Forum RolePlay Guide for Cheese Alliance


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For use in Cheese Alliance only; created by LCP Dragon Slayer © 2007

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Forum RolePlay Guide for Cheese Alliance

  1. 1. RP 101: An introduction to online Roleplaying. Created by LCP Dragon Slayer ©2007 Special thanks to Nosceteipsum for his assistance. For use in Cheese Alliance
  2. 2. RP: What is it? <ul><li>What is RP? </li></ul><ul><li>RP stands for role-playing and we are interested in the textual, online form of it. </li></ul><ul><li>Defined by as: </li></ul><ul><li>To assume or act out a particular role. </li></ul><ul><li>In essence, role-playing is a form of creative writing performed online wherein a storyline or setting is proposed, a group of individuals join the role-play and they take turns to write and submit segments of writing where a few things happen each time. The end product appears somewhat like a novel or short story; but it is conceptually different from either of those . </li></ul>
  3. 3. RP and Novel: What’s the diff? <ul><li>Role-plays always involve more than one writer. </li></ul><ul><li>Role-plays are based online, proofread but never edited and are not published into books. </li></ul><ul><li>Every individual creates a character and they are their own protagonists; there are the same number of protagonists as the number of people in the RP. </li></ul><ul><li>Turn-based; people take turns to post as the plot unveils. </li></ul><ul><li>Conventionally written in third-person and past tense. </li></ul><ul><li>Usually a novel or short story only has one author. </li></ul><ul><li>Novels are word processed and end up being edited formally and published as a book. </li></ul><ul><li>Most of the time, a novel only has one protagonist (one hero or main character), and the storyline, events, conflicts, etc. revolves around the protagonist. </li></ul><ul><li>No turn-based concept because there is only one writer. </li></ul><ul><li>Written in any style ; first or third person, eye of God, present, past etc. </li></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>As you can see, there are significant differences between RPs and novels or short stories. There is interaction with real people and there is a lot of communication and events unfolding even though nothing is happening in what is known as ‘Real Time’ (instantaneous contact – anything forum or e-mail based is never in real time, compared to face to face or instant messaging, which is real time). </li></ul><ul><li>Regardless of whether you are a complete beginner to role-playing or if you already know a little bit about it, this information is designed to help you understand more about the art of role-playing, the concepts and mechanics behind role-playing, the processes involved, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Please feel free to go through this tutorial at your own pace, and do not hesitate to ask questions about anything you feel you do not quite understand, require clarification or you just need someone to talk to. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Types of RP: The SFN; S <ul><li>The first thing I would like to introduce you to is the kinds of role-plays there are. Regardless of where you go, every RP you will find will fall into one of three categories; there are only 3 kinds of RPs, and they are the SFN. </li></ul><ul><li>1. S: Seek. </li></ul><ul><li>The first type of role-play is a Seek type. What we mean by seek is that the whole objective of the role-play is to acquire an object, or rescue a person, or find an item, or anything related to that sort. The role-play then involves role-players searching for something or rescuing someone, or the like. It could be something like; “You are pirates, and you must sail the seas to find the buried treasure (with a map you do not have)”, or “Acquire the Holy Grail to be granted immortality”, or “Rescue the rich man’s daughter”, etc. Seek role-plays are quite common; usually less common than the F types but much more common than the N types. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Types of RPs contd.: SFN; F <ul><li>2. F: Fight </li></ul><ul><li>The second type of role-play is the Fight type . Fight type role-plays are the most common ones of all, and it is self-explanatory; the plot of the role-play revolves around armed conflict either between role-players, or the role-players band together to defeat the enemy (not played by any role-players). </li></ul><ul><li>The most common ones in the fight type include: Divine wars between Angels and Fallen or Demons, the Eternal Struggle between Vampires and Werewolves, packs of wolves pitted against each other, a group of renegade fighters against the tyrants or mafia, wars of the past involving swords and cannons (in both Western (medieval) and Eastern (Japanese, Chinese) civilizations), wars of the now involving guns and AK-47s and wars of the future involving biological weapons, advanced rifles, artificial intelligence, etc. