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Old 05-12-2007
 
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South Korea Starpie
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Default Roleplaying FAQ

Roleplaying FAQ INDEX
---------------
1. Notes about roleplaying (Doombringer)
2. Roleplaying FAQ 1 (Vhaerun)
3. Roleplaying FAQ 2 (Larry "Geno" Meyer)

Other links
--------------
1. Blizzforum Rp Contact Thread
Link: http://blizzforums.com/showthread.php?t=3539

 

Last edited by Starpie; 05-12-2007 at 02:39 PM.
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Old 05-12-2007
 
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Default Re: Roleplaying FAQ

By Doombringer

(I posted this before and got a mixture of flak and praise. Ultimately I think it's good little collection of ideas that should be remembered when RPing those dreaded mages. All RPers really ought to read this noobs and veterans alike. Keep in mind I'm not scolding, or pointing any fingers. If aspects of this pseudo rant seem a bit sarcastic that is just because of my preferred style of humor.)

Okay before I begin watch this (Yes I’m sure everyone has seen it but it is a nice illustration of what I will be addressing).

http://www.kontraband.com/show/show.asp?ID=1827

Yes what was so hard about that indeed?

We all know the first and most basic rule of online RPing: No Gods. Obviously, someone who yields outrageous powers takes away much needed dynamics of a RP. However, there is one loophole that allows people to create Gods. This of course is (warriors say it with me now) the mage ticket. I am appalled by the way people play magical characters. It seems even the most basic apprentice is able to cast spells that would rival the legendary Gandalf the white. This outrages mage power makes many RPs completely pointless, as there is only superficial danger whenever the mage decides to let a rogue arrow nick his arm. Every RP system puts caps on the abilities of mages, which often leads to a difficult yet rewarding characters. The problem with online RPing is that there is no set system. So here I am writing a very basic guide to online magic wielding. Hopefully this will help people make a more rewarding mage character, and a very rewarding RP.

Magic is no simple task, if it were easy then there would be no need for mages, warriors could just summon balls of lighting from their swords. Magic is not simple, therefore no magical spell is simple, and thus the more elaborate the effect is the harder it is to cast.

When making a post involving magic try going through these simple steps.

- Figure out what you want to do. This should be a simple statement like “I want to dispatch that foul smelling dog?”
- Figure how you want to do it. “I’m going to toast the mutt with a fireball.”
- Figure what you will need to accomplish such a feat. “According to my handy dandy spell book I will need the following: Eye of newt, 1 eagle talon, 6 ginger snaps, a mint leaf for flavor, and at least three hours of chanting (the longer you chant the bigger the fireball).”
- Assuming you have the materials, three hours to kill, and the dog is dumb enough to still be hanging around you cast your fireball and roast the little mutt. Satisfying, yet in the end it would have been a whole lot easier to bash him in the head with your staff and chuck is corpse over a cliff.

Minor Note: Keep magic in its respective spheres. If you deal in elemental magic then make sure the spells you are casting is an elemental spell (this might seem obvious but it is amazing how many people cross the line unintentionally).

Anytime you use magic it should not only reflect the time, blood, sweat, and tears you have put into your craft, but also your very personality.

Keep
It
Simple
Stupid

Magic is tough, so keep it simple whenever possible. Let’s say you want to decimate an entire village. You could unleash a massive storm of meteors from sky, but why waste three months preparing such a feat. It would be much wiser to remember that villages are often made of nothing but wood and straw and a small flame in a haystack would be enough to engulf the village in an inferno. Three months of difficult magikal rites, or a quick chant and the snap of the fingers the choice isn’t hard (These subtle touches make mages far more interesting).

In addition magic is not something you necessarily want to parade around. In an ancient setting most people believe in magic, but fear it. Obviously a few vulgar acts and you could find an entire kingdom trying to kill you out of shear paranoia (not to mentions kings and queens might not take kindly to someone who could threaten their power).

