In lieu of the recent chaos and turmoil that seems to be running rampant throughout the Role Playing section, I feel the need to post some guidelines, tips, rules, whatever you want to call them, in the hopes of trying to regain order and maintaining it. Plus, there doesn’t seem to be any actual thread with guidelines on them, and if there was, it seems to have dissipated into the older pages.
I. The RP and its Creator
This should be common sense for most people by now, but I’ve seen that it doesn’t quite seem to be present anymore. If you are the creator of an RP, it is your responsibility and yours alone to make sure that others post and keep the thread with a pulse. Don’t expect everyone else to go about doing your job for you. Now, if you are in an RP, you should respect the creator and their decisions. Don’t try to supersede them; you’ll get yourself removed. If you find an inconsistency, your worst course of action is to go about flailing insults as a weapon. If you have a problem with something in someone’s post, ask them to edit and tell them why instead of starting a huge mess. By the way, do take note that not everyone controls their RP the way that another person might. Don't try to stick a label on someone.
II. Action Sequences
Action sequences are typically fun for everyone, but unless you actually talk to each other about what you are going to do, chaos is going to happen. There are OOC topics for a reason; to discuss. Realism is also a factor that most people consider important. If a person tried to shoot another person from a mile away (metaphorically speaking), they’d probably miss (unless they use a sniper rifle). The same concept applies for your characters. Your character is not perfect, even if they are a seasoned and/or hardened soldier. It gets boring when all you read is everyone’s characters shooting and shooting and shooting, and not once taking a hit.
Godmodding. Not only is it completely arrogant, but it irritates many people. There are various types of godmodding, stretching from the “you-can’t-touch-me” to the “I’m-going-to-dictate-what-your-character-does”. Overpowering your character is incredibly annoying, just how taking control of another person's character* (such as saying they did something or got hit) is just as irritating. If a person in real life were to stumble into a trap, they wouldn’t just magically be able to jump away in the last second possible, especially while wearing armor. Your character should not be able to win everything. Your character should not be able to dodge everything. Your character should not have the most powerful armor and/or weapons in existence. A character, just like a real person, is not by any means perfect. They are able to take hits, and should, just how they are able to die, as they should be able to.
*Taking control of another person's character is also known as bunnying.
Please, for the sanity of everyone else, try to use proper spelling and grammar. It’s terrible to spend ten minutes trying to decipher what one word could mean. Make sure your sentences are clear and make sense. If your character is speaking, use quotation marks (“text”). If your character is thinking, you can either italicize it and/or stick apostrophes on the sides (‘text’). If your character is speaking through something other than their mouth, such as through a mic, you may either decide with the others what you want to do or simply announce that they are speaking through a mic (His voice blared through the microphone, “text”).
OOC, also known as out-of-character, is your way of talking. Of course, an OOC topic is much more useful than posting 2 pages worth of chatter in the actual topic. There are multiple methods for announcing OOC (OOC: text, ((text)), [text], etc.)
You’d be surprised how much drama can come out of some missing or unclear detail. If you don’t put enough detail, you’re going to leave people clueless and guessing on what they should do next. Try and be clear with your details and not have conflicting information right next to each other. The easier it is to get the main focus of it, the better. Of course, there is such a thing as too much detail. I don’t think we need to know if there was a canary flying off in the distance. It isn’t pertinent and hardly relates to the topic, unless you were sightseeing, but such an RP seems nonexistent here.
It can get boring quickly if the only thing you do in a role play is barge into a building and shoot things only to appear moments later barging into another building with guns blazing. Do you get my point yet? Variety is key, or otherwise people are going to start to get disinterested. There are many ways to add variety, whether it be to add depth to your role play by adding a scene that doesn’t involve violence or to thicken your plot. Romance is always allowed, kept to a PG-13 level, but due to the lack of female roleplayers and lack of female characters in general, it probably won’t be happening any time soon.
VII. Mary Sue and Gary Stu Characters
While it may be a tempting thought, nobody wants to read about how a person is absolutely perfect in every single way possible (Examples: Chiseled body*, Flawless, Perfect Aim). That is what we call a Mary Sue, or the male counterpart Gary Stu. While they’re most common in fanfictions for their “perfect nature”, there is another variation; the “Victim Sue/Stu”. Essentially, they have some tragic past that they always revolve around and it always prohibits them from moving on (Examples: Shoved parents off a cliff as a child, Entire family died in car crash save for the Sue/Stu). They aren’t fun characters, try to avoid making them**.
*Honestly, how many people standing at six foot six inches completely rippling with muscles do you know?
**On the note of “fun characters”, while I personally believe that at least one hardass character is required, don’t make them completely solitary and unchanging. Dynamic Characters = Good, Static Characters = Bad.
VIII. Quality & The Intimidation Factor
Quality over quantity, that’s what you have to remember. Someone might have a long post and it may be good, but a short post can be just as good. Just because someone else may or may not have a longer post does not mean that you should force yourself to type up a post of equal length if you can’t or don’t want to. It can be intimidating going up against long post, or introducing yourself to the RP community for the first time. Just remember, just because someone has been around longer than you have doesn’t mean that your posts can’t be just as good or better! Just keep trying, you’ll adapt as you see fit as you go.
IX. Role Play Statuses
Although I don't expect this to go in effect, since it has been mentioned I will add it onto the list. On your typical board forum, most roleplays include the current status of the roleplay within the name. An example of such would be the following: Etched Memories [Open]. The most common of statuses are the following: Open, Semi-Open, and Closed. An RP with the status of open will allow anyone to join in. A semi-open RP usually only lets certain people join. A closed RP is restricted to a certain persons, usually because it has a plot planned out. An RP with the status of Complete is, as the name implies, complete. An RP with the status of discontinued has withered away due to inactivity. It can be revived.
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If I can think of anything else, I’ll add it to the list.