Guid to RP threads

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aya_lyka
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Guid to RP threads

#1 Post by aya_lyka » Wed Aug 13, 2008 3:07 pm

General Guide

1. What is RP?
RP or Roleplay is based off text based games and table-top games. It can be thought of as a huge collaboration on a story or a pass the story game. Role Play by definition is assuming a role of a character and playing in an imagined world and interacting with other players. Much like an MMO but without the graphics and physical game system..

2. How does this work?
Generally how this works in a forum is that one person will make what is referred to as a "post" that describes what his/her character is doing in an area. Another player will read the "post" and reply with a written description of their character's actions in response to the previous player's "post". The interaction goes on through various replies. It can take several days for replies to happen so it is a very slow process. A faster way to do this is through chat/IM or online MUDs. (Multi-User Dungeons).

example of RP:
http://aerimirrpg.18.forumer.com/index. ... wtopic=104

3. How do I join an RP?
Usually any given RP will have what is called a "sign-up" thread where you fill out a character template/sheet where you define your role in the game. You can then begin posting as your character in that RP. Some moderators/Game Creator's will have to "approve" your character before they let you make posts. Read the specifics in the GC's Sign-up thread.

4. Common Terms/Abbreviations
RP = Role Play.
RPG = Role Playing Game.

OOC = Out Of Character. Designates parts of a post where you are NOT you're character. I.E. You may make a comment before or after your post to clarify an action or comment on a previous post or ask a question in the game.)

IC = In Character. Designates parts of your post where you ARE playing as your character.

PC = Player Character. Designates a character owned by one of the players.

NPC = Non-Player Character. Designates a character that is NOT owned by any of the players. Usually considered background characters. They can be created by the Game Creator or any player.

GC = Game Creator. The person who started/created the game. They usually also moderate or control the game.

DM = Dungeon Master. A term from D&D for the person who controls the game. Another term for GC.

GM = Game Maker/Game Moderator. Person who created or monitors the game.

Force-Post = Writing actions for a character that belongs to another player. This is considered bad manners in Role Play unless the player is the GC/DM. See Entry on Common Courtesy.

God-Mod = see Force-Post. It can also refer to a player who creates an immortal, omnipotent character.
Power Play = see Force-Post

Immortal/Diety = term for an indestructible character.

Player Guide

Making a Good Character

A character is the persona you play in game. As you play more you may start creating character stores that you can reuse in new games.

Tip #1: A solid Character = well planned, descriptive and believable.
This is a good website on developing characters for stories.
http://www.elfwood.com/farp/writing.html
Story Characters = Good RP Characters.

Tip #2: Read the GC's World Descriptions and Limits before signing up. Make sure you have a clear idea on what kind of world the GC had made. If there is not much detail you can make assumptions based off of generic fantasy.

Tip #3: Fill out the Template. Usually a GC will write up a template of details about the character he/she feels is important for the game. For example, name, gender, race, appearances are pretty standard.

Tip #4: Avoid making Super characters/invincible characters. A well balanced character has some sort of weakness. Limit your character's special abilities to 2 to 3 specific powers that are not completely destructive. The GC may specify what sort of powers characters are allowed to have so pay attention.

Tip #5: Here's an example of one of my cookie cutter characters that I reused in many RPGs. I've posted things that have varied in parentheses.
Please note that this profile is much, much longer than what is generally asked for in a RP sign-up thread.

-General Info-
Name: Olenga "AJ" Spraken
Nickname: Sparky, Lenga, AJ
Gender: Male
Age: 26 (ranges between 20-27, n/a appears 26)
Height: 6'2" (187 cm)
Body Type: Runner's Body
Race: Half-Angel (Half-Demon, Human).
Occupation: Assassin (Bounty Hunter)

-Appearance-
Skin tone: Fair
Hair: Blond, short in the back. Bangs are split in the front. Has a wrapped braid on his right.
Eyes: Blue.
Usual Attire: Black pants, black studded belt, black sleeveless shirt with turtle collar, a sleeveless red duster jacket, brown boots with metal toes.
Jewelry: Obsidian stone at the end of his braid.
Accessories: (cigarettes) Small wings that are half his arm span.