I can honestly say that there are many times the fun of an RP is sucked clean out of it by the magic wielding characters. So mages I ask you to take some of my advice: Put a cap on your casting ability, subtle is the way to go, and put a little thought before you cast magic; after all, it is a reflection of your character. This will lead to a fun experience for all.
 
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Old 05-12-2007
 
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South Korea Starpie
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Default Re: Roleplaying FAQ

By Vhaerun
What is Roleplaying?

Roleplaying is the act of writing from another's point of view.

How do I Roleplay?

If you can write, you can roleplay. There's many different nuances to Roleplaying - commonly referred to as RP'ing - that one simply has to find a style which best suits them. The best way to learn how to RP is to watch others do it. Learn from their writing styles, and combine the styles that strike you as the best way to do it

Character Sheets

When one starts out in an RP, one must first decide on a character. Will your character have a scar down his face? Will she wear all black, or will she wear bright and cheery colors? Generally, there's a basic Character sheet used (I've seen many variations, but the following are usually on it.
  • Name: Self explanatory. You have to have a name for your character, be it a given name or a nickname. Best to try and have a name which corresponds to your character's race
  • Race: Only given in Fantasy or Space genres typically. Available races are left up to the discretion of the GM (Game Master).
  • Age: Also self explanatory. Helps to decide how your character will handle situations. A 20 year old character would rush into a battle faster than a seasoned 50 year old.
  • Appearance: How your character looks. Include basic information, like hair color, eye color, clothing, equipment (If there isn't a separate area for it), location of equipment on character. Usually visual appearances.
  • Bio: Your character's background. Usually has to be a couple well-developed paragraphs which tell about why your character is in the situation they're in, and just a bit of history.
Character sheets are always varied. No one will use the same template for their character, so the only thing limiting you with your character is your imagination.

Tenses And Points of View

Now that you have your character, you have to choose a tense of speech to write in. You have 3 choices:
  • Past: Common choice for Tense. You are describing the events almost from the outside. You tell about what has happened. Example of writing style: "Kylie went into the barracks to see about a mule. She spoke to the guardsman, who directed her towards the stall a building away. She strolled along the cobblestone sidewalk, and approached the building."
  • Present: Also common. You tell the events as they happen. Example: "I look into the bar, and see a few men around a table. One of them has a black, slicked back haircut. Another has a brown hat on his head, with a gold star in the middle. The last of the men has a strange quill hat that doesn't even fit. I walk up and ask them how they're doing, and they sit there, idle."
  • Future: Not used often, but is still a choice. Most times Future is only used to describe what is going to happen, so it's not a good choice for RP'ing in. It makes your writing sound choppy instead of flowing like writing should. Example "We are going up to the spaceship to reach the aliens, but they're going to shoot us, which we know is coming. Therefore, we're about to plan a way around it..."
Now you have a point of view to choose:
  • First-Person: You tell the story as if you were there yourself. You put yourself in your character's shoes. Example: "I walked down the hallway and turned in a door, only to stop short as someone from behind grabbed my shoulder."
  • Third-Person: You are a narrator, telling someone else's story. Example: "Jack twirled the blade behind his head and slapped away the blade that was coming toward his seemingly exposed back."
Posting

Now we come to the actual posting. There's usually two types of posts that happen in an RP: In-Character (IC) or Out-Of-Character (OOC). OOC WILL happen, there's almost no way to stop it. Maybe you need to ask a question about one of your fellow RP'ers' character. Maybe you have a question for the GM. Either way, you'll end up posting an OOC comment. In-Character is a post which ties to the story. Generally, IC posts are not labeled, with OOC put either at the beginning of the post or the end, either way in parentheses.

Being a GM

Someone else explained this quite well, so I'll copy what he said here.

