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Realism VS. Entertainment/Story Telling

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Ocean    6

I have seen a few threads in the past month or so talking about very different topics. In the end (from what I gathered) they all share a similar "two-camp" debate that I think is worth discussing. These two camps I will be calling are "Camp Realism" (CR) VS. "Camp Entertainment/Storytelling" (CES). 


This is purely a discussion. This thread is only meant to bring up issues within Roleplay (RP) that people may have. A discussion where you can possible learn a different Point Of View (POV) from another community member. This isn't a place to change the minds of others, OR a thread to try and enforce/create a new rule. Although if you find yourself changing your mind, so be it, change is good. If I have written anything that is already wrong or weird, let me know and I will try to fix it. 

Please when reading my thread and anyone else's following reply's to make sure you understand what they are trying to say. Re-read it 100 times if you have to. The worst thing for a debate is going in circles having each camp trying to explain themselves over and over only because the previous person didn't quite read it right. I would like to consider this a debate (a formal discussion on a particular topic in a public meeting or legislative assembly, in which opposing arguments are put forward). Not a argument (an exchange of diverging or opposite views, typically a heated or angry one).

Thank you. 




[align=left]These threads are the ones that brought these two camps to my attention. As well as a lot of discussion with many other members of this community. 

[align=left]Also the rule under >1. Role Playing>What Not to Do>

  • Ignore attempts to role-play.

Basically what I am trying to get at here is the line between RP'ing "Realism" over "Entertainment/Storytelling" and vice versa. Let me describe what each of these ideas mean to me. 

Realism - "The quality or fact of representing a person, thing, or situation accurately or in a way that is true to life." Meaning when we RP out our characters we must ensure the reactions/actions whether physical, emotional, spiritual or mental make sense in a real-world setting. Because that is the setting we are given (minus the fact there is a bunch of "zombies" running around). Of course being purely realistic in all situations is IMPOSSIBLE. Due to the fact it is a game (a buggy game) and we cannot be playing ALL the time 24/7. Only a few hours everyday... if that. That is what this camp "Camp Realism" (CR) is defending. 

Entertainment - "The action of providing or being provided with amusement or enjoyment." 

Storytelling - "Storytelling is the conveying of events in words, and images, often by improvisation or embellishment."

[align=left]We all know how CRAZY stories can be, how far-fetched and obscure our imagination can go when in the midst of "Storytelling". Especially when we want to provide "Entertainment" to others. As much fun as that can be, there is a time and place for everything. For DayzRP, the time and place is 2015 in Chernarus in a universe very similar to our own. The only exception is that a virus has been spread across the world that has infected human beings in a way unimaginable to the actual world we live in. THIS is the only exception to our Lore that allows any form of science that we do not understand, or anything that can be thought up as "supernatural". Depending on how you explain the infection. This is what the camp "Camp Entertainment/Storytelling" (CES) is defending. 

[align=left]To make this thread more simple and to not have "bricks" and "bricks" of text, I will now list topics that can be discussed based off of these two camps. Of course these camps crossover, no one will purely be CR or CES (if you want to, go ahead). An obvious example where these two camps crossover can be this. 

[align=left]Mike Domenico (my character) got his hands broken. Each hand individually smashed with a hammer against a tree. In the real world we live in (i'm not a doctor so I couldn't say the right timing) i'd say it would be at least 6 months before they are fully healed, WITH A CAST and modern medical technology. To heal properly on their own in the dayz settings enough to shoot a gun again, i'd say... never to be honest. How long did I RP out the broken hands? Little over a month. Mind you this is A LOT longer then most people RP out any injuries (this wasn't a brag, just a statement). Now from Camp Realism's perspective, this is bull crap. On the other hand if I continued to play Mike with broken hands forever needing another person by my side always to feed, wipe, and protect me judging from the CES perspective this is also bull crap. The situation would get stale very fast, and Mike would basically be unplayable. So, a balance was reached. After asking many people how long I should RP out this injury (some said 1 week, some said 2 weeks etc.) The best answer was given by OFA-Faux. His answer was "However long it takes before the situation starts to become stale and boring". Beautiful. Balance. 

