How to Roleplay

This is something that any new roleplayer should look at. Credit goes to the person who actually wrote this on another forum :D

What is forum RP?

Forum RP is a natural extension of the “pen and paper” gaming described above. Now, instead of sitting around a table, the players are scattered over the globe. Their “table” is a message board. Their actions are described in individual posts.

The challenges and extra baggage created by dice in an online medium mean that most forum RPs are solely text-based. This creates a whole set of interesting challenges that the tabletop gamers don’t really face. For example, how do I know if I succeed or fail? As I am writing the posts, surely I can always succeed?

Perhaps you could, dear reader, but that would not be fun for anyone. Forum RP is about being faithful to your character, warts and all. Failure can be as entertaining as success, and from the mixture of both, great stories spring.

How do I play?

You’ve made it this far, now we’re getting to the meat of things.

First, examine your setting. Someone will be running the forum RP; question them if you need to know more. Most certainly the Game Master will have described a world, and in that world players will be acting out their roles and making their stories.

Now, start thinking of a character. Who do you want to be? How does this person fit into the game world? Start building a picture, the clothes, the physical appearance, the emotions. A common tactic for beginners is to make a character whose personality is relatively similar to their own. This is by no means a bad thing, although as you participate in more RP you may want to branch out. The advantage, of course, is that it helps you understand how to react. If today Bob is playing Bobaldinho, the professional football star, and he is faced with an unusual situation, what does he do? Well, Bob might think, “what would I do here?” Bobaldinho is about to be mugged in the street by three knife-wielding thugs. Bob thinks, “I should probably try to get away!” While RP is all about being someone you aren’t, it is also about escaping to another world yourself.

So you have your picture, your embryonic character. Brilliant, write it all down, go nuts.

How do I post?

Tell a story. Write about what you are doing, where you are going, your character’s plans, hopes, dreams. Then think how that might mingle with the other players’ stories. Understand where they are, meet them, talk to them. How should your character react? Go on adventures, fight, cry, generally have a good time, it’s up to you.

Do not be afraid. Easier said than done, eh? If you don’t think your writing skills are the greatest, don’t worry, just have a go. A willing spirit is the most important thing. No one is expecting a novel. Don’t be too afraid of violating the setting, either. Make things up, and in most cases, the players can co-operate and work around the situation. The Game Master is only likely to step in if you try something completely and totally barmy

Do be careful with other players. They might not love you if you put words in their mouths, mess about with the lesser characters they are running in the background, or hit them with something without giving a chance for them to respond.

Example: combat. Combat is a real headache in forum RPs, especially between players. Bob is now playing Bobacus, the Roman gladiator. His nefarious nemesis Romulus is facing him down in the arena. Bob has a cunning idea, and makes a post.

“Bobacus raises his falchion and strikes! It is a horrific blow, shearing through Romulus’ shoulder, cutting the arm clean off. Blood sprays everywhere, the crowd roars with approval, and Bobacus punches the air, celebrating his victory.”

Bob is delighted with his post, full of juicy verbs. You can practically smell the adrenalin. Except he hasn’t given Romulus a chance. Combat is about making your move and giving the other player leeway to respond how they want to. Perhaps Romulus is already weak from an earlier fight and thinks there is no way he could avoid losing his arm (a brave move). Perhaps he thinks he can dodge the worst of the attack but come out with a nasty wound.

This is just as applicable to speech. If you want to speak for another player, best ask them via PM first.

Having gone on about all those restrictions, here are a few other thoughts on how to make an effective post:

1.) Length - a good post doesn’t have to be an essay, but one or two lines are not going to give the other players much to work with. Perhaps take a moment to consider what your character is thinking, or if you want to keep that a secret, what is happening around you at the time.

2.) Senses - so your post is looking a bit thin, and you’re worried that you aren’t getting players into the mood you’re searching for. You want to be faithful to the setting and tell an interesting story. In this situation, any skills you might deploy in creative writing are just as applicable to RP posting. One of my favourites is to examine the senses beyond sight. Sound and smell are often overlooked in RP, and even touch and texture have a place.

3.) Plot Progression - if your actions aren’t obviously going to be interrupted by other players, don’t be afraid of doing several things over the course of your post, or pushing the time forward by however many minutes or hours are required before action kicks off again. This can really help move the story forward, and prevent the frustration of being bogged down in bitty little posts. Remember your character’s goals. Don’t just react – have a plan.

That’s all folks. If you made it this far, have a cookie, it’s on me. Now go out and RP!

that was helpful but i think i and just about everyone can say when it comes to pmu rps crew expendable will be the most popular always 8-) so when it comes to new rps we dont have much to worry about lol

Looking at the Crew Expendable RP, there’s one thing I feel should be addressed, namely…

What is a Mary Sue?

A Mary Sue is an original character gone horribly awry. This character can be a variety of things, but the most noticeable ones are completely anachronistic with the setting (Placing a teenager with all sorts of technology, in, say, Middle-earth, the setting of Lord of the Rings) or have skills that far surpass the actual cast (Said teenager can shoot a bow better than Legolas, track better (and somehow more nonsensically) than Aragorn, and fight in close-range combat better than Gimli, all while being completely impervious to the lure of the Ring). Other traits of a Mary Sue include:

-A relation with one of the main cast (The teenager is really Elrond’s long-lost son. Somehow. Other, slightly more tolerable relationships include tutorship under or friendship with Gandalf)
-Unnatural traits taken to an extreme (Said son is half-elf and gets all the benefits of being an elf while somehow shirking the downsides. Other ridiculous quirks include being half-anything and having an)
-An inability to be wrong (The teenager says something that would normally be nonsensical, and it turns out, hey, he’s right! Even more inexcusable would be senseless slaughter of something without drawing the ire of anyone good-aligned)
-An universal admiration of the character (Everyone is awestruck by this teenager and couldn’t think of a bad thing to say, even if he randomly slaughtered babies. On the flip side, every villain adding this teenager to their hit list ASAP also qualifies)
-An uncanny ability to master anything the character tries (The teenager picks up a bow, and after several practice shots can shoot down a fly)
-A complete absence of flaws (What? Temptation? Touch him not, he is chaste! Surely our hero would NEVER take a sack of gold lying in the open with no apparent owner nearby!)
-Manifestation of new powers when in a pinch (Our hero is about to be crushed! Good thing he can phase through objects now!)