Basically, a GM is a person that is the “General Manager” or “God Moderator” or whatever you want to call it (Many people call it different things. There's plenty of other names, as well). They are usually the one that created the RP, and they are the ones who oversee it. If any rules are broken, they are the ones to fix it. Lastly, they are the ones to close it. The GM is important, as without it, there is no rules. Without rules there is no order. Without order, there is no RP. Simple, eh?

If you ever want to be a GM, there are some common things to know:
1. You are the supreme authority in your thread. If someone disagrees, too bad. You can tell them to shut up and get back to RP'ing.
2. You control the flow moreso than the RP'ers themselves. If you want to speed the story up, say so. If you want them to slow down, tell them.
3. If rules are broken, say so. If another person in your thread notices the error, so be it. But you're the one that will decide the action taken. If someone God mods, will you throw them out? Will you tell them to change it? It depends on you.

Don't overdo what you are supposed to do. Don't kick someone out because they missed a comma. Be reasonable in your judgement, but remember: You have the final say.


Other stuff

Details: In an RP, Details are king. One can never have enough detail. Try and make your posts as detailed as you can.
Knowledge: Try and remember that you are writing as someone else. The character doesn't know anything more than the character can know. If the RP is set in a medieval time period, if for some reason some advanced technology is found - lets say a TV - your character will NOT know how to use it even if you do. It's common sense, but I've seen people slip up on little things like this.


Note: the blue text was taken from Geno, so I'll make sure I mention him here (I <3 Geno, so I don't wanna be accused of stealing his writing).

All in all, I believe I posted everything that one needs to RP, but I don't know everything, so something might have been left off. Please PM me anything I might have missed so it can be added.

~ Cookie

(PS: Do note that I wrote this not only to try and help the RP community out - I've seen it help in the past - but also to try and reupdate the one I had posted originally.)
 
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Old 05-12-2007
 
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South Korea Starpie
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Default Re: Roleplaying FAQ

Major kudos to Larry "Geno" Meyers for this. I got this off of Warboards, for I couldn't retrieve the old BF faq. Edited by Eidoathanix

Guide to Roleplaying

Roleplay. This word is defined as this:

role-play (rlpl)
v. role-·played, role-·play·ing, role-·plays
v. tr.
To assume or represent in a drama; act out: “Participants are encouraged to pass on leads about jobs... and to role-play interview situations with each other” (Hatfield MA Valley Advocate).
v. intr.
To assume or act out a particular role: “When I hire people I role-play with them... to see how they take pressure” (Peter Schrag).

This forum is dedicated to the acting out of worlds that we create. And since this is different than an average post board, we have our own "Rules and Guidelines" that we'd like to have here, so that anyone can read them and jump right in. These rules will cover codes of conduct, basic terms, and among other things, teach you how to start in your first forum roleplay (Or RP, as it's often refered to) here at BlizzForums!


What is Role Playing (RP'ing)?

As I said above, roleplaying is taking the role of a character, and writing a story from his / her point of view. Depending on the type of RP, there are various forms that this can take. Many RP's are story based, some are based on statistics (Dungons and Dragons), and some others are situational (Think of a "Choose your own Adventure" book)

Anyone who can write is eligible to RP. The best way to learn how to RP is to look at the various ideas out there, and "lurk" them, meaning watch them without posting. If you feel ready to RP, join one of the new ones, or see if you can join the current RP after the start. Some will have no date to join past, and some will. If you're joining a current running one, make sure it's OK with the GM, whom you should PM in the event of joining a roleplay.

Tense of speech

Styles are differing among many roleplayers. One noticeable thing is the tense they speak in. There are three tenses you can use. Past, present, and future are the three tenses and can often bring depth to the story, if used properly. Find which one suits you best, and stick with it a while. Changing is sometimes good, but if you're new, find the one you're best and, and then ease yourself into another.

Past tense is usually used for either thought posts, or posts that have already happened. Some people use this tense exclusively, which is fine, but some advanced roleplayers have been able to take this tense, and change to present tense and back within a roleplay. Not usually recommended, but it's possible.

