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 Rules and General Courtesies of RPGs

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Charli
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Number of posts : 667
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Registration date : 2008-06-12

PostSubject: Rules and General Courtesies of RPGs   9/23/2008, 5:16 pm

For the record, I did not write these. These are copied and pasted from a thread written by Mikael Hart on Kingdom of Knuffel.

1. Basic Rules. These are rules that are generally accepted in most RPG forums and by many one-on-one players. They are regarded as the universal laws of RPing.


* Write in third person when RPing, with proper grammar, spelling, and punctuation. Rereading and spell-checking your post is important; although a typo or two is often times overlooked, your writing does reflect both you and your character(s).

* Although occasional two-lining is accepted, please try to write a minimum three sentences per post. A few paragraphs would be perfect; you always want to give the other player something to work with, but keep in mind that many people also dislike novel-posts (posts which are multiple pages).

If you have difficulty with coming up with a good reply, try looking at the situation from your characterís point of view. Describe them, the setting, perhaps what theyíre doing or thinking about. Using the five senses is the best way to RP (though I donít recommend you using them all at once.)

The most important thing in writing, however, is finding your own style, whether itís in long or short posts. Some people are better with describing the scenery, or their characterís thoughts and actions; whatever the case, itís all good as long as both you and the other player are enjoying it.

* If you would like to speak OOC (out-of-character) please put up some sort of indication. Most people use double parenthesis ď(())Ē or label their OOC as ďOOCĒ when posting.


2. Characters. Here are the rules regarding your character; the basic dos and doníts.


* No meta-playing. Meta-players are people whose characters seem to know things about other characters or situations without any valid explanation.

Going into detail, your character doesnít know everything thatís going on in the role-play. Unless itís been discussed between RPers or if they were told by another character, it's only natural for them to remain unaware of certain information and situations. Having a character who is a supernatural being doesn't make them a mind-reader (unless, of course, they actually are).

Itís important to be impartial when it comes to interacting with other peopleís characters. Just because you read someoneís character profile doesnít mean that your character knows everything about theirs. Keep that in mind and PM the player if youíd like your character to know something about theirs.

* No god-modding or power-playing. Like the name implies, god-modders and power-players tend to take the whole RP into their control, including other peopleís characters. They leave no time for the other players to react.

While you may not control other peopleís characters, you may use NPCs (non-player characters)*, provided that they are not rabid fangirls who obsess over your character, "friends" that admire your character to no end and constantly give compliments, and the like. Keep it real and don't exaggerate it.

*Side Note: What is an NPC? NPCs are general background characters that arenít played by one person in particular; rather, theyíre used to expand the RPG. They could be a bartender, a nurseís aide, a nameless student; theyíre just a sort of plot device to be shared among players.

Back to the main subject. When RPing, please keep the reaction time in mind. This means giving other people a chance to react to your characterís words or actions. An example of someone not giving reaction time is ďThe squirrel jumped onto Michaelís hair and bit him.Ē The person playing Michael didnít have time to react, as opposed to ďThe squirrel leapt towards Michael, its little teeth aiming for the boyís head,Ē which would give Michael enough time to dodge or scream in terror. Of course, reaction time isnít needed if youíve already discussed and made an agreement with the other player.

* No Mary-Sues or perfect characters. This is pretty self-explanatory, but characters who are gorgeous, rich, and multi-talented are hitting it pretty close to Mary-Sue. Mary-Sues are characters who have little flaws, and are the by-products of their creatorís desires or fantasies. Theyíre usually what their creators wish to be themselves, or they're type of person their creators wish to be with. A stereotypical Mary-Sue will probably view themselves as lovable, and male Sues might resemble a lone wolf type of character, who deep inside are looking for love and understanding. The term "Mary-Sue" is difficult to define as it is so broad, however; if you think your character is or might be in danger of becoming one, please check [Wikipedia] for further details.

* Break the stereotype. Some people like labels, some people donít. As for myself, I believe that labels are a convenient means of imprinting a first impression of a character. However, they arenít to be viewed as a complete representation of a person, for though labels have their truths, they can be overall misleading.

There are intelligent people who hate to read, and Asians who dislike rice, and geeks who are more popular than jocks. There are girls who are trendy and can still punch like a man, and superheroes who freak out at the sight of an insect.

Stereotypes have their roots and reasons, but they arenít all that defines a character. Donít set limits on who your characters are or what they can become because of stereotypes, but instead try to look at them from another perspective. Adding a personality twist (within reason) will give your characters depth and individuality. A RP becomes all the better when characters are seen as people and not labels.