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Types of RPs contd.: SFN; N <ul><li>2. N: No Goal </li></ul><ul><li>The third and final type of role-play is the No Goal type . As self-explanatory as the Fight type role-plays; there is no goal or objective to be attained by the end of this type of role-plays. </li></ul><ul><li>How can this be possible, you ask? How can you have a story with no final aim? As mentioned before, role-plays are different from novels or short stories, and there are a few kinds of role-plays which fit into the No Goal type. What happens in the role-play is pure interaction between role-players, and as they continue posting, the storyline develops almost naturally, as if it were growing. Most No Goal type role-plays simply have a setting (time and place) – more points on creating an RP later on. Role-players join and they introduce events and sub-plots. This is the most flexible kind of RP, however the bulk of it is only found in more Basic RPs suited for newer people. You almost never find No Goal types in more advanced RPs where the requirements are higher and the rules are stricter – but more on this later. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Open and Closed RPs <ul><li>There are 2 kinds of role-plays (above the 3 types); opened and closed. </li></ul><ul><li>An open RP is open to everyone to participate in. Most role-plays are open – If you are interested in joining the RP, simply begin posting away. </li></ul><ul><li>There are varying degrees of closed RPs. The more common kind you will find is open to everyone to join (just like an open RP), but you need to contact the thread starter first and gain approval to join the RP. This may be because there are only limited spots in the RP (For example, only 5 people can be in the RP), or that the RP has specific allocated roles for people, so you need to let the thread starter know which role you would like to fill so that they can keep track (e.g. in a wolf pack, someone must be the alpha male, someone must be the alpha female, so you must let the RP starter know which role you would like to fill.) </li></ul><ul><li>The second kind of closed RP is not open to everyone – the thread will specifically state who is allowed to join the RP, and only those people can post. These kinds of role-plays are not common at all, but in many large forums with hundreds of role-players, some like to role-play only with their friends, so they create closed RPs of this sort. </li></ul>
  9. 9. How it works <ul><li>So, the mechanics behind a role-play is; the role-play starter introduces the role-play to everyone. Depending on whether it is an open or closed RP, interested participants may need to have a word with the RP starter before they can begin posting, and everyone takes turns in posting. Eventually the story unfolds as more posts are made, people band together, and at the end the goal is achieved (or the plot is enacted successfully) – the object is found, the enemy is defeated, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>One thing I must mention now is no one can teach you how to RP. It is something only you can learn by yourself. The people around you can help out and answer questions, but there is no procedure to learning how to RP. It is something you practice on, and over time you learn from your mistakes and you develop, improve and grow. Perseverance is very important when it comes to wanting to become a good role-player; many people have taken years to develop the skills they currently possess. You must be involved and you must try and be ready to make mistakes if you want to grow. It is the same for many life skills, and once you get the hang of it, it gets easier. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Example <ul><li>Because it is not possible to show you how to RP, I will try to lead by example, and show you what is going on in the post. </li></ul><ul><li>xX He sat quietly, alone in the bar, staring at the bubbles frothing atop the tankard. He was in no mood to drink tonight, and he closed his eyes and sighed. He turned his hand and uncurled his fingers, revealing a silver ring resting on his palm. Desolate blue eyes stared upon them for a long time as his mind reeled into lamentation. He was so entrenched in his thoughts that he had not noticed the familiar face approach him. </li></ul><ul><li>“ Yo. What’s up man?” He turned around. He forced a small smile at the old friend, sliding the ring into his pocket. He shook his head slightly as if to say… everything was alright. Xx </li></ul>
  11. 11. <ul><li>So, what was happening in that example? </li></ul><ul><li>Let’s take it apart. </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>xX He sat quietly, alone in the bar, staring at the bubbles frothing atop the tankard. He was in no mood to drink tonight, and he closed his eyes and sighed. He turned his hand and uncurled his fingers, revealing a silver ring resting on his palm. Desolate blue eyes stared upon them for a long time as his mind reeled into lamentation. He was so entrenched in his thoughts that he had not noticed the familiar face approach him. </li></ul><ul><li>“ Yo. What’s up man?” He turned around. He forced a small smile at the old friend, sliding the ring into his pocket. He shook his head slightly as if to say… everything was alright. Xx </li></ul>Action Icon Speech Action Icon The entire post is composed of actions e.g. ‘he sat quietly’, ‘staring at the bubbles’, ‘closed his eyes and sighed’, etc. These actions are elaborated with more detail, and often in a post there are both actions and speech.