Now it should be said that in lesser extents, these are not bad things. The character could naturally be a swift learner, or rather charismatic. Taken to these extremes, they stretch the Willing Suspension Of Disbelief to impossible limits, and overall are simply not fun to read about. In RPs, this can get utterly ridiculous, as the plot begins to revolve around the Mary Sue, and combat with the Mary Sue borders on complete impossibility for any who attack the Mary Sue.

I won’t say who, but there is at least one Mary Sue in the RP right now. As the RP villain, I’ve already prepared for engagement with this character. I do hope no one else’s character goes this route.

that was helpful (thinks to self grr i need to use the potty ) so yeah it was helpful! ty

Alright, this is another thing that I feel should be covered. Looking at what’s going on in the RP as of now, this is starting become a bit of a problem.

PVP Combat

This is generally one of the most difficult and sometimes annoying thing to do when it comes to Forum RPs. When two or more characters are in conflict in RPs, it can lead to a PVP battle between the two characters. When in this situation, both RPers have to be considerate about what the other RPer may want to do, and it is here where Godmodding can become very difficult to avoid, so try to avoid it at all times.

You want your character to perform the attack, but not actually say that you hit your opponent. This leaves it open to any outcome that the attack may have caused. You may not get the desired effect of your attack, but the other RPer may do that for you instead. By not saying you actually hit him, the other RPer will be forced to react to that attack in some way, like blocking it, dodging it, or even getting hit directly by the attack. Saying that you deal a considerable amount of damage to the other person in your own post doesn’t make it fair to the person you are fighting against. You want to keep your attacks as logical as possible, and it helps to say exactly where your attack is directed (say you strike at your opponent’s legs, body, head or any other body part).

When it comes to receiving attacks from the opponent, considering they left it open like they were supposed to, post your character’s reaction to the attack based on his/her limitations. You also need to consider where they are directing their attack. With this information, you will need to post how your character either takes damage from it, or avoids damage from it. It doesn’t even need to be a direct hit every single time. I’ll make an example of this using a quick little fight.

Wrong

With a terrifying yell, the warrior brandished his blade and stabbed his opponent through the heart, throwing him down and stabbing him once again in the head. The warrior then raised his sword, and stood on top of his opponent’s dead body in victory.

In this post, the warrior gave his opponent absolutely no chance to react, and this could make the other player angry and make the RP much less fun than it should be.

Correct

With a terrifying yell, the warrior brandished his blade and lunged forward in a thrusting motion towards his opponent’s heart, hoping that his sword would pierce straight through and kill his opponent.

Unlike the post above, the player simply performed the attack without saying anything about it connecting with the opponent’s body. This leaves the other player with the challenge of how to deal with the attack based on his own character’s abilities. Instead of letting his character get killed, he may make a post like this:

Startled by the warrior’s speed, the opponent quickly stepped to the side avoiding the full brunt of the attack, but it left him with a slash across his chest.
Here, the opponent reacted to the attack, and took some damage because he wasn’t able to get out of the full attack. He could then include how his character would attempt to counter attack. This makes the battle a lot more enjoyable for everyone because their characters would not be in as much jeopardy as if the other player posted that the attack had landed. This applies to both fatal and non-fatal blows. The only exception is if you have the other player’s permission to do so.

Please take this into consideration in order to keep role-playing fun for everybody who participates.

That description of Mary-sues was very accurate. :D A lot of roleplayers, sadly enough, usually assume that having a mary sue would just be like having one of the most obvious and common characters that other roleplay. For example, ‘a beautiful elf who’s entire family is dead due to a horrible fire.’ I see that one a lot.
a LOT.
Though if the character is made more interesting, one can avoid an Mary Sue accusation quite easily. Say, for example, the character started the actual fire, or something like that.
That leads into the background story, however, so…
But anyway, back to the compliment, I think you guys are doing a great job describing good ways to roleplay. After all, everyone has to start somewhere.
Ahah. And as for the fighting, I’m sorry, but I have to say this.
PLEASE, PLEASE don’t just take the minimum amount of damage for every attack thrown at you. That’s another thing I see all the time. Every now and then, at least one straightforward attack has to hit. You see people matrix-dodging all over the place and only getting small cuts from rather well-thought-out attacks, and its horribly annoying; even others can’t help but think ‘that ought to have hit’.
I just had to mention that. XD Thanks for listening to my crazy thanks and rant. :B

I thought I’d add on. C:

If your worried or don’t know if you character is a “Mary Sue” or “Gary Stu” you can check out the link below to take a little quiz type of thing that asks a series of questions and gives you your results at the bottom.

Liiiink: http://www.springhole.net/quizzes/marysue.htm

And also -
Since we’re mostly roleplaying Pokemon here, don’t dodge moves such as Arial Ace [which are, un-dodgeable in game and will hit ALWAYS] unless specified that you can or your not following the rules of the games, etc.

Haha - Bob is delighted with his post, full of juicy verbs. Definitley love that.
This was all really helpful~
Thanks C:

Lol…Thanks…

This was very helpful, especially the 1st time I read through it. Nao I can RP real well. Thnx Candroo XD

that was a help, thx