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=RPA= Beginner's Guide to RP

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7/28/2015 21:41:40   
Ronin Of Dreams
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~*Beginner's Guide To RP*~

If you've never engaged in role play before, you might be intimidated by some of the skilled folks who participate. Never fear! We were all beginner's once, so here's a small guide to help anyone get their bearings with what RP is and what RP can really do. Before we get to the steps, let me be honest with you. The core of this guide, as with many other guides planned to return to the board, come originally from the work of one of our local legends: Afina. She has graciously allowed for her original version to be updated, altered, and generally added to in order to return the RPA to a place of learning and experimentation. As such, many aspects will be recognizable if you've been exposed to her works elsewhere, if not word for word in sections where changes were totally unnecessary!

1) Just what is Rp?

RP stand for Role Play, this is a text based story in which you create a character to act out with a group of people. Their characters may be similar or wildly different from your own, and its fun to act out the role of your character in the interactions that slowly create a story!

2)How do I get started?

Stepping into the world of RP begins with the most important aspect - having a character to play.

3)How do I create a character?

Creating a character starts out simply. You think up an idea or you find a cool concept you wish to build into a character. The majority of the creation process happens in your mind (though a notebook certainly helps) as you take that core bit and flesh it out with a personality, a history, and a set of possessions. But! We won't know what is going on in your head for your character, so for the purposes of forum-based RP, we must resort to what is often considered a necessary evil - a character bio.

Now some character bios can be incredibly complex and thorough, but every bio does include at least a few common, basic aspects. More might be asked for by a DM to participate in a specific RP, or change certain aspects up, but we'll keep it simple here.

Name: Starting with the obvious, especially since being referred to solely by "Hey, you!" would get old fast. Having trouble thinking of a suitable name? Normal, everyday names can be snagged from a list, such as googling baby names, and such can be tailored to match your character's cultural inspirations. Want a fancier name? Look up a name generator based in your favorite setting, or maybe experiment with using a title as a name. I happen to be guilty of the latter.

Race: What race is your character? Are you playing a run-of-the-mill human, or maybe an elf? Or maybe something exotic? Your fellow RPers will need to know, even if their character might not have a clue.

Gender: Male? Female? Other

Age: How old your character probably has a solid impact on your character. This can be a number, or if you are more mysterious, an age range.

Appearance: What does your character actually look like. Being thorough here can help others see the same image you have in your mind, and there are a number of traits you might mention. Not only would eye coloration be something to mention, but you can even talk about what shape they have or if there's a particular look to them. Sad, almond shaped blue eyes. Pretty descriptive phrase, right? Every little bit helps, so here's a few other aspects from the great list style that Afina often uses that you might consider: hair color, hair texture, hair length and styling, skin tone, height, weight, body structure, notable tattoos, piercings, birthmarks, or scars. Clothing, at least what is worn under or outside of armor, is also commonly described in this section.

Personality: Most of the bio thus far focused on the visual or purely physical attributes. Here is where you make your character start to live. How do they act in a crowd and on their own? Do they have quirks, a particular manner of conduct, something special about how they talk, or maybe they are just plain mean. Here's where you let us know about any and all of that!

History: A character can look a certain way, carry special gear, and act in a manner that sets them apart from the rest. But how did they become that way? This section can be brief to help aid a mystery, or be the most in depth part of a longer bio, simply because of what matters to the character. Again I'll draw from Afina's lists to give you a starting springboard of aspects that you might consider here: birthplace, professions, the moment of discovery of any special talents or traits, any special training they received, prior relationships, pets, education, and any other key defining moments.

Belongings: What does your character carry around with them? This doesn't have to be too exhaustive or specific, but special items should certainly show up here. Weapons and armor belong here, for instance, but also consider any personal keepsakes your character might have. They can be just as powerful at making a character seem 'real' and different as any magical weapon might. Do be specific if your gear is somehow special, too! Magical effects should be described, as should differences from the norm or any details that make your character's item unique compared to Average Joe's item.

Spells, skills, and abilities: Longer bios tend to break this section up, but keeping them together can suffice for a simple bio. This is where any unique abilities come into play, but what's the difference? [i[Skills are learned and trained aspects of your character relevant to the RP, whether it be hunting or a swordsman's style, and how particularly good the character is at the skill. Spells are magical effects you cast, and depending on the RP, you may be limited to using just those spells you list specifically. You'll be expected to explain what each spell does, how powerful the effect is, and how your character goes about casting them. Abilities are basically everything else, and they may be called other things like talents. Regardless, these aspects of your character are totally natural to the character rather than an external magical effect. Like spells, you'll probably have to describe them thoroughly to define their power, effect, and scope.