-Personality-
Disposition: Arrogant, short-tempered, smart-allecky, snarky, generally rude, proud.
Likes: Cigarettes, alcohol, fighting, arguing, power
Dislikes: his small wings, his half-brother, stupid people
Quirks/Habits: Swears, smokes, drinks

-Abilities-
Innate Element: Electricity
Weapons: Yubana - a specially made katana style blade. (Usually has properties that will paralyze an enemy or seal their soul within the blade).
Powers: Increased speed, enhanced reflexes, small jolts of power (summon lightning, magnetic shields, immortal wings, extra jumping hight, slow decent with help of wings.)
Abilities: Fist fighting, swordplay, some jumping acrobatics.

-History-
Family: Mother, Father, Step-father, half-brother (Angelo)
Bio: Olenga ran away from home after his step-father murdered his mother.

Player Guide

2. Writing Posts

Posts are a written description of your characters thoughts, actions and dialogue. Having good writing skills are important. Some basic guidelines are:

*Always posted in the 3rd person, past tense.
E.g.: Lucius ate a bagel. (Lucius = 3rd person noun. ate = past tense verb).
*Keep spoken dialogue in between quotation marks " ".
E.g.: "This is delicious," said Lucius.
*Thoughts or special dialogue should be signified however a player sees fit. Italics or bolding are common.
E.g.: I hope Angelo doesn't find out that I ate his last bagel, Lucius thought.
*Use proper grammar and spelling. The only exception is in dialogue.
E.g. "I ain't givin' you nuttin," said Hill-Billy.

Some helpful tips to improve your post content.

Attention to Detail
The more descriptive your post is the better. The point of a post is to clearly communicate what your character is doing/feeling/planning. To beef up post length, write with the 5 senses.
1. Sight. Write about what your character sees. This is useful when you want to describe a bit of the background environment.
E.g.: Lucius watched the elegant form of his wife enter the back door of their shop. He could see her smiling and wearing the green dress he had made her.
2. Hearing. Write what your character hears. This can be background noise or something in response to a previous post.
E.g.: Lucius was singing in the shower.
Marron tried to block out the noise of Lucius' off-key singing.
3. Touch. Write what your character is feeling. This can mean pain in their own body or rubbing against a surface.
E.g.: She felt warm blood dripping from her ears.
4. Taste. Only used in certain circumstances but it can be useful. You can taste other things than food.
E.g. The familiar metallic taste of blood in her mouth.
5. Smell. This is the sense with the strongest relation to memory. This adds a great dimension to the quality of the post.
E.g.: The smell of chocolate was so thick you could almost chew it.

6. The "6th sense" is thoughts. Write down your character's opinion or feelings towards any given situation.
It is recommended that you support their thoughts with actions or facial expressions.
E.g. He is so immature, she thought, rolling her eyes.

Other Tips
>Write your post in a word document so that you can use the benefits of spell check.
>Try to be descriptive, but not overly confusing or cluttered. Try to clearly communicate your character's intentions.
>Write your posts open-ended. This means write a post expecting another player to react to it or "finish it".
>Be Patient and wait for replies. Forum Roleplay is slow.
> Avoid posting song lyrics if they are not your own.
>Use OOC comments to help clarify your intentions if they are not clear or to ask another player to clarify their actions.
>You can create NPCs and do what you wish to them. But do NOT try to control another player's character. (see Force Post)

Player Guide

2. Writing Posts

Posts are a written description of your characters thoughts, actions and dialogue. Having good writing skills are important. Some basic guidelines are:

*Always posted in the 3rd person, past tense.
E.g.: Lucius ate a bagel. (Lucius = 3rd person noun. ate = past tense verb).
*Keep spoken dialogue in between quotation marks " ".
E.g.: "This is delicious," said Lucius.
*Thoughts or special dialogue should be signified however a player sees fit. Italics or bolding are common.
E.g.: I hope Angelo doesn't find out that I ate his last bagel, Lucius thought.
*Use proper grammar and spelling. The only exception is in dialogue.
E.g. "I ain't givin' you nuttin," said Hill-Billy.