  12. 12. Action Icons <ul><li>Action icons are normally more used in chat-based role-plays, and they basically separate actions from speech. Action icons come in all shape and form, and the most commonly ones used in the past include: </li></ul><ul><li>~Yawns.~ </li></ul><ul><li>*Yawns.* </li></ul><ul><li>::Yawns.:: </li></ul><ul><li>-Yawns.- </li></ul><ul><li>< Yawns. > </li></ul><ul><li>Over time, people have developed their own action icons. As you can see, mine are xX Yawns. Xx, but there are countless others which you will come across as your journey into RPing continues. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Actions and Speech <ul><li>Obviously there is a clear difference between action and speech. The former is associated more with verbs, or ‘doing something’, while the latter is ‘saying something’. If you are speaking/having a conversation in an RP, it is important that you distinguish between action and speech, and this should not only be speech marks. </li></ul><ul><li>In my case, I have used normal font to denote action, and I have used bold text to denote speech. Some people also do this. Others colour code and avoid using bold. So, all their action would be in one colour (maybe white), and all their speech would be in another (yellow – note, some people use different colours for different people who are speaking, so if they themselves are speaking it may be in yellow, and if someone else is speaking it may be in another colour e.g. red, green, etc). </li></ul><ul><li>Most RPers know that italic font denotes thought of the character, e.g. I wonder who this belongs to… and this is a typical convention used. </li></ul>
  14. 14. IC and OOC <ul><li>A concept foreign for most new to role-play is the idea of being IC and being OOC. </li></ul><ul><li>Being IC </li></ul><ul><li>IC stands for In Character. Basically, everything that is IC is what happens within the action icons . All actions, speech and thoughts within action icons are considered actions, speech and thoughts which pertain or belong to the character you are role-playing. </li></ul><ul><li>Being OOC </li></ul><ul><li>OOC stands for Out of Character. Everything that is OOC is what happens outside of the action icons – these are your thoughts, your actions, your speech – the you behind the computer monitor. Usually, in an RP topic, we use parenthesis brackets to denote this e.g. (( Hey guys. How have you been. I haven’t RPed in ages so spare the comments! )) – it is what you are thinking and saying, not what your character is doing. </li></ul>
  15. 15. Starting your own RP <ul><li>Just a side note; you have this great idea and you wish to start your own role-play, but you are not sure how. You need some help. </li></ul><ul><li>Actually, starting a role-play is really easy. You just need to remember a couple of things, and you can do it every time. </li></ul><ul><li>To start a role-play, you must remember to include two things – scenario and setting. Scenario is the event or what is happening at the time of your RP – there is a war, the princess has been kidnapped, etc. Most of the time you include the plot idea here as well. Setting is, as you should know, time and place. If people know what is happening where and when, it is all they need to decide whether they would like to join your RP. </li></ul><ul><li>Sometimes you might want people to include a character profile; either to make sure people stick to it, or just to make sure you know their names and what they look like. This is optional but most role-plays ask its participants to include a profile in their first post. </li></ul>
  16. 16. Tips on Role-Playing <ul><li>Just to finish up, I’ll offer some tips on RPing. I hope you keep this at heart. </li></ul><ul><li>Be descriptive. </li></ul><ul><li>Very important – as you make progress with role-playing, you will develop a sense of being descriptive. It is the difference between waiting for a bus and sitting at the stop, sending a text, looking at the time, sighing, glancing around and bobbing your head to your MP3 player as you wait. You will find a level of descriptiveness that suits you, and it will come naturally. </li></ul><ul><li>Have structure. </li></ul><ul><li>It’s the basic things like having proper paragraphs, proofreading if you have trouble with syntax, spelling, grammar, vocabulary and punctuation, but it’s also having the sense of how much you should do in one post. This is a sense you develop as you improve as well, but cramming 10 things in one post ends up forcing people to read a thesis every time, and doing a couple of things is too short and you will find yourself disadvantaged because people are doing more than you per post. </li></ul>
