Role Play Guide

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Role Play Guide

This is a self-help guide for those who are new to role playing or would like to improve their role playing skills. This guide will include steps to creating a role play, creating a character, writing a post, tips, and warnings to follow when participating in any role play. If you have any questions, please ask and I will answer to the best of my knowledge. Enjoy.



CREATING A ROLE PLAY

When you are creating a role play, before you even begin writing it, you should ask yourself if the idea is original. Do not create role plays that are too similar to another role play, book, or movie. The reason for this is because an idea that has already been made will never be as good remade than a well thought out, original idea. I can't tell you how to get the ideas. That is up to you. I can tell you, though, how to organize them and put them together in a proper role play.

step 1: Write the plot. A plot should contain the main idea and setting of the story and nothing else. Do not include a full synopsis or any twists. This decreases the value of the role play in the long run. However, don't simply create a plot that takes only five minutes to write. Just like there are cliches in literature, there are cliches in role plays. One such cliche would be a story about vampires and werewolves. If your plot looks anything like following, delete it and start over:

"A human girl is an a car accident and is saved by a vampire. He turns her and at first she is angry and resentful, but she soon begins to fall in love with him."

There are many other examples of such cliches and it is very easy to recognize one. Notice that there may only be three or four sentences to the plot and that it stricty revolves around a cheesy, unrealistic, and unoriginal romance. Do not do this. A plot should at minimum contain no less than two paragraphs and at maximum no more than five paragraphs.

step 2: Create restraints. A role play that has no restraints on the characters or the setting becomes unrealistic. A restraint can be something along the lines of characters only allowed to be wolves and vampires or that characters can only have so many powers or weapons. The restraints can be within the role play as well, such as a city law or state boundary. This is generally a list of what you can not do in the role play.

step 3. Create releases. The releases of a role play are the exceptions to the restraints. One example would be that an underage boy lives alone because he is an emanicipated minor since his parents are rarely in the country. In other words, releases are excuses for why something out of place is where it is. Remember, there should be more restraints than releases. This is generally a list of what you can do in the role play.

step 4. Make rules. Like restraints and releases, these are requirements for every single post. Rules can vary but they should include information for the length of posts, what is and is not okay in a post , and how often someone should post. Rules should not be limited to only these, but they should not exceed such an amount that it makes it difficult for someone to post at all.

CREATING A CHARACTER

When you create a character, absolutely do not tell everything about them. In contrast, many role plays require that you give a full history and bio. However, it is highly recommended that you do not do this, because it ruins the quality of the role play. If you know everything about the character, then you ruin the story. The story is about the characters in it. So when you tell a person's history, you are revealing all the secrets of a story that are best left to be found out over time. The only information that you should reveal about a character in any situation is the name, the gender, the age, and the race or species. Of course there are extenuiating circumstances where you would give more information, but this should be the maximum. It is always better when information is left for surprise. However, if the owner of the role play would like more information, instead of revealing your character to everyone, you should simply send only them a private message of your character.

step 1: Choose a name. These should be original, but still make sense with the setting. Do not name a girl Ally if she is from Africa. Give her a more ethnic name that would fit her background. Remember, names often tell a story about the parents. It is rare when a parent names a child simply because the name sounded good to them. The name of your character will reflect a history of something or someone else before they were born. This can sometime be a key theme in a story too.

step 2: Have a personality. While you will not be giving all this information, it should be something that you know and keep consistent throughout the story depending on if your character is a static or dynamic character. Remember that static characters do not change, while dynamic characters do. Personalities can have cliches as well. One example of this is a fifteen year old girl who is beautiful, has perfect grades, a great laugh, can defeat the bad guy, and win the guy. It is just too unrealistic. Personalities usually center around being quiet and reserved, hot tempered and loud, or being a comedien. These are called archetypes. These are okay in every story, but should not be used to their full extent. Always add original details to characters.

(b step 3: Invent flaws. No person is perfect and it is usually the flaws of a character in a story that make them interesting. Their qualities make the reader like a person, but their flaws are what really keeps the pages turning. Remember, the number of flaws should always be equal to or more than the number of qualities.

step 4: Just as you will have restraints and releases with your story, you need them with your characters as well. This is highly important and will determine the overall strength and effect of the role play. A good restraint would be that a boy was raised to be an assasin, but he has a heart disease that can cause him to black out under too much physical strain.


WRITING A POST

There are two different types of posts, literate and illiterate. There is no questionable difference between the two and does not need to be elaborated. However, it is fairly simply to take an illiterate writer with the right ideas, and give them the tools to make them a fantastic writer.