Some helpful tips to improve your post content.

Attention to Detail
The more descriptive your post is the better. The point of a post is to clearly communicate what your character is doing/feeling/planning. To beef up post length, write with the 5 senses.
1. Sight. Write about what your character sees. This is useful when you want to describe a bit of the background environment.
E.g.: Lucius watched the elegant form of his wife enter the back door of their shop. He could see her smiling and wearing the green dress he had made her.
2. Hearing. Write what your character hears. This can be background noise or something in response to a previous post.
E.g.: Lucius was singing in the shower.
Marron tried to block out the noise of Lucius' off-key singing.
3. Touch. Write what your character is feeling. This can mean pain in their own body or rubbing against a surface.
E.g.: She felt warm blood dripping from her ears.
4. Taste. Only used in certain circumstances but it can be useful. You can taste other things than food.
E.g. The familiar metallic taste of blood in her mouth.
5. Smell. This is the sense with the strongest relation to memory. This adds a great dimension to the quality of the post.
E.g.: The smell of chocolate was so thick you could almost chew it.

6. The "6th sense" is thoughts. Write down your character's opinion or feelings towards any given situation.
It is recommended that you support their thoughts with actions or facial expressions.
E.g. He is so immature, she thought, rolling her eyes.

Other Tips
>Write your post in a word document so that you can use the benefits of spell check.
>Try to be descriptive, but not overly confusing or cluttered. Try to clearly communicate your character's intentions.
>Write your posts open-ended. This means write a post expecting another player to react to it or "finish it".
>Be Patient and wait for replies. Forum Roleplay is slow.
> Avoid posting song lyrics if they are not your own.
>Use OOC comments to help clarify your intentions if they are not clear or to ask another player to clarify their actions.
>You can create NPCs and do what you wish to them. But do NOT try to control another player's character. (see Force Post)

Player Guide

3. Common Courtesy
Role-plays are multi-player. This is important to remember. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Specifically...

1. Do not kill/injure another player's character without permission.

2. Pay attention and read everything in a player's posts.

3. Respect the GC's decisions in game.

4. Plan ahead. If you want something specific to happen to your OWN character or with another character. Discuss it through PM or OOC comments.


Force-Posting
It is called by many names but it means the same thing, posting actions for another player's character.

For example:

Mac punched PC in the jaw.
This is not the correct way to interact. Why? Because Mac ASSUMED that his punch landed successfully and hit his jaw.

A proper way...
Mac balled up his fist and pulled it back to aim a mighty punch to PC's face.
This give the player PC the OPTION to react. He could post that the punch hit him in the jaw or
PC turned away at the last minute only to be grazed by Mac's knuckles. He grinned and aimed a kick at Mac's groin.
It's hard to be patient but leave things open ended for another person to react.
At the same time, don't make it so your character can dodge every punch.

You can REPEAT an action that the player posted and add to it, that does not count as power play.
If some one posts "Jill walked by Jane".
The next person could post, "Jane picked Jill's pocket while she walked by."

Another tip is use the surroundings. The environment is basically an NPC. You can create bystanders, create descriptions for the building and use props as long as it makes sense. If you're in a bar you can fight with barstools but probably not a barber's chair.

Player Guide

Common Errors
Some common errors players can make that will break a game or cause problems. Most of these are traps I've fallen into myself or experienced.

1. The INVINCIBLE character.
In a battle or interaction, your character does not get hurt, in fact they can not be touched! And not only can they dodge every punch and deflect every spell, they will send an attack 1000 times more powerful. They are also known as god characters because they can not die.
I'm sure you've played a game boss you felt was like this. You're a level 2 against a level 200 beast. Not fun right? Same deal here.
Solution: It's empowering to never be beaten, but learn to take a hit every so often.

2. The Fantasy Dating Service.
This probably does not happen as much on this forum, but it CAN happen and it IS awkward. It is only acceptable if you plan ahead in the story to have a relationship between characters. Otherwise, you're projecting your desires onto your character over the character's true nature.
Solution: Ask a player's permission to start a romantic relationship between your characters. OR create an NPC partner. OR play as a married character. OR create a pair of characters.