[align=left]So here you go...

[align=left]List of Topics to discuss from each camp of CR and CES: (If you have a topic you would like to add for discussion PM me)

Text RP - How much emotion, thoughts, action should be put into Text RP. 

Injuries - How long/drastic should injuries be RP'ed out. (Fingers chopped off, broken bones, bullet wound anywhere on the body)

Death - How should death be handled. I will break this one down a bit. Death in dayz is when your game says  "You Are Dead". Whether that is from a glitch, crossfire, execution, sickness, beaten etc. 

Personal Death - I call this one differently because death by a glitch, crossfire, zombies are not so personal. Personal deaths are VERY personal where people have witnessed it, and was "planned" or RP'ed out. Deaths under this category include, execution, beatings, suicide... that's all I can think of.

Travel - The difference between running everywhere compared to walking most of the time. 

Communication - When talking IC on your "radio" (TeamSpeak) near others, should you also press down the in-game chat. When, and when not to. 

Goofiness - How much is TOO much in the settings we play. I will leave this very vague and see where it goes. 

*Added Topics* 

Uncomfortable Roleplay (Volke) - Going along side (not breaking) the rules. If a certain type of RP that is realistic in it's approach makes another player uncomfortable. The balance between being uncomfortable at times to achieve realism, while not crossing the line of losing the entertainment value.

The Power of OOC Consent (Volke) - When is OOC consent necessary and at what time should OOC consent be used. At what point should realism be halted at the expense of another players entertainment value. How much power do they have and when to stop specific situations from occurring. 

[align=left]I know all of these topics have been discussed before in immense detail on other threads. The purpose of this is to look at these topics from the specific camps. Don't just go off on your thoughts, but think of each topic according to each camp. How balanced should we be? Is it okay for some members to be more of one camp compared to other members? Of course we are all entitled to our own opinions and play styles, but if too many people are opposing of how a select few RP (when considering the above topics) maybe some things should change. As a community we should understand what we all want from playing DayzRP. I am not saying if you play with the Realistic factor in mind that you aren't having fun or telling stories, but in some cases it can make some other peoples RP "less fun". 

[align=left]Let me be the first to say it so no one else does. IT'S JUST A GAME! Yes it is. A game where a lot of us play A LOT of the time. Some of us put the majority, if not ALL their free time into DayzRP. So, there is no problem to have a discussion. 

[align=left]Things to Consider:


  • How does my RP affect others. Whether that is super realism or playful goofiness. 
  • How do my actions (reactions to injuries, death, constant sprinting, silence due to a busy Teamspeak) affect others.
  • At what point should some realism be subdued to enhance the entertainment value.
  • At what point should the entertainment value be subdued to enhance realism. 

**When you reply, please make headings on top of EACH section you are talking about the titles I underlined. For example.


...........Stuff worth discussing.............


...........More stuff worth discussing............

This will just make it easier for people to read what they want and to understand right away what you will be talking about. 

**The Definitions used in the above explanations are not the only ways to define the specific words. They are just the definitions I have used to help guide my discussion, to have everyone on the same track. You would be amazed at how some people have pretty different definitions of the same word that then causes A LOT of miscommunication** 

**Last note. Please try your hardest to keep your replies simple and to the point. If you find yourself going off topic... don't. Smaller straightforward replies are better then HUGE paragraphs of text that jump from topic to topic. Don't worry, you can reply as much as you want. Make a reply, see what others say, then make another reply back. 

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Volke    132

Text RP - How much emotion, thoughts, action should be put into Text RP. 

Injuries - How long/drastic should injuries be RP'ed out. (Fingers chopped off, broken bones, bullet wound anywhere on the body)

Death - How should death be handled. I will break this one down a bit. Death in dayz is when your game says  "You Are Dead". Whether that is from a glitch, crossfire, execution, sickness, beaten etc. 

