Chrebet, that would be frustrating to always play a character that is the same as other characters.
You brought up a point that I'd like to mention - that of connected characters, especially girlfriend/boyfriend or husband/wife. Or potential b/f, g/f, fiancee.
I know when Carrie played with Adam and Lance, we made sure that we didn't cross that magical line - especially Carrie and Adam. Yet I recall when Carrie and Adam fell asleep watching Matlock - a show in real life we both enjoyed - and people kept up banter that made blatent suggestions we were "card playing."
It made it a bit uncomfortable to play and eventually it was dropped when Adam stated loudly that he would never compromise Carrie in that manner.
Most people I play with are awesome - they know the lines and keep with the playing. I wouldn't play if I didn't trust the person or if the role-playing made me feel uncomfortable.
The point I want to make though is the "card playing." It is part of some mystery parties, however, sometimes it goes to the point that all others are excluded. Many times I came on and there were people playing but .... "cards" or in scenes that meant to eventually get to "cards" or busy flirting and my character was not allowed to interfere.
Even though it really wasn't connected to the end solution. That doesn't feel good as a player ... and as a host, I specifically wrote a MP where "card playing" was totally inappropriate and didn't happen.
Drama, I believed you mentioned that the latest mps were more a treaure hunt than a mystery. The very first 3 mps were all treasure hunts - literally. The first was for money. I can't recall the 2nd as I went on holidays. The 3rd was hunting for my character's engagement ring.
Along with that character secrets were fully revealed in the 3rd mp. (all three were connected and a running story from the first - with different writers for each, it was planned that way)
It was a blast! And the current MP I'm working on is also a treasure hunt. Not a murder mystery.
It's all part of the MP to drop clues and have people find them .... and then the one who found the clues drops another clue and on it goes. Intermixed in the clues for the final solution is character secrets that may or may not affect the plot.
So its important to remain updated on the posts because you never know what will be a clue. Or a secret revealed.
And most mps have someone posting the highlights of the past day - although that is a huge job for a host. And one that can't always be done. So what I do is connect with one other person and between the 2 of us, we usually keep on top of it.
Because the more you participate and the more you try to solve clues - even when someone else beats you to the sol'n - the more chances you have to be one of the participants in the final solution.
I rarely actually solve a clue and yet, I've played in many final solutions because my character was so involved.
So its really important to always be involved .... just makes it more difficult when the person you are to interact with is not there. My suggestion then is to talk with the host and another person may be assigned the role. i (and the one not appearing will be contacted and given a very minor role instead ... or informed it simply didn't work out due to lack of participation)
The other thing is to start connecting up with other players. Even if it means emailing a few people until you find one who will come on at the same time zone.
although that time zone thing is still a huge frustation of mine too