"Kylie went into the barracks to see about a mule. She spoke to the guardsman, who directed her towards the stall a building away. She strolled along the cobblestone sidewalk, and approached the building."

Future tense is rarely used, unless you are talking about what will happen in a few posts, or if you want a delay between the actions you are doing. Not something for a beginner to use. Most people generally stick to the present or past tenses. It also sounds choppy to some people, since the word "Are" and all it's forms are used a lot of the time.

"We are going up to the spaceship to reach the aliens, but they're going to shoot us, which we know is coming. Therefore, we're about to plan a way around it..."

Present tense is commonly used as well, and speaks as if you’re right now doing what you say. This allows you to make your post in real time, and then offer to anyone to make an action. It makes it seem as you really are the character, preforming the actions. To some, it makes characters come to life, so you can really see what's happening.

"I look into the bar, and see a few men around a table. One of them has a black, slicked back haircut. Another has a brown hat on his head, with a gold star in the middle. The last of the men has a strange quill hat that doesn't even fit. I walk up and ask them how they're doing, and they sit there, idle."

Being "In Character"

Next is the task of staying in character. Whenever you post, make sure it’s something your character would do, and not just you. This is a common problem for new roleplayers. The best advice we can give to you is this: Try and imagine yourself in someone else’s shoes. And remember, you don’t know everything. Although a character might have posted something in another area, you won’t know about it.

This also brings up the bad art of "God modding." God modding is where someone posts something that isn't even possible for them to do. It can also describe the action of taking control of another character, going against the GM's wishes, or doing something against the rules of the roleplay.

Knowledge and Details

That brings me to this point. You should know when and how your character would react to something. Anything that happens, unless in front of you, you will not know about. Rarely will anyone have some psychic ability to know what goes on everywhere, so act surprised. Easier said than done. But a good roleplayer will be able to do it flawlessly.

Creating a character and bringing it to life takes more than just good writing skills, but also takes the knowledge of another. What does this mean? It means that you're able to describe something from another's view. If you can't do this, you're not RP'ing, but rather, just talking as yourself. To be in a character's mindset is needed for anything to come together. Therefore, knowledge is needed.

As for details, there is one thing that most people can say: There aren’t ever enough details.

Character details include, but aren't limited to: Age, eye color, height, skin color, race (Merfolk, orc, human, etc.), clothing, weaponry, jewelery, etc. Anything that will bring your character to life would be included here.

Setting details include, but aren't limited to: Space of the area, Colors, vegitation (Plants), animals in the area, buildings, sky, air, smell, etc. Anything that would describe where you are better would be in this category.

Remember, details make the RP. Without them, nothing would make sense. Please bear in mind, too much of one detail could kill it totally, but add in enough to see a vision clearly. Don't ramble for three sentances about how big an area is. Give a good example, and maybe a sentance, but get on with it, unless it's absolutely needed. It really depends on the situation, but don't overkill it.

New players

I’d advise new players to first watch a few roleplays and see how they go on. Some are fast paced, some are slow. It depends on how the roleplay was setup, who is GM’ing it, and what kind of roleplay it is. Space and fantasy roleplays usually are longer post-wise than modern day roleplays, as modern day things are easier to describe than futuristic or fantasy things. GM’s play a part in that, as well. I prefer a light watch moderation. This is where the GM rarely steps in to check on things, or posts what can or can't be done. Others, though, like heavy watch, which is the opposite. Moreso, though, there is a happy medium that everyone enjoys. It all depends on the kind of person you are and RP.

Points of View

First person: This is where you talk as the character themself. This form uses the words “I” and “we” often to describe anything that deals with them. This is often concidered an experienced person's style, because you really try and become your characters, rather than envisioning them.

Second person: This style is now rarely used. Using “You” more than anything. It’s as if you’re putting someone else into the story, and not yourself. If you've ever read a "Choose your own Adventure" book, you'll understand it.