Personal Death - I call this one differently because death by a glitch, crossfire, zombies are not so personal. Personal deaths are VERY personal where people have witnessed it, and was "planned" or RP'ed out. Deaths under this category include, execution, beatings, suicide... that's all I can think of.

Travel - The difference between running everywhere compared to walking most of the time. 

Communication - When talking IC on your "radio" (TeamSpeak) near others, should you also press down the in-game chat. When, and when not to. 

Goofiness - How much is TOO much in the settings we play. I will leave this very vague and see where it goes. 

Text RP

Now the amount of emotion, thoughts, and actions will differ from the role-player, I personally don't mind as long as minimum roleplay is provided.  Anything further then this is excellent and should be encouraged, but not enforced.  Though at the same time, if you give a lesser amount of roleplay, don't be upset if you don't receive the top quality roleplay either.  


Totally varies on the injury, if you have received OOC consent, you usually don't give off a finger or a toe or whatever for just a random bandit encounter at least I wouldn't.  Then again, you aren't forced to stay with the choices you make, so if you want to RP healing then so be it, if it's a finger I'd assume permenant hence why you don't just throw your finger away to a group of random torturers.  Bullet wounds , scars could range from days, weeks or months, though I believe  in Rping it out until it either gets boring or stale.  

Death & Personal Death

I'm on the side with this one, you can't force someone to permadeath, yet it is quite unrealistic to see the same guy who's been executed 10 times back in your face the next day.  People need to stop being so quick to execute and quote "perma their character" no one should have a right when the character is dead or not.  However, with this said, I wish that people think very carefully about the concept of permadeath, because it makes the entire experience feel pointless to those involved in the rp as the memory is then void . Regarding other topics, one should perma when they feel it's right. Execution shouldn't equal perma, nor should glitches, sickness, ect, Unless the rper wants it.

Regarding Personal Death, I only permadeath if I feel comfortable closing their book, putting down my pen and saying that's the end of their story.  Unless I feel comfortable, I will shelve them.  People should not be so quick to kill off or permadeath regardless of the rp involved as the confusion and drama it develops afterwards.


Travel should be universally agreed upon by those within the rp, as if someone acknowledges it as night, it is night.  Without correct settings and the very fast day/night cycles, it is difficult to rp.  I wish it would be manually done that Day before restart, then night next restart, and so on and so forth.  You could count the day as different periods.  Regarding travelling to different areas...well be realistic, how long would it take? If I send my character to Novigrad, it would take a 4 -5 days within the roleplaying universe to reach (obviously I could go their faster but for rp sake) so I'd put the character on hold until they return.


I am personally not happy of the idea of "invisible radios" however, the system should be the same as it is as there is no way to enforce it otherwise.  Teamspeak radio is a necessary evil.  You can and should use your teamspeak to whatever extent you wish as long as it doesn't affect rp or is rp taken.


I enjoy goofiness...as long as goofiness can be given with respective rp that isn't trolly, I'll respect it.  Some of the best characters have been goofy characters.  Only until that persons' rp is disruptive and immersion breaking entirely do I then have issues with it.


Regarding the above subjects Namon, I'd like to add 2 things to the list.  The Power of OOC Consent and Uncomfortable RP.

Uncomfortable Roleplay 


This is an issue I've noticed becoming more prevalent. To what extent can I rp comfortably if people do not feel comfortable with it? What about how it affects people roleplay, forcing conditions on them that they may not be comfortable with, this goes into topics of sexuality, slavery ,torture, violence, rape, cannibalism, and on and on.  This RP needs to be looked over by people before playing the chaarcters understanding that what they play is a 2 way street and some people are uncomfortable with it.  An example of this is I have spoken with someone oocly about having a character played from her past in which she was tortured, beaten, and subsequently, raped.  I want to bring this character in the RP world.  Now if she mentions that my character has sexually assaulted her in the past, is that suddenly classified as Sexual RP. People who perhaps may play in this community may have a history of rape, now mentioning that may make people uncomfortable.  At that point if I am uncomfortable, is it reportable? If I sexually make a woman character feel uncomfortable in game, or I strip a slave  of their clothes other then shorts, what if it is done in good roleplay? Can I talk about sexual encounters I've had or engage in sexual acitivites if given ooc consent and in private?

