I'm doing a text-based freeform roleplay with just one other person right now and there's couple of things that they do that bothers me.

  1. They started controlling an NPC I introduced without even telling me, and what irritates me the most is that the NPC acts nothing like I had in mind.

  2. In response to what my character said, they act like their character was interrupted by my character when I haven't said anything about that in the previous post.

There is no GM role, but I was the one who introduced that situation that we were roleplaying and I also introduced the NPC character with the character's role in mind. So I was surprised when the person that I was roleplaying with started controlling the character all of a sudden. There's no specific rules established but we're supposed to follow general roleplaying etiquette.

I think that the person just doesn't know any better so I know that I need to just let them know about it. But I'm not quite sure what's the most constructive and unoffensive way of telling them that they can't just do that.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Thanks very much for confirming those details. I've added basically all of that into your question because it helps clarify your situation as well as where you're coming from on the matter, and I've reopened this question for answers. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 21, 2018 at 14:59

1 Answer 1


In typical freeform textplay it's relatively common to narrate basically everything except for the actions and reactions of other people's player characters. This applies more the longer and more spaced out the posts are - trading quick responses on chat doesn't exhibit this characteristic as strongly as longer, more elaborate responses or forum posts.

The exact boundaries of this need to be negotiated by the players (they're also often part of forum rules on roleplaying boards), which is one thing you could do. You can simply go "Hey, I noticed the last time that we're working from different assumptions on how to play our NPCs. I'd prefer if we did it in such and such way, how about you?" and try to establish a common ground.

As an alternative, if maybe your partner prefers to have more options in terms of posting you could negotiate that whenever someone introduces an important NPC they accompany their post with a meta-post, containing basic information about who they are and how they think and act. If you're leaning far towards the collaborative story-writing angle of text RPG, this may be the better solution for you, as it allows for longer and more elaborate posts without needing to consult the other player(s).

For the part about the interruption, my first approach would be to simply check if there wasn't a misunderstanding. They might well have read your last post in such a way that they thought your character had interrupted theirs - one's own writing often seems much more obvious and clear to oneself than to others. So simply go and ask "Hey, I noticed you wrote that X interrupted Y, but I didn't mean to imply anything like that in my post. I thought it went like this and this. Do you want to edit that?".

If they insist on playing it their way, either go along with it or take the misunderstanding into the play itself and let your character go "Huh? I didn't interrupt you, what are you even talking about?". This is a little confrontational and can lead to conflict between the players, but if you feel like they're genuinely encroaching on your character's agency you can try and make a point like this. Don't say I didn't warn you though. I suggest letting it go this time at least and using the second method only if it happens again and they refuse to acknowledge your own character's actions as written by you once more.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Thank you for the advice! I've already told my roleplay partner to just let me know whenever we had ideas for npc characters that either person introduces we could discuss it together before making a post. But I think that I may also just ask my partner what kind of approach she wants to take with npc characters and use character descriptions for npcs in the future, so thank you very much for the help! Those are very ideas. \$\endgroup\$
    – Mosaic
    Mar 21, 2018 at 13:39

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