Third person: This form puts the writer outside of the characer. It uses the words “They, he, she” and “it” more often than not. Often a newer person's style, as they want to describe their characters more than being them. Also, people who roleplay in first person use this as well, since their characters are describing an object, they're forced to switch to this.

When I say "Often used by a newer person or veteran" means nothing. It's all personal preference, but this is the 'norm' that I've seen over my years of roleplaying.

GM’ing an RP

Basically, a GM is a person that is the “General Manager” or “God Moderator” or whatever you want to call it (Many people call it different things. There's plenty of other names, as well). They are usually the one that created the RP, and they are the ones who oversee it. If any rules are broken, they are the ones to fix it. Lastly, they are the ones to close it. The GM is important, as without it, there is no rules. Without rules there is no order. Without order, there is no RP. Simple, eh?

If you ever want to be a GM, there are some common things to know:
1. You are the supreme authority in your thread. If someone disagrees, too bad. You can tell them to shut up and get back to RP'ing.
2. You control the flow moreso than the RP'ers themselves. If you want to speed the story up, say so. If you want them to slow down, tell them.
3. If rules are broken, say so. If another person in your thread notices the error, so be it. But you're the one that will decide the action taken. If someone God mods, will you throw them out? Will you tell them to change it? It depends on you.

Don't overdo what you are supposed to do. Don't kick someone out because they missed a comma. Be reasonable in your judgement, but remember: You have the final say.

10 Common RP Courtesy Rules

1. Characters are one's own creation. Don't take another person's character without their permission. Also, don't control a character if you don't know how they'll act. Minimal interaction is fine, but don't give them a full post when they're not even yours.
2. Typing classes are free in a lot of areas. Please make it easy on all of the RP'ers here, and learn to type properly.
3. God-Modding is bad. This ruins the game for everyone, and can make progress within very difficult. If you see any of this, report the post immidiately. If you're the GM, deal with it.
4. Make sure you know what's going on before you post something. Of course, in some RP's, your character is off in Guam somewhere, but even so, be familiar with where everyone else is going. If someone posts an Out of Character post and you miss it, it could be disasterous.
5. Don't post nothing. If you're going to post here, post something worthwhile. Otherwise, just PM the person you want to say it to.
6. Be familiar with the actual forum rules, or else you might overstep lines. There are many other rules beyond these, such as no double posting, which are a part of the BlizzForums rules. Read those, and abide by those First and foremost. Seeing as how I'm a nice person, I'll link them for you here and you can read them if you haven't already
7. Help isn't bad. If you need some, feel free to PM someone that might be able to help you. The GM, myself, or Black.Ice would be the best people to PM in any situation. From asking for help on a post, to describing something, we'll always help where we can. Don't be afraid. Even masters have to PM others to get advice!
8. Romance is a hard thing to do here at Warboards. With little female to male ratios, we aren't meant for love stories. Feel free to flirt, but as for the full thing, don't try it. Not a good area to be stuck in, unless you and the person you are working with are *absolutely* sure you can pull it off without problems. You've been warned.
9. Be ready for commitment. Not in marriage, but to the RP you join up to. Leaving in the middle of an RP shows that you weren't ready, and often discourages people from letting you into their own RP's later on. Be ready to visit the thread every day or every other day to read posts, and post yourself.
10. The GM is your leader within a thread, and Black.Ice is the leader in the forum itself (No I don't count ). If either of them tell you to do something, follow it. If you don't, it could mean anything from being warned to temporaraly banned.

