This thread is intended to give those who have never previously RPed a little insight as to how things work here, and RPing in general.
What is Role Playing?
In simple terms, Role Playing is telling a story. What separates RPing from your basic story-telling, however, is that the RPer tells the story through their character by interacting with other characters controlled by other RPers, as well as interacting with the environment of the world in which the RP is set.
What types of RPs are there?
There are 3 types of RPs.
- Original RPs (ORP): These RPs are based in worlds completely of the RP Master's imagination. Generally you will only find original characters being used here.
- Unoriginal RPs (URP): These RPs are set in a world taken directly from a game, book, movie, TV show, or any work that is not the creation of the RP Master. Characters from that particular work (referred to as "canon" characters) are predominantly used, but original characters are allowed at the discretion of the RP Master.
- Role Playing Battles (RPB): These RPs are battles played out between two characters on a 1v1 basis.
How do I create a character?
You have two options. The first is to simply wait for an RP to start, then if it's an URP, you can take a canon character to RP as, or create an original character for acceptance in that particular RP. The same applies for an ORP, though that is less likely to use canon characters.
If you wish to create an original character that can/will be used in multiple RPs over time, you will need to create a biography for that character in the "The Heroes" section of Roleplay Central. It is strongly suggested that you use the Bio Format as a template for creating your character. Once your character's bio is complete, post a link to the thread in the Bio Review Waiting List thread. Once it's there, an RP Moderator will review the character, and point out any corrections that need to be made so that the character conforms with the site's rules of RPing. Once approved, that character is ready for participation in any RP, assuming the particular RP master accepts it.
For reference, the Bio Format thread has links to previously accepted characters.
What are the rules of RPing?
Each RP Master will set certain parameters within their particular RP that they will expect each RPer to follow. But in addition to those, there are certain specific things that are considered the cardinal sins of RPing.
GodModding: GodModding is when an RPer controls a character other than their own. This can manifest in a few different ways. Obviously, the most visible would be an RPer controlling the physical actions of another character within their own post. However, there are some other subtle ways one can GodMod. These include: assuming a character's reactions; assuming a character's thoughts; deciding how a character reacts to your actions. The best way to avoid GodModding is to stay within your own character. Another way to avoid it is to contact the RPer whose character you are interacting with via PM or MSN/AIM and get their permission and then their input as to how their character would react to those particular situations.
Power Playing: In simple terms, this is creating a character who is overly powerful. For example, wearing armor that is impervious to physical attacks. Generally speaking, if you create an original character and put it in the Bio Review Waiting List, the RP Mod will check and make sure your character is balanced. But the basic premise behind the rule is that your character has to be able to be damaged and theoretically killed in some fashion.
Metagaming: This can be defined as assuming your character has knowledge of information of which s/he/it was not previously made aware. Sometimes, you won't always know who your enemy is, or what their weakness is, or where you need to go. You may have to hunt for that information, or wait for another character who may have that knowledge.
Plagiarism: Simply put, anything you pass off as your own work should be just that: your own work.
Ok, I'm in an RP, now what?
Once the RP has started, the first thing to do is find an entry point for your character. Sometimes this is pre-determined by the RP leader. For example, a Final Fantasy VIII RP Master may want all characters to start in Balamb Garden. If not, it's up to you to consider the setting and your character's background to find an appropriate way to bring your character into the game. It can be as simple as sitting in the local tavern, or something more complex of your own design.
After that, what happens is completely up to you. You can seek out other characters to interact with, wait for those characters to interact with you, or simply strike off on your own.
How do I start my own RP?
On this site, we generally have a Sign-Up and Discussion thread to gather participants and gauge interest in an RP. If it is an URP, it would go in the The Secondhand Stories section. If it is an ORP, it would go in the The Scrapbook section.
Once you deem your RP ready to start, create a new thread in the appropriate section, and let the fun begin. An ORP would go in the Worlds of Our Own section, while an URP would go in the The Rewritten Stories section.
If you and another RPer decide to have a Role Playing Battle, that would not require a Sign-Up thread. The Battle would go in the Fighters' Quarry section.
Anything else I should know?
Jump right in! The best way to improve your RPing is to try it out. No one is perfect, and no one expects your writing to be perfect. Just have fun with it, be creative, and add your own twist(s) to the story.
If you have any questions at all, don't hesitate to PM an RP Mod (CassinoChips) or ask them in the ShoutBox.