thanks to the communal effort. I came to understand that the narratives developed by my so-called 'rivals' and my own were mutually beneficial, driving both our concepts to greater prominence. Initially, I feared that their presence meant the negation of my hard work. Instead, I discovered that I was no longer in isolation; we were inadvertently collaborating, fostering a new trend within our roleplaying community. It became clear that there was ample room for everyone's stories to flourish.

Crack Den is a space where all ships can rise. This is achieved through inviting others into your storylines, collaborating, and sharing ideas. However, it's also common to encounter roleplayers who view the activity as a zero-sum game, believing that for one to win, another must lose. This approach invariably leads to frustration; no one enjoys the experience, and it often ends with parties disparaging each other.

Instances arise where individuals actively discourage others from engaging with certain players, which invariably leads to negative outcomes. Operating under the misconception that success is a finite resource—that one's gain must come at another's loss—ultimately results in a collective defeat. Rather than isolating ourselves and guarding our creative endeavors out of fear, we should aim to cultivate an inclusive environment. By focusing on collective enjoyment and contribution, we can enhance the entire Crack Den experience, creating a community where every story and character has the opportunity to flourish.

When initiating roleplay, lead with trust. Trust that the person you're engaging with will collaborate with you to craft a compelling narrative. In turn, make it your mission to offer them the same courtesy. It's inevitable that there will be missteps—situations that could have been handled better, moments of oversight, or failures to fully consider the perspectives of others. These are the moments that necessitate constructive feedback, offering guidance on how things could improve. It's equally crucial, however, to embody forgiveness when the roles are reversed. Allowing room for mistakes and growth not only enhances individual roleplaying skills but also fosters personal development.

Ultimately, by adopting this approach, we all emerge victorious, creating a richer, more inclusive roleplaying environment where everyone's stories can thrive.

But hey. That’s just a theory.

The Game Theory.

March 11, 2024 at 2:01 pm
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raine eleonara


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March 13, 2024 at 1:22 am
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