The Power Of OOC Consent

This is a discussion that I've thought above recently, when is OOC consent necessary, at what time should OOC consent be used? If I give permission OOCly to permadeath my character should this be permenant? If someone feels oocly uncomfortable with the type of roleplay, should it be stopped? People sometimes forget roleplaying is a 2 way street, and the ability to ask for OOC Consent is very important.  I'd like to know where people stand on this.

Overall, this is a well done thread, I look forward to reading the responses :)  

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Ocean    6

*Stares blankly* Thanks for the reply Volke... *Looks back at the community* Now Volke here pretty much summed up each argument into what I think most of the community members would agree upon. He pretty much sums up what we all "kinda" agreed upon in other threads. 

Now if you want to reply to this thread don't think you have to respond to each topic. Whichever one you feel you want to talk about, talk about. Let me gear this thread a little bit in another direction. Not only post how you THINK Camp Realism and Camp Entertainment/Storytelling should be balanced, but how you ACTUALLY balance it in your day to day RP. Maybe you find yourself putting more emphasis on Realism in Text RP, but when it comes to Injuries you lean towards the Entertainment and Enjoyability. 

What you may notice is sometimes how you think something should be RP'ed out, isn't how you actually go about RP'ing it. What you can take from looking at each of these topics from both Camps is maybe trying to RP situations differently then you normally would. Sometimes we just don't do something (that may be better) because we just don't know. 

Maybe you will learn that certain aspect of your RP hinders or enhances others RP.

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I'll take a stab at uncomfortable roleplay, because it's something that's been bothering me lately. I think it is wise when playing with a group of people to define and discuss what time of complications are fun for a group, not just one person. Recently, I've found myself frustrated when playing with other players who, through no fault of their own, want to explore interesting internal complications that can lead to running away or infighting. Although I do see this as great role play, I think there can be a limit for what is fun to others.

In my opinion, it's best to discuss this type of rp in a OOC fashion with others first, before you do something that could lead to a lot of internal work. Since it is a positive example, I will call out Aurora Sky in a positive manner, as she just did this before leading our group on a wild goose chase for liliya, and gave Mickey Jonas a real chance at nabbing her through a character complication. This was both risky and respectable, as it gave everyone an equal chance at dynamic, fun rp with real consequences. I will say though, that the weight of these consequences was stressful, and without an OOC discussion, could make the game feel 'unfun' or like 'it's too serious.' I think people should be conscious of limitations and risks of emotional rp and dynamic storytelling, because sometimes it can take a lot of energy and thus be pretty draining. At the same time, it often creates the most memorable types of experiences, IMO, so it's a double edged sword.

Great thread and great discussion topics.

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there draws a line between realistic and unrealistic, most of the time it's difficult to differentiate the 2 from time to time, especially when it comes to be something you're not and being behind a screen. I tend to go for story telling and entertainment, because let's be frank in real life, if it's survival, I would shoot on sight, and take their stuff. I would sneak around and avoid as much contact as possible to humans, I would band together with a small group and live life in fear in the dark and forest. honestly in a true zombie apocalypse it wouldn't be like the walking dead, where there are people brave enough to clear out a whole prison, it's going to be every man for himself.

I go for storytelling and entertainment because I can, my character aims to create a world where people come together and get high or drunk while gambling(heavy inspired by New Vegas), that's the Casino.

however that saying I try not to discount the realism in how things work, this is a game but that doesn't mean you can just do whatever you want. the idea is that we try to find the balance, personally I lean roughly 10% more towards story than realism

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dkdodd52    0

From the things I have personally witnessed and RPed, the ideas of injuries and permadeath are constantly in play.

I know that people can become attached to their character and they want to play out their own story. A lot of work goes into these stories. People do not want to toss it all away from one encounter, understandably so. But there comes a point where it becomes too much. A character who has been severely tortured multiple times, suffered many "near-fatal" GSWs (either from execution or firefight) ought to be retired. That is my opinion. 