(b step 1: Posts should always be more than the minimum and less than the maximum set by rules of the role play. And no matter what the length requirement is, all posts should include proper spelling, grammar, and punctuation. Using hypens or any other asterick does not constitute for a proper sentence.

step 2: When you are writing, learn the difference between show and tell. You will want to show how a person is feeling by their actions. If you want your character to be upset, don't just tell the reader that they are angry and sat down on a chair. Let the reader make their own inference by showing them how they sat on that chair and the expression on their face. This is very important, because only telling a person that your character is angry, tells nothing about them at all. Everyone gets angry. However, if you give the specific details and how angry the person was, then you are learning something. Also, do not show that your character is in the shower. You can simply tell them that they spent twenty minutes in there to relax. The reader doesn't need to know that they slowly washed their legs or genitilia, unless of course the reader neeeds to know that the character now has an STD.

step 3: Don't ramble. While it is important to have a great deal of description in a story, it is highly unlikely that the color of the dinner plate is important or that the reader will care. Of course, you could mention that an old, widowed woman had an affinity with cats and decorated most of her plates with different pictures of felines. But don't get wishy-washy in your writing. Describe one plate and leave it at that. It is bad enough that you character knows a woman like that, don't make the other role players endure it.


ROLE PLAY TIPS

Basic roleplaying keywords are:

RP: Roleplay

OOC: Out of Character

IC: In Character

BIC: Back in Character

Power-playing: Which refers to trying to control other people's characters.

God-modding: Changing in game rules or controlling other charters actions or reactions.

MarySue: Creating a "Perfect character" with little or no weakness, overly dramatic or perfect past, and excellent at everything.

Literate: A very good roleplayer who shows that they are able to properly use grammar, punctuation, capitalization, spelling, ect. A literate roleplayer knows when long introductions are appropriate, understands the place for short one or two sentence posts and keeps in character emotions separate from their own.

Semi-Lit: A decent roleplayer who has an "OK" grasp of grammar, punctuation, capitalization, spelling, ect. A Semi-Lit roleplayer typically writes long introductions several paragraphs in length and posts of up to a paragraph and longer.

Illiterate: A terrible roleplayer who disregards all grammar, punctuation, capitalization, etc. Their spelling is usually equal to chatspeak. An illiterate roleplayer typically writes one paragraph for their intro, and around one or two sentences per post.

ROLE PLAY WARNINGS

Never God-Mod. God-modding can refer to many things, for example: being immortal , or taking control of another person's character.

Never powerplay. No one likes to roleplay with someone who is in one place, then is mystically in another without moving, or has actions completed that they have not included in their post. Powerplaying is also used to describe the action of controlling, injuring, killing, or otherwise manipulating another character without the player's consent, such as shooting or tripping a character. It assumes that the character's fate is yours to control, and is one of the most impolite things you can do in roleplay.

A lot of roleplayers prefer you to have a certain standard for how much you write, and it always varies. You might aim to write three good sentences while someone else wants three good paragraphs, or vice versa.

Whatever you do, do not ramble! Nobody wants to read three paragraphs about minute details like the color of a dinner plate, the past of a character from birth to present day or the tone of their voice! Little details about a 'fragile ivory dinner plate' or a 'low, raspy hum' are great, but be careful; write too much and people will skim or even skip over your posts!

No one likes someone who makes two or three posts and doesn't post forever. If you have to go on a trip, have a job or something, then inform your fellow roleplayers so they don't sit on their butts waiting for you all day. Also, if you don't like how a roleplay is going, work it out with the people you're roleplaying with, instead of just leaving.

Another thing to avoid is creating a Mary Sue/Marty Stu. You do not want your character to be 'cliche' or unoriginal. A character who is too perfect, too powerful, without weaknesses or overburdened by a tragic past may be seen as a Mary Sue if these elements are not very well thought through or considered. http://www.onlyfiction.net/marysue2.html is a good source for consideration- this website provides a test to help one determine how original and creative a character is, compared to common Mary Sue traits.

If a roleplay is "yaoi" or "shounen ai," it is asking for a homosexual relationship between two men. When it is "yuri" or "shoujo ai," it's asking for a homosexual relationship between women. These are popular concepts and if they're part of your roleplay, make sure new players are aware before they agree to join!

Over time, this information will be subject to change. More will be added and taken away depending upon the status quo of what 'role playing' is. This guide will never be used to criticize or diminish another role player, but instead will be used to help improve role playing itself for the better good. Please do not bash or troll in this thread. If you have any questions, comments, opinions, or complaints, please voice them in a manner that is respectful to everyone. Thank you.

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