Dealing with Roleplay Drama & Problems

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Problems arise everywhere. There’s nothing in the world that goes off without a hitch 100% of the time — it’s an unfortunate fact of life. Roleplay is no different — and if you’re experiencing problems, there’s one seriously important thing you can do to try and solve these problems. There are a few other things you can do, too, if that first thing doesn’t work.

And unfortunately, roleplay drama is a common occurrence. People can be jerks anywhere, but sometimes the anonymity of the Internet gets to the best of us. This can, naturally, lead to conflict! There are a few things you can keep in mind and do if roleplay drama occurs, though.

Talk About It

This goes for most problems — probably 9 times out of 10, a problem can be solved by someone talking about it. Bring it up with the other roleplayer, moderator, or game administrator. It can be really scary to approach someone if you think there are problems, but it will almost always help if you bring up your issues politely and with the expectation the other person will say their piece.

And seriously — that’s it. Talk about it, remember to be polite, and keep an open mind. This will solve many, many of the issues you come across in roleplaying.

Being Polite

Um, so.

I don’t like the way the plot between Baphomet and Azazel is going. 🙁 I’d like to stop roleplaying it. I’m not going to reply to our current thread, and I’m not going to roleplay any new threads between them. It’s okay if we roleplay Baphomet and Oriax together, but Baphomet and Azazel is not working for me, lol.


Hi Alice,

Unfortunately, I’m feeling like Baphomet and Azazel are a poor pair — I don’t think we should keep roleplaying it. If we can end the thread we have now with an assumption (they talk a bit and walk away feeling okay about one another) that would be great for me. I just feel like they have really poor chemistry, and it’s going to end up as a fight regardless of our intentions as roleplayers. It’s nothing you did as a roleplayer, of course! Oriax and Baphomet might be a better pair? 🙂

Thanks, let me know your thoughts.

There’s a big difference between the tone of these two messages, even though both might be intended totally harmlessly. The “um” is a very harsh way to start off that first message, and you should notice one very big difference between the two messages: the second offers an explanation and reason, and reassures the other roleplayer it’s not anyone’s fault in particular.

Know When to Be Less Than Polite

While you should never be outright rude, there’s no reason to be excessively nice to someone who is rudely responding to your advances. You should be nice, but don’t be afraid to be firm, either. If someone is really violating your roleplaying boundaries or trying to make you do something you don’t want to do, never hesitate to tell them so flatly.


You’ve asked me several times to roleplay sex with you. I don’t roleplay sex. This issue isn’t up for discussion with me. Do not ask me again. If you do, I am forced to cut ties with you. I will also let the roleplay administrator and the police* know about your behavior, as I am under eighteen years old. It’s really not appropriate — it’s making me feel very uncomfortable. I hope that you will respect my wishes on the subject and stop asking me about roleplaying sex.

Thank you for your consideration and respect.

* Seriously, if you’re under eighteen and someone knows that yet still wants you to roleplay sex and is being so pushy you need to send this message? You shouldn’t be sending this message! Instead, tell the authorities. It’s not okay what this person is doing. If you are in the USA, call 1-800-843-5678 for the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children’s CyberTipline. They will help you. Please remember that you are NOT in trouble and you did NOT do anything wrong.

Contact Authority: RPG Admins, and Beyond

  • If someone is harassing you, cursing at you, or otherwise trying to start drama, contact the RPG administration. Chances are, it’s against the rules at the drama-starter will be banned or otherwise reprimanded. This is a simple, painless solution in many cases.
  • If someone is making physical or sexual threats, attempts at uncovering your personal/sensitive information, etc., or otherwise making you fear for your safety, you can contact the police (and don’t take no for an answer — bring printouts of the threats you’ve received, and bring someone with you for support). Don’t risk your safety — there are, sadly, some very scary people in the world. Make sure you are safe on the Internet above all. Take threats against your person, property, or family very seriously.

Avoiding Further Drama: Do

Try to Step Back

Are you really, really sure that someone’s trying to be nasty? Sometimes we can misread things. What you thought was a swipe could just be poorly worded. Also, sometimes maybe someone’s just having a bad day. Try and give someone a break and the benefit of the doubt before you bite back in kind. It’s usually easy to tell when someone really wants to hurt your feelings, after all.

Remember You’re Awesome

If someone is randomly targeting you and being mean and nasty for no reason — so what? They’re the ones being jerks. You probably didn’t even do anything wrong. Keep your chin up and remember, you aren’t taking low blows and trying to instigate Internet drama. Try not to take it to heart, essentially! It’s seriously not worth your time. Wouldn’t you rather be roleplaying your characters or making your RPG game more awesome?

Avoiding Further Drama: Don’t

Engage the Drama-Starter

Just ignore them, if possible. Block them on instant messaging or block them from sending you further Private Messages. Remove them from your friends’ lists. Engaging the drama-starter will, more often than not:

  • Escalate the situation between yourself and the drama-starter.
  • Get you in trouble, when and if the administration of the RPG gets involved.

Those are two really serious consequences of engaging the drama starter. Don’t do it. If you absolutely must, do this instead:

Hi {NAME},

I’m really uncomfortable with this behavior. It makes me feel {targeted/hurt/demeaned}. I don’t think I can talk about this when you’re presenting it in such a manner. Can you please try to re-phrase your concerns in a more friendly manner? I will do my best to work on these issues, but I cannot do so without discussing them in a mature and adult manner.

If you cannot be more mature about your concerns and discuss them in a calm manner, I will not be able to respond. I also ask, if you can’t be nicer about this issue, to stop contacting me about it. If you don’t, I will have to approach the administration and ask for their advice and help. Thank you for your cooperation.

— Your name

Responding with, “WELL, SCREW YOU TOO” will only enflame the situation further and make things worse. As stated, too, it also runs a high likelihood of you getting in trouble, too. If you can handle the situation in a mature and adult manner, it reflects really well on you! You’re 100% in the right if you don’t respond or only respond with kindness and simple requests for the drama-starter’s kindness in turn. You may be only 60% in the right if you snap back at the drama starter.

Don’t Be Afraid to Go

If you’ve tried talking about it and this hasn’t helped, don’t be afraid to draw your boundaries clearly. Leave your roleplaying group or your roleplaying partner if things aren’t working out and you’ve tried the other options.

If you’re really bothered by the way someone is treating you, but the administration won’t do anything about it — leave. This is the biggest statement you can make to the RPG administrator that their style of administration is not acceptable to you. You can find a community that treats you better, and escape the nasty drama-artist in the process. Good luck!

Roleplay is about having fun. People who are causing issues and drama for you — how dare they try to impede your fun, really! You should think about it in that way rather than internalizing it and thinking something is wrong with you. You’re probably not the problem — there are toxic people, toxic roleplaying games, and bad spots everywhere, much as in life.