3. Unspoken Rules. Over time, RPers will (hopefully) pick up a few things due to experience; things that no one ever really states as rules, but are just naturally accepted as RPing etiquette. I assume that people donít put them into the 'rules' part of their threads because they generally expect it or expect us to know it, but I'm adding it in here anyways for the sake of convenience.

Side Note: The following rules arenít directed to or meant to offend anyone, but rather are issues Iíve become aware of from past experiences.


* Something players shouldn't do in a multi-player RPG* is center the story around their characters. What makes an RPG different from a story is that there is no main character, or rather, everyone's a main character. You can't disregard that by focusing only on the characters you like; in RP etiquette, every question asked and every action towards your character should have a reply, be it a cold shoulder or a warm smile. Weíre not asking your character to be nice to everyone, but even if s/he is ignoring another character, it should be written out in some form or another.

e.g.: Player 1: Adriana grinned at the sight of Gabe, waving him over to join the gang.
Player 2: Whether the blond had noticed the other and was simply ignoring her, or was just distracted, Gabe headed over to Raphael to further discuss their English assignment.

As you can see, Player 2 is clearly not ignoring Player 1's post, although Gabe might be ignoring Adriana. Something like this is acceptable, as opposed to Gabe just walking over to Raphael without any reply to Player 1's post, which, even though it follows the general RP rules, is rude and often frowned upon.

*Side Note: Multi-player RPGs are RPGs where many players are involved, even if not directly. A one-on-one RPG is where thereís only one other player involved. If thatís the case, then itís sometimes all right to focus on your character, especially if it would further the relationship between your character and theirs. Itís just like how you might not want to talk about your personal life with a group of people youíre not too close with, as opposed to sharing your feelings with someone youíve come to know and trust. RPing is just that way.


* When you RP, try to make your character as interactive as possible. If you want someone to respond, do something to get their attention. One of the worse things I've seen while RPing is when people just walk into a bar, sit, and state that they hope someone will come along and RP with them. You wouldnít do that in real life if you wanted to get a personís attention at a party, would you? Youíd initiate something, a spark of interest, maybe, even if itís just a wink to a cutie from across the room.

It takes two people to RP. Do your part too, instead of putting pressure/expectations on to someone else. Even if your character is shy, you can find some way to make someone else interested. Bump into people, drop something, do something that will make them notice. Or, you can just talk. Engage them in a conversation, and hope that the other player will be interested. It's okay if the other character just brushes them off. Remember, stuff like that happens in real life too; RPGs shouldn't be an exception. There is no perfect character.

* RPing isnít a one man show, and what usually dries up a good RP is when neither player makes a move to further the storyline, yet relies on the others to do so. A good RPer would work together with others, taking control of the situation when inspired, sharing thoughts and ideas, and coming up with a new twist to the storyline to keep things moving. Instead of always waiting and reacting to one another's posts, try initiating something yourself.

* From my experience, people donít generally like being the first to start a role-play or initiating character interaction. Itís awkward, because there are so many angles to work with that one doesnít know where to start, and the introduction post holds all the responsibility of setting the scene. Thereís so much to be taken into account: the location of the story, the environment, the tone that needs to be set. Likewise, initiating character interaction is also very important, as first meetings generally are. The characters are given an impression of each other, and their behavior would revolve around this impression henceforth.

If the first player agrees to start the game, then it is only polite for the second player to have their characters interact. If the second player fails to do so, then the first player is burdened with both responsibilities, which is pretty tedious (in my opinion). One of the most important rules in role-playing etiquette is giving other players something to reply to.

* And the final piece of advice that I can give you is this: give other players something to respond to. Iím not talking about posts of quantity, but (as many of you have heard it said among role-players before) posts of quality. Writing a response about how your character feels, or what theyíre thinking, or what their childhood was like are all very nice, but itís also important to keep up with the interaction.



Thank you, Mikael. Whee, Charli's back. Just have fun here. Play nice - though Lari says blistering swearing is allowed - and please, one last note: Leave it in the forums. I honestly hate it when someone comes up to me at school and starts talking about their response to something I posted. We don't need to hear it any sooner than we can respond to it, so please be quiet. Thank you.

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Charli
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PostSubject: Re: Rules and General Courtesies of RPGs   9/30/2008, 6:31 pm

Amendment because I noticed this issue hadn't been addressed: Don't roleplay other people's characters unless specifically asked. You can't get inside their heads. You can't know what they're going to do. It's rude, presumptuous, and annoying.

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