3. The Mary Poppins Bag
This is summoning items from out of NOWHERE. Or just happening to have the right tool at the right time.
Solution: Limit your items/supplies at the beginning and keep track of what you find. You can use items that are in the environment. It's not unfeasible to find a giant branch in a forest.

4. Newton's Anti-Law
Forgetting the physical limits of your character and physics in general. This is really hard to do. I'm sure you've played video games where the character doesn't sleep for a month. Gravity is at play. Your character will need to eat and sleep.
Solution: When there's a lull of activity, write posts about daily activities such as taking a nap, eating, or going to the bathroom.

5. Omnipotent/Omniscient Characters
Having a character that knows everything or always has secret information. It just sounds like someone saying, "I knew that" when they really didn't.
Omnipotent, having an all-powerful character. No one will play with you man.
Solution: Use observation to explain methods HOW your character could have come up with this knowledge.
Limit your power to reasonable levels.

6. Unruly Magic
This usually becomes a problem if there is no obvious magic system set up by the GC. On the one hand it's annoying to keep track of MP on the other it's a usable system. But at the same time, it's good to have freedom.
Solution: Define for yourself your character's spell set, create your own limits or rules for magic. i.e. has to use an item, batterie power, only a set number of times per day, energy drain, making deals with deities.

7. Stress Outlet
Just don't post if you're angry at someone else. It's not fun don't take it out here. That's what a Blog or the Spam forum is for.

8. Puppet-Master
Constant Force-play or assuming control of other player's characters when you are NOT a GC.
Solution: Post an OOC comment BEFORE you post asking if they mind, use key words in your post like "assume", "hoped", "intended", "aimed", "wished", "seemed" etc. This express what YOU desire the other player to do, but they are STILL FREE to choose the opposite.

9. Stealing the Spotlight
Everyone wants to be the hero. Be considerate of others playing the game. Do not assume your character is going to be the star of the show.
Solution: If you want to be in the thick of the action, stay close to active characters.

10. Inappropriate Crossovers
It's okay to have a character based on a character from book/comic/game/movie etc. But don't start playing the exact character. This also can apply to a character's magic powers. Using the summons from games are especially problematic. One, in the game they were very destructive and that may not always work within a roleplay. Two, you fall into the trap of having an omnipotent/invincible character.
Solution: Use other characters as inspiration but do NOT copy a character and just change the name.

Creator Guides

Getting Started

Running/creating a game is fairly different than just playing. There's a bit more work involved than people realize at first. Before you decide to start a game, play in a few first. See how other GC's do it before trying it yourself.

Your role is defined by the style of RPG you run.

Non-specific style means you don't really create any limits or world. You define a basic setting and have players sign up any type of character they want. The GC collaborates with players on the game world and plots.

Plot-stye/World Style means the GC creates a detailed world setting or defines a specific plot. You may or may not limit the types of characters that are signed up and control other aspects such as magic systems and play style.

To sum up, the GC is the driving force of a story. Players are free to do as they wish within the given constraints. Usually the GC will play a lead role type character or a god character. The GC also controls major events and acts as moderator for their own game.

Common Courtesy
You make the rules in your game, so you have a choice of being a dictator or a benevolent dictator. thumbsup.gif
Still, keep in mind the wants of the players. This doesn't mean you have to give in to every player's wants but be flexible.

Also being a GC means spending time checking the topic often and posting often. Sometimes players don't know what direction to go in unless the GC provides such direction.

Be clear in your guidelines and restrictions.

Plan goals for the story, you don't need an ending per se, but setting goals would be nice. That helps players have something to work towards.

TIP: Have a co-moderator or co-GC to help you out. Helps with smaller details. Might be helpful to share plot secrets with them, but not necessarily.

TIP: RP does have a pause button. You can make an announcement to hold off game activity until an appointed time. Holidays and final exam time is a great time to do this.

Creator Guides

World Settings

Setting up a play area for your game can take some thought. In a non-specific styled game you can merely type up something generic such as modern age setting, generic fantasy or sci-fi

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