That about sums up a basic character bio, but there are certainly more aspects you might consider when creating the character. Flaws are a fairly defining feature, for instance, but they aren't always required to be listed in a bio. Now no guide would be quite complete without examples, so a few have been included below as separate posts, showcasing different degrees of complexity and length.

4) Can I use a pic I found for a character?

Sure thing! It helps give a good idea of the visual appeal of the character, or at least close to it. Try to find new art work, or maybe commission a friend to create something custom just for you. Having trouble finding something? There's always Google!

If you've found something, just remember to link to the image using the link tags rather than putting it directly in the post with the image tags. It keeps things cleaner, and is considerate since different folks may have different screen sizes.

5) How strong is to strong?

If you have anything that states "can't die", "whole world is consumed if I cast this spell", ect, this is godmodding. Remember, keep your character something you wouldn't mind someone else playing against you in a fight. If your character has something that you would tell another person "Don't do that, its godmodding" then you know it is to powerful.

6) Um, what is godmodding?

Godmodding is exactly what is says. You are pretending to be a god. Does this mean you cannot play a god? No, it means that your character has to be in the lines of good role play. Even immortals can die, they just do not get sick. A better way to describe an immortal is how Krey does - Ageless. Remember if your character is under attack they will get hurt in some way. Basic humans can kill a god with no powers if played right. Remember to make sure your character has realistic flaws. Nothing like, "Well if the sun crashes into the planet I would die." Yeah, so would everyone else. Many of my characters have very basic flaws, minerals, such as salt, flint, silver ect affect them big time.

7) I keep hearing the term bunny? What in the world are people talking about?

Bunnying means have someone else’s character do something in your post they did not say. Saying something like "My character grabbed your character" This is a big no-no! Don't ever post what another persons character is doing if you have not pm'ed them and got permission before hand or asked in the OOC thread of your RP.

8) Okay, I now know not to god mod, not to bunny and how to make a character, how do I join an rp?

Simple, ask! Never post in the main RP thread before asking to join. There is usually an ooc topic for the RP, post there asking to join. Now remember be patient and don't beg. Read the entire RP and the whole OOC thread before asking. That way you have an idea of what is going on. It also helps to post on how you think your character could be brought into the RP.

9) I can't find any RP I like, what do I do now?

Start your own! Get a basic storyline up for the RP, make an OOC topic, post your outline there. Once that is done, place in the title that the RP is =open=. This means you are looking for people to RP with. Make sure to post a set of rules you would like followed. Every person that runs an RP is different and all have their own personal set of rules that they would like others to follow. If you are willing to take that step, check out the RP Approval Guide for more details

10) Okay, I have an RP now, um, what do I type?

This is the most difficult part of Role Playing, the actual act of typing up your posts. What exactly do you type? Well for a first post you will want to introduce your character to the RP. Make sure that you describe your character. (ahh, here is where your bio will come in handy plus any character pic you have ^_^ ) You do not have to go into a big detail but some basics for bringing in a character.

A) What are they wearing
b ) What weapons can be seen
C) How they got to where they are
D) What brought them there
E) Their personality, this will give others a good idea how your character reacts to other people

11) Okay, got that, but this isn't my first post and I am getting yelled at for "one-liners," how can I make my posts longer?

Simple! Oh this part is so easy it isn't even funny. Detail! You might wonder, "Well, yeah for you, but I have never done this before". Fair point, so here are a few quick tips for making a longer post.

a) How is your characters body positioned - add what they eyes are doing for example, are they looking around, staring into someones eyes, rolling around in disgust, ect.
b) How did they answer the person addressing them? Was their voice short, mean, soft, seductive, ect?
c) Are they doing anything else at the moment? Taking a sip from a glass of wine, leaning back in their seat, shrugging their shoulders, cracking their knuckles, ect.

12) Are they any rules I should know about besides no godmodding and no bunnying?

Yes! Here they are in a nut shell!

A) You may only run 1 Rp at a time.
b ) Try to keep the number of RP's you are in down to a number you can handle. If you are new, try to just be in 1 or 2 RP's, that way you can concentrate on making better posts instead of getting over whelmed.
C) Keep OOC talk in the OOC thread, not the RP
D) No using smilies in posts
E) No posting one liners
F) Keep it PG - no sex, try to keep profanity to a minimal, no drugs.
G) Spell check your posts! ( If you do not have a spell checker on your computer, use your yahoo email! It has a great spell checker!)
H) Get mod approval to host your rp once your OOC has been created

13) Okay, got the basic idea. What now?

Time to dive right in and Role Play! ^_^ If you still feel a bit unsure, feel free to also check out the Dreamtime Proving Grounds also here in the RPA for a bit of practice.

< Message edited by Ronin Of Dreams -- 7/28/2015 21:41:40 >
AQ  Post #: 1
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