Fandom RPG

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Synonyms: Role-Playing Game
See also: Celebrity RPG
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Fandom RPGs online are a combination of collaborative fan fiction and traditional role-playing games, in which players write posts, messages, or comments as (or about) characters from established fictional worlds. In some RPGs, players create journals on LiveJournal or other journaling sites as their characters, and write as if their characters were actually users of a journaling service. In others, journals, message boards, or chat rooms are simply used to post third-person descriptions of what characters do.

Fandom RPGs may include both canon characters and original characters. They may stick closely to the canon setting or be wild AUs; even games that begin as canon-based often quickly become AU as players develop different relationships between characters and events proceed based on players' decisions. Some focus heavily on action-oriented plots that may require complex coordination between players, while others focus more on romantic or sexual relationships. Like most freeform text-based RPGs, the results of characters' actions are usually decided by consensus among the affected players, and "godmoding" or attempting to control another character's actions without the player's consent is frowned on.

How closely to stick to canon (and varying interpretations of canon) is often debated in fandom RPGs. In games with many players who are slash fans, the number of characters played as gay or bisexual may be high, leading to debates over whether this is unrealistic, whether restrictions on characters' sexual orientation are fair or useful, and whether female characters get less attention from other players than male (slashable) ones.

In journal or forum-based roleplaying for some fandoms, especially book series where not all characters have canon artwork or TV/movie appearances, players choose photos of actors (or other celebrities who have many pictures available online) to use in icons representing their characters. The real person whose pictures are used is commonly referred to as the character's "played by", or PB for short. Even in some fandoms with movies, such as Harry Potter, using different actors from the ones who played the characters in the movies is fairly commonplace. However, there is a complex etiquette surrounding the usage of PBs, the specific rules of which can differ from fandom to fandom and even between particular games. Generally, using PB images of anyone already chosen by another player in the same game is taboo; many players also frown on using PBs that are too famous or iconic -- for example, using images of Jack Sparrow for one's original character would invite derision in some RP circles.

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