Nobody expects to die. But it happens. And if you give OOC consent to be perma'd then you should abide by that.

I am not saying that you should always permadeath your character, but next time you get your brains blown out in a firefight, just consider it. Maybe starting fresh is the way to go.

Now, onto the issue of uncomfortable roleplay... If you are going to attempt to toe this dangerous line where you could ostensibly be reported for something someone is uncomfortable with, discuss it with your party first. Some folks are more sensitive than others. I have pretty thick skin and can deal with pretty much anything with my characters; other peoples RP usually does not bother me unless it is poorly done. Your character has been sexually assaulted and now has trust issues? Bravo, that kind of emotion in RP makes it all worthwhile. There is a line, undoubtedly, that you should not cross; a lot of players on this server are underage and do not need to be a part of sexualized RP...or maybe someone has a personal history and sexual RP strikes an emotional chord with them that they would rather not experience in a "for fun" community like DayzRP.

What is most important, I guess, is getting consent before engaging in something like that. And know that you are taking a risk. If you cross a line a report can easily be made and there will likely be consequences. 

Hope my thoughts are at least somewhat coherent.

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Hm. This is going to be interesting, so here is what I think might be a good balance. I will try to touch on every topic mentioned.

Text RP - Personally, as a pure text RPer, I would love to see a myriad of emotions put into words and actions, but I can understand if people wish to simply make it shorter so they can reply quicker. It is a bit off-putting personally if you are only using text, and use actions like *Coughs* or *Snores* or *Smokes a cigarette*, but again, that is just me. There is another post that has already been linked that has my thoughts on using character thoughts in emotes, but to sum it up...While yes, it is nice information, it also curbs any possible RP about people trying to understand your character, since you just served them all the nice little secrets. I guess I would lean more towards 'Realistic Entertainment' on this one.

However, one thing I haven't really seen brought up for text RP, would be aggressive, anger, or generally hostile actions.

While I guess this would not really fit under a camp, it is truly something I would like to see more of.

For instance, when I see most Text RPers, they are usually calm or in the aggressive situations, they are usually looking on with concern or something. I can only recall maybe three times I have seen a text RPer be openly hostile. While I am not saying for them to be in hostile RP, I am asking for some anger or hatred to be displayed sometimes, even if it is just a little. 

For instance, I have one character who had repeated run-ins with Chernarussians that resulted in capture, insults, and death threats. Then, when she returned to what she thought was a safe and comforting place, she met two Chernarussians who talked about the war, and blamed Russia for some things, her home country. Where most text-rpers would try to be civil or the likes, I blew it out of the water by going on a rant about how her country was dragged into a pathetic war by people who can't even keep their own problems to themselves, she then went on at least a few minutes of ranting about how her country was tricked by Chernarussians, and her general disgust of how they always find a way to talk about a war, and pin it on Russians. This would be followed by going to range to cool off, and when being apologized to by one of the Chernarussians, she basically said for the person to get lost.

Injuries - I think the balance should be found where as long as it is fun, you should play it out, except maybe when it comes down to things you gave permission to. For instance, my character, Milo Cross, has lost his right pinky finger. While I could have easily said he got it back, in my eyes, that would be borderline bad RP, as I gave consent for this permanent alteration to my character. If he had lost his hand, and say I got tired of using one handed weapons, a good way to get around this would be to look for a prosthetic to replace the hand. This not only would offer RP for others in the search or making of the prosthetic, but it would add to the realism of the RP by simply not giving him his hand back, but putting a replacement there.

Death and Personal Death - I do not think people should have to permanently kill of characters if killed in a firefight or by glitch or zombie attack or sickness. However, in the premise of executions, depending on how they are RP'd out, I do think characters should be put on hold for a while so it can seem like something productive was done by the group who did the execution. Though, the one thing that bothers me is when people are around others, and commit suicide, and then the next day or even the same day, they are back on the character. This bothers me simply because it is the player pressing F11, and then left clicking, so there is ample time to think it over, and even more so if they delay it out for RP's sake. This adds an odd taste in one's mouth when you see someone who made the decision to blow their brains out, or slit their throat, walking about the next day. 