General RP Acronyms:

OOC: Out of Character, Out of Context - Use this when referring to comments / remark out of your character. It can also be used to help others out if they're in a bind. A simple way to talk normally when not roleplaying.
IC: In Character, in context - Use this to let others know that you are know starting in-character writing. Primaraly used whenever switching back and forth between Out of Character comments to In Character comments.
RP: Roleplay - This is what we do. It can also mean a thread (Online, of course... Or in person, you can do a real roleplay) that is dedicated to a story that users make up as they go. Basically, it's a story.
GM: Game Master, General Moderator, Grand Master, etc. - It's the person that started the thread, more times than none, and is the "Almighty power" within it. If anyone goes against rules, the GM's laws override whomever disobeys. They also have the power to kick someone out of a roleplay. Basically, you're go-to person for any rules.
Char: Character. Who or what you're playing as.
Bio: Biography. This is what your character has done/been through, and often gives VERY descriptive information about them. This is what pretty much makes the character before the first post begins. The more you describe, the better you can see the character.
Godmod, God-mod, God mod: This is a person that has done the impossible, or done something illegal within a roleplay.

Moderator Requests:

As the moderator for the 'Online Roleplaying' Forum,Eidoathanix has some requests for the general RP Community. Some of them are requests regarding to the functionality of the forum, while some of them are simply personal requests. I'm now editing this to fit more towards both Black.Ice and myself moderating this area... Heh... If I screwed up somewhere, let me know. I'll change it immidiately.

Advertising / Spam / Other Posts or Thread which Violate the Site Rules - Please notif Eidoathanix of these posts as as soon as possible. The easiest way to notify us of an inappropriate post is to use the "report post" button which is found at the bottom left of each post. (). This sends Black.Ice, as well as myself, an e-mail. We give reported posts the highest priority, and we will always check these as soon as we can.
PM Black.Ice or myself - If you PM one of us, we will get the message but may not be able attend to it immediately. We gets several PM's a day (!), and check them only when we visits BlizzForums (Or sometimes when we get the E-mail saying we have a PM). A reported post contains much more information regarding the problematic post in the e-mail, where as a PM e-mail only contains the person from who the PM is.
Black.Ice checks his e-mail more often than Warboards, whereas I check both my E-mail and BlizzForums about the same amount of time. But as this stated earlier, urgent matters are best reported.
Disputes - While he is a moderator of this forum, he has no right to interfere with a GM's decision as long as they are not breaking the site rules. He's been PM'd several times about certain unfairness in RP's, but there is nothing he can do about it, unfortunately. For all game related disputes, please contact the appropriate GM. Moderators can help whenever you need it, but we're not sitting at our computer 24 hours a day... We do have lives, so it can take some time.
Post Deletion / Spam - He's been notified of several posts in RP threads which are spam, etc.. If you are the GM of the RP and you report it to one of the moderators (Black.Ice and myself as of the time I'm editing this), it will be deleted without question. This applies to any posts in your thread. If you are not the GM, you can still report spam, but please provide a valid reason. He'll read through the post in most cases, and decide on his best judgment.

General Conduct Rules


Newbies - We were all newbies at one point or another. BlizzForums is the first place some people had ever participated in a forum RP. They will make mistakes, and I bet everyone agrees that most newbies do.
To Newbies - If you have never conducted a forum RP before, We would recommend you participate in a few before starting your own stories and RP's. While there is no rule against creating a new RP, We strongly discourage creating a RP if you do not know what you are doing. Previous track records show that nearly all newbie-created RP's fail.
To Members - If someone makes a mistake, do not jump down their throats. This is the one way to get on Black.Ice's bad side.
If someone has made a blatant error, kindly report it to the GM or Black.Ice, or post a helpful response informing the newbie of their error. If you can not post something nice, simply ignore the error. If you don't have any thing good to say, don't say it at all.
Dropouts - The most frustrating thing to a GM is RP'ers who drop out and those who are not active. While you can join as many RP's as you want, please know that you will be have to dedicate some time to them in order to be active. If you can't do this, don't join.
Grammar / Spelling - We realize that everyone is at different levels of writing. When participating in an RP, please try to write to the best of your ability. Attempt to use proper grammar and spelling. There are many free spell-checkers out there, and they will help your writing enormously. If you stick to a few basic rules, you will have much more respect.
 
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