How to RPG?
RPG Guidelines by Soldat of life
This is a unique place unlike other sections of Anime Online. If you have ever tried a role playing game before (D&D, Vampire: The Masquerade, Werewolf, Seventh Sea, etc.), then you should have a feel as to what is going on here.
For those who don't know how to get started in an RPG thread, here's a more or less complete list of things to do before posting and when posting at the start of a thread.
1. The Start.
A. Once an RPG is started, be sure to read carefully what the first post says. If there are specific rules in the first post, they should be followed accordingly.
B. If you wish to join, it is recommended to PM the person who started the thread your intentions towards their thread and see if you could fit right in. When I mean fit right in, I mean that you have to think up a character concept that will work inside a set storyline.
C. Once you join a thread, there is a time to post and a time to wait for others to post. After describing your entrance in the story and what your character does, it is best to wait for the other characters to enter before posting again unless another character starts interacting with you directly. If the one who created the thread makes the story advance, you can describe in your next post how your character reacted during and after this event. Furthermore, you cannot determine the course of another character, only what your character does.
- Example: If the story is set in a realistic modern setting (between 1900 and 2010), you have to create a human being that will have no special powers except abilities that humans could have. If the setting is a modern fantastic world, the dates will be the same, though things such as vampires and werewolves will be added to the mix depending as well on the rules of the first post. A medieval setting (between 1100 and 1900) will have to consider the technology of the time and medieval fantasy would include fairy tale proportions. Futuristic settings (2010 and beyond) could lead to science-fiction as in common space travel and exploration, futuristic weapons, time traveling, genetically advanced species and much more. Once again, there could be limitations to character creation depending on the rules set up.
2. The Basics.
- There is a certain notion of time in an RPG thread, an invisible timeline of what's happening and when it's happening, ie. the flow of the story. When someone makes an action, once this action is taken, it cannot be changed, and unless someone tries to stop it, it will take place. For example: Someone posts that his character shoots another character. This person cannot decide if the bullet touches the other character as he does not have power over the other character’s actions. The one controlling the character that is being shot at will post if the bullet touches his character or if he dodges it depending on his abilities and common sense. You cannot control the fate of another character, you can only "try" to affect it with your character’s actions. You can try to convince someone to do something, but it doesn’t mean that the other person will do it.
A. There are limits to how short and how long a post can be.
B. A character should never be invincible or able to do anything in the blink of an eye whenever he wants.
- This all depends on the level of role playing that is necessary for the thread. It's not necessary to post 1000 words in your first try or ever at all for that matter. But take notice that writing 1 sentence is out of the question as well. A fair amount of text would be about 1 paragraph of about 7 sentences. Though there could be more than 1 event in a post, so many paragraphs could be considered. No more than 3 paragraphs should be made in a simple RPG to make the story advance quickly enough to keep the interest of all the participants and not force everyone to read 5 minutes to get passed your single post.
Don’t forget, others will post and the longer the post, the longer it will take to read, and the longer it will take for the next member to post. If everyone in the RPG is fairly good and don't mind reading a lot, more paragraphs could be possible in a single post, but highly unlikely at this point in time at AO.
C. Your first post in an RPG thread should be as follows:
- First of all, this can destroy a story quicker than anything else and nobody will want to have you in their RPG. Things such as infinite teleportation at will and being able to shoot a million bullets or kill someone with a mere thought are examples of abilities that should never be taken. The list could go on endlessly as any ability or skill that is exaggerated becomes uninteresting during an RPG. The goal of an RPG is to create a story and keep the characters in an uncertain state so that everyone wants to further develop their characters and wanting to know what will happen next. If someone is invincible and defeats every colossal red dragon with a blink of an eye, things will get boring very quickly.
D. OOC is to be used wisely. Private messaging (PM) can sometimes be best.
- Describe the physical appearance, the thoughts or lack of thoughts, the interactions taking place as well as any other pertinent notions of your character and their environment. As you describe their actions, try to put depth in their movements and surroundings so that it becomes interesting to read as if you were writing a novel, though it doesn’t need to be professionally done, but the more you take time to write your post, the better you have chances that it will be appreciated by the readers and if you described things well enough, it will further help the story to unfold faster as everyone will know what they need to know if they want to interact with your character. The next posts that you will make can follow this strongly suggested way to build up a post and keeping consistency in your character and actions are things needed to keep the story coherent.
- While you participate, do not excessively post OOC (Out Of Character) so that it takes more room than the actual IC (In Character) post you will write up. Once the OOC is no longer necessary, it is best to edit it out so that it doesn’t break up the feeling of the story. If you have something to say to just one person, it is best to send them a PM and fix any misunderstandings that way as well. If everyone is involved, a small OOC can always be done.
For those who don't understand some RPG terminology:
OOC - Out Of Character. A term used in roleplay when a person wants to step outside of their character for a minute and speak as themselves.
IC - In Character
BIC - Back In Character
Going in and out of character is commonly shown as double brackets or using the acronym. Examples:
- ((Can I say something for a sec?))
- OOC: Can I say something for a sec?