As for personal death...I think if you made the commitment to perma'ing the character, you should stick with it, but I am not all too upset if they decide to play on the character again after a while, and I think many can agree to that, in a sense, unless done by a suicide for the same reason above. 

Travel - This one will be short. While I would like people to walk places, and jog to situations that they are needed in, and mostly only sprint in life threatening scenarios, I can understand jogging and sprinting to simply get to people to RP with.

Communication - For communication, I think people should at least emote out when they are using their radios or the likes for in game chatter, that way the silence given is easily understood. This would lean more towards entertainment than realism, I guess, as it could be seen a little bit like baiting if I suddenly just said "Yeah, rob the one in blue" in character. Although, for the purpose of losing your radio, I do think a timer would be nice for someone to be able to use their IC radio, simply to cover the time it takes to find a radio again. This would eliminate people using IC comms as soon as they are out of the line of sight from their hostage takers.

Goofiness - I am all for goofy or silly characters, so long as they are believable. They not only add entertainment, but some realism as well, since there would still be characters who try to make light of situations in order to cheer others up.

Uncomfortable Roleplay - I am a firm believer that roleplay is meant for fun and enjoyment. I feel that if you get uncomfortable with the roleplay, that you should alert the people OOCly with why you are uncomfortable with it, and it should be left at that, especially so when said RP pushes the boundaries of established rules, or touches on things people rarely reference simply because they bring back horrid experiences for others. 

OOC Consent - For borderline RP, I would say ask for consent. Generally as a rule of thumb if you are pushing the boundaries, I would say ask for consent. This also includes Cannibalism if you are acting like you are eating part of the victim. This kind of goes hand in hand with uncomfortable roleplay. Bottom line, if you think it will make someone uncomfortable, then ask.

I hope this mainly stayed on topic with what you were asking, and if not, I can easily edit it or remove it if requested.

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All of these are great lol.

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Ocean    6

All of these replies are great, and have a lot of good views. What I wanna do is after I get some more replies about the topics I want to write a conclusive statement. Just for myself (and anyone else interested) summarizing what I think is the best balance between the two camps and how to approach them in game.

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Pussy    312

I try my hardest to provide role play that is believable... and in order to do so, I believe a certain level of "goofiness" has to be involved.

There have been many instances where myself and my group-mates have cracked jokes in game... sometimes just among our own ranks, and other times with strangers around. The comedy has always been well-received. 

Our characters are human. They need those moments to lighten the mood, especially in times that they are facing. It's always been that way, and I don't see how that should change given the circumstances. During WW1, there was a spike in the entertainment industry... and the focus of that entertainment was comedy-related, so it just goes to show that people are always looking for ways to distract themselves from situations that may by unpleasant. What better way to break up a bad mood, or an uncomfortable silence than with a joke? 

Now the fine line between "goofy" and "trolly" is absolutely a thin one. Honestly, I feel like a natural sense of humour is necessary in order to pull off the goofiness without people to deem it bad RP. Not only does it take a great deal of observation, wit, and good delivery... but it also has a lot to do with "feeling the room" and knowing what jokes are appropriate in certain situations. This is probably the most difficult of things to do and which is why I feel like people often flounder and end up falling into the "troll" category. 

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SykoWolf    0

Probably a bad idea but Im going to focus on the first three parts of this thread title. Realism vs Entertainment. Why do they have to be mutually exclusive?

I find it entertaining when people play out situations in a realistic manner rather than portraying absurd characters that make no sense. Whilst that might float your boat, it isn't what Im really looking for in a serious roleplay situation. Im portraying a remnant soldier of a UN assisted Australian regiment. Whilst there are times where humor comes into the equation, most of the time I like to take things more seriously in-character. Thats why I dislike seeing so many absurd groups of bandits made up from random Irish terrorists or Nigerian refugees and such. Groups like that, whilst entertaining, aren't very realistic.

This is my opinion of course, you are absolutely encouraged to disagree.

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