Ok I see a lot of people who favour adversarial roleplay and relationships. I'm interested. What kind of adversarial relationships do you like? Rivalries? Villain-hero? Ideological divides? Do you go back to the traditional narrative conflicts? Like man vs man, man vs society, man vs nature, man vs self, man vs machine, man vs god? Which do you think make for the most fun and rewarding roleplay?
From my personal experience, the best part about villains is when you obsess over them just as much as the villain (typically) obsesses over the character or an ideal. It's just as much as cultivating the IC relationship as much as it is the OOC, which a lot of people do not
invest in, typically. Traditional narrative is... difficult to work with, sometimes, because as far as RP concerned, it's very much often man vs man. Sure one can focus on their grudge against a slimy business owned by a wretched lawyer or a valorous group run by chivalrous lawkeepers, but even then, you need a lynchpin at the head for the RP to bounce back from once the initiator/protagonist throws the first ideas out there.
I personally believe the best adversarial relationships are ones of mutual disdain but begrudging respect. What makes a villain a threat if he has no dangerous or egregious traits to fear? What makes a hero enjoyed by the people if he has no significant or heroic qualities? It's natural then, if we continue along those lines of thought, for the villain and hero to have a mutual understanding and respect - not so much a polite respect, but the acknowledgement - of the others' ability and power. Without that, it needs to have a lot of working under the hood to make sure both players are getting out of it exactly what they'd like/need for their character/themselves.
For example, if there's an all-powerful Stockholder, or something, and there's a man who's destined to bring him down, the issue is that our common-man hero has no base of power to work from, IC or OOC. The Stockholder, then, has the opposite: he is likely to have IC resources, OOC acknowledgement and respect for the concept that is his character, et cetera. This means that the Villain and Hero must
meet OOC and discuss ways to actually fuel and continue the rivalry in a way that won't keep the Hero insignificant. As an example within an example, if the hero made friends with one of the villain's financial contacts, it's up to the villain OOC to discover a way that the villain can be hurt by this in a capacity that does damage the villain but keeps him in the playing field, giving the hero ground.
I have a lot of thoughts about adversarial relationship stuffs, but I'll summarize what makes it at its absolute best with a quote I heard:
"Sometimes, it's fun to lose."