  17. 17. Tips on Role-Playing contd. <ul><li>Speak English. </li></ul><ul><li>Perhaps one of the most important points I will make; no 1 will read ur post if u typ lyk dis. If I was da topic strter, I wld del ur post n ban u frm all my rps. </li></ul><ul><li>I think I have made my point. </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t God-mode. </li></ul><ul><li>Alright. God-mode or God-modding is when you have unrealistic powers in a role-play; Like being invincible (cannot die or get hurt), manipulating time (there is a limit to manipulating time and with this skill there is a fine line between being a great RPer and God-modding, but for newer RPers, I suggest not even going there), total mind control (again, the field of psionics has a limit like time manipulation, but avoid this skill), etc. </li></ul>
  18. 18. Tips on Role-Playing contd. <ul><li>Be IC (In Character). </li></ul><ul><li>You chose your own character for the roleplay you are involved in. Either change your character if you don’t like it, or be in character throughout the role-play. That means that if you chose to be a bomb diffusion expert in Russia, halfway through the roleplay you will not suddenly become an airplane pilot trying to save the president of the United States. </li></ul><ul><li>Be consistent. </li></ul><ul><li>One of the things that is imperative to the logic behind turn-based forum combat (T1; not covered in this tutorial) is that you have to be consistent. Although it sounds obvious, what this means is that whatever happens to your character in the previous post/s is carried over to your current post – if you got shot by someone the last post, the wound will not miraculously heal in the next post and you cannot go on as normal – you will bleed and your stamina will decrease, and eventually it would lead to unconsciousness and death. You know the works. </li></ul>
  19. 19. Just remember… <ul><li>R Respect. Respect the RPers, respect the topic. Don’t kill off other characters in RPs without their permission and listen to the RP starter. </li></ul><ul><li>O Be Original and creative. Don’t copy – you are your own character, you are unique. </li></ul><ul><li>L Be Literate. Means you dun typ lyk dis, and you proofread if necessary. </li></ul><ul><li>E Engage in the action. Don’t be growing tomatoes in Madrid when everyone else is slaying vampires in California. </li></ul><ul><li>P Practice makes perfect, and it makes you become a better RPer. Don’t be discouraged. </li></ul><ul><li>L Level. Know what your abilities and limits are, and join an RP suitable for you. </li></ul><ul><li>A Be Active. By joining an RP you become obliged – reply when it is your turn, not one month later. You don’t want to be the one who kills the RP because you didn’t post. </li></ul><ul><li>Y You become an integral part of the RP when you join it – you play a character who interacts with others. You are the protagonist – act like one. Take charge – do what you would do, and don’t act like an insignificant sidekick. Show us what you can do. </li></ul>
  20. 20. T1 (Turn-based forum combat) <ul><li>T1 stands for Terminal 1 and it is basically classified as paragraph forum turn-based combat. What does all that mean, you might ask. Basically it is very much like an RP, but instead of having a plot and multiple role-players involved, T1 is (almost all the time) a match between two role-players and involves pure combat. </li></ul><ul><li>T1 is a whole new face to combat and it requires a whole new tutorial to teach. There are many rules, many technicalities and there is a significant difference between T1 and role-playing in many senses. </li></ul><ul><li>I will not be providing a T1 guide because it is too complicated in that manner, and it is best taught in Real Time (e.g. through AIM or MSN; instantaneous contact so you can ask questions as soon as you find something confusing). I will offer a list of contacts in the next section. </li></ul>
  21. 21. Contact Details <ul><li>You’ve finished the tutorial; congratulations. I know that I haven’t been able to explain everything fully, and I haven’t explained it well. I would really like to hear some feedback or questions from you guys; below are my contact details. </li></ul><ul><li>Also, contact me if you want me to teach you T1. I’m more than happy to do so, and I will endeavour to always have one T1 spar going in the RP forums so that you can have a look there to see how it goes. </li></ul><ul><li>Contact Details </li></ul><ul><li>E-mail: [email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>AIM: ScytheHooded </li></ul><ul><li>MSN: [email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>YIM: lcpdragonslayer </li></ul><ul><li>Altneratively, talk to me over Forum PM. I’m more than happy to assist. </li></ul><ul><li>Thanks for reading this, and I hope you enjoyed this tutorial. </li></ul>