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 Post subject: Tips/Help/Critique
PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2012 8:58 pm 
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This is where you post if you think your role-playing is not up to standard or if you want critique for self-improvement, any sort of help understanding what roleplaying is, or questions about the RP board in general. Good questions and answers might get put on the next post. If you want help or critique with Roleplaying link your post on this thread (by clicking this on your post) and mention that you want help or critique.

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 Post subject: Re: Tips/Help/Critique
PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2012 8:59 pm 
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Tips

RP means Role Playing. You probably already knew this.

OOC means Out of Character. That means that you are talking, instead of your character.

GM means Game Master, referring to the person running the game. This may also be called Storyteller, Dungeon Master (DM), or Original Poster (OP.) They have final say over what happens in their thread, however if the admins/mods do not think they are being fair, they may intervene.

A Player is simply what we call everyone who is not the GM.

Railroading is a term that means forcing the story in your direction or on a set of rails that can't be deviated from. This term mostly applies to GMs. If you have a set story that can't be deviated from, write a book! Having players adds nothing to that.

What is god-modding?

We define god-modding in the RP Rules thread. Casually, god-modding is generally defined by being the best. At everything. Without reasoning. Gravely harming or killing someones character without express permission is against the rules. However, this goes both ways, never getting hurt or avoiding all attacks is another way of god-modding. Never take control of someone else's characters without permission. If someone, for whatever reason, can not RP and gives you permission that is fine or if someone is under 'mind-control' or something similar and you are given permission then it may be allowed. It is never fine to RP as someones character to make a point or force them into a situation they do not want to be in. No matter how important a character is, it is something you ask to do. Assuming someone is not using a minor character and taking them over is just as bad as taking over a main character.

How can you avoid god-modding?

Lose at things sometimes, take hits sometimes. None of these are bad things. Not being the best at everything is also a good way to not god-mod. The more flawed your character is the less chance of this happening. However, this can go wrong in the opposite direction too. Having a character that is too flawed might not be fun for you or anyone else to play with. No one wants to be constantly reminded of your tragic past and having to be rushed to the hospital every time you sneeze might hinder the game. Talking things over with the GM or co-players is the best way to overcome these things.

But I'm not creative!

Not only do you not have to be creative, it is also not as hard as it looks. My first piece of advice is write what you know! Perhaps not write your self with super powers, but if you have an idea of what your character is like and know someone like that, think of what they might say. Real life is a big inspiration when it comes to writing in general. Once that gets you out of your comfort zone it's a lot easier to start thinking of new characters. Creating characters themselves is pretty easy too. Sure, there will be people with sprawling character histories, and pages and pages of their family tree made to justify their Chinese-Irish cyclops. But all that is just extra. Boil down your character to who they are at their base. A couple words might easily be a good place to start like, 'bored cowboy fry-cook' or 'seductive vampire gnome.' Or even archetypes. Perhaps you want an element of surprise to the character you create. Try a random generator. Maybe none of this helps? Talking to the people you're playing with or the GM is always a good thing to do, and you might want to ask 'What kind of character do you guys think I would be good with?' or if you have a vague idea ask 'Will this work? If it will, do you have any ideas about what I could add to this?' Remember, inspiration can come from anywhere, you just have to take note of it.

How do I turn that into a living, breathing character?

Start by thinking about the setting and RP you're in. If the GM has specific guidelines for character creation, read over those first. After that, its all about who you want to be. Find a good place to start and build on from there. There are multiple places to begin and each of them can lead to a well rounded character. You don't have to be unpredictable and exciting all the time, if you're new to this just focus on creating a character. Say all you have is an appearance or description and nothing else. That could be a good place to start. Think about why the dress the way they do. Do they dress like a wizard because they are a wizard, or are they training, or perhaps simply just your run-of-the-mill eccentric hobo? But if you don't have an appearance, don't fret. You can worry about that last. Perhaps you have a job/class/role/ect for them. If they're an assassin, think about the psyche one might have having killed so many. Or perhaps their job really does bother them. Their clothing might be darker, better for sneaking. And then once you know who they are, and what they are, ask yourself why they chose that job. If you have a personality, then, you're pretty much already set. From there you can think about what kind of job they might want to have or what kind of clothes they might wear. Its all about starting from one area and slowly expanding to others. Perhaps this is all still too advanced for you. If you're still having problems, a beginner exercise you could try is RPing as yourself or, if you have one, your avatar character representing yourself. Just make them appropriate for the setting and voila! But try not to be so attached to yourself, if someone attacks you, its not really you they're attacking, its your character. And don't forget you can always ask for help making a character.

So once I've got that, I'm set to win?

No. You're not. Because the secret is: There is no winning. RPing is not about winning or losing, its about writing a good story, together. This may sound intimidating. You might start thinking of novels and such. Well, by the end, you'll have written a lot, but getting there, each post is usually pretty small. Generally a paragraph, and a small one at that. Sure, there are smaller posts, but its best not to write sentence-long posts. Try to add as much detail as you can with out distracting from the over all post. Above all, be entertaining. Try to keep to the mood of the moment or story. Sure, some people will write a page worth for a post, but don't think of it as something to try and beat. Just continue from where they leave off. And try not to skip posts because of length. Reading is easy! And if you're finding reasons to not read the other players posts, then you're probably not all that engaged.

This is starting to sound like a job.

Well, it kind of is. Sometimes it gets to points where if you can't post, the RP can't move on. Here is what I suggest: If you're going to be gone for a long period of time, and you know it, post in the chat thread or PM the GM. Have someone take over your character for you until you get back, and once you're back, continue from where they left off. You might want to do the same if an RP is getting to much for you or you're not having fun. If you do not want to hand off your character permanently, come up with a reason they can't join the plot any more. Killing them off is one way to do this, but in some rps, death might clash with the tone. If it does, find something else for them to do. Perhaps they leave to go live a normal, peaceful life, or start a new quest entirely unrelated to everyone, one that you can say they left for and then not post again. With solutions like these, you can join again without creating a new character if you'd like. If you're not sure what to do, ask the GM.

What if I want to create my own RP?

This is also easy. Start by giving your setting. Just the general idea of it, maybe a little bit of background. Keep extra info separate so you don't bog everyone down with the Salt Shortage of 2108. That way if it doesn't come up, fine, but if someone asks why salt is so expensive, you have your answer. Perhaps you don't want to plan all that much for a setting. This is fine too, let it develop as you go along. As long as everyone knows what they're getting into and if it interests them, that is all you'll need for a setting. It could be as simple as 'high school for mutants' to 'the fictional country of Streusdel's capital, the snow-covered city with a damaged economy, Faucon.' Then once you have that, include what kind of characters you require for it and what you need to know about them. Names and descriptions are obvious examples, but are they regular humans? Super-powered? What are the choices for races? Elf, Dwarf, Maid, Sentient Steam-Powered Vacuum Cleaner? If they have powers, what are those? Be as informative as you can without bogging people down. If you're having trouble fine-tuning your RP idea, don't be afraid to ask for help. RP General Discussion is a great place for that. The goal of an RP is to have fun and to create an entertaining story. If you want your story to end, perhaps end at the limit of 100 pages and tell everyone to wrap it up once you start approaching that. Or maybe you have several threads worth of RPing reaching a set ending. Try to make it so that the ending is satisfying for everyone involved, and let them decide where their characters end up after the story. Do not suddenly drop 'Okay the RP ends now,' on everyone, try to give them some time ahead to plan for what they want to happen with their characters or some time before the final battle to wrap everything up. In the end, RPing is about having fun and working together to tell an entertaining story. Not winning or forcing your own story on everyone.

What if I want to run two or more RPs at once?

You can if you want to, but I would advise against it. Managing one RP is hard enough, and your players might not like it if you give one RP more attention than your other. If running an RP is getting to be a strain on you or simply not fun any more, try seeing if someone else would be willing to take it off of your hands, like a character you don't want. Also, avoid running two RPs in the same setting at the same time. No RPs will get their own board, so if your RP is sprawling out of control either ask for help or admins/mods will come in. To more easily manage things, I suggest only starting new RPs after one is finished. This is a better alternative to running two different RPs at the same time, and even if you are doing that, this would be much better than running two in the same setting at the same time.

What if I want a setting-light, rules-light, thoughtless RP or Spam RP as they have been called?

This is also fine. Only have one of these at a time, we don't need one million 'ITT its Summer' RPs. If they get too out of hand, they might be locked, and they might also not get a second thread once the page limit is reached.

TL;DR Cooperation is Key!

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 Post subject: Re: Tips/Help/Critique
PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2012 9:08 pm 
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This post is for future editing, in case the Tips post gets too big.

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 Post subject: Re: Tips/Help/Critique
PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2012 10:34 pm 
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MECHA'S COOL TIPS ON HOW TO BE THE RP MASTER BLASTER

Just remember the NUMBER ONE RULE OF ROLE PLAYING NO EXCEPTIONS EVER


#1: ALWAYS HAVE FUN!



If you aren't having fun, then that will reflect in your posts, and then no one will have fun. No one wants to hear about how your character can eat 10 different kinds of fish if you can't make it interesting, relevant, and FUN. No one wants to read your exciting finale if you aren't having a good time writing it!

People say that I am good at all this RP stuff, and that I am good at writing, and the only reason is because I ENJOY DOING IT. That is why I step out of RPs every now and then, even if I am doing a 'good job,' as soon as I start to not enjoy doing anything it reflects in what I write, and I hate for people to have to deal with posts not being good simply because I wasn't in the right mindframe for a post.


#2: Provide APPROPRIATE fluff to your posts.



Fluff, as defined by me, is expanding your posts with material that seems pointless, but makes the post nicer to read. Fluff, by itself, makes for a pointless post and really just clutters a thread. Over-fluffing isn't really something I see much, but the general idea is that you lose your original plot point in a huge pile of useless info. Under-fluffing is the opposite, when you only post a plot point and you end up with a single line of text simply to move the RP along.

Let's look at some examples. For this experiment, we will be using Raxy.
Raxy wrote:
"Hello!"

This post is the definition of Under-fluffing. It gets the point across without really doing anything for the RP at all, and makes the next poster have a harder time with the post. Single word replies are ALWAYS frowned upon.
Raxy wrote:
"Hello," Raxy said, while thinking about the Industrial Revolution. The Industrial Revolution was a period from 1750 to 1850 where changes in agriculture, manufacturing, mining, transportation, and technology had a profound effect on the social, economic and cultural conditions of the times. It began in the United Kingdom, then subsequently spread throughout Western Europe, North America, Japan, and eventually the rest of the world.

The Industrial Revolution marks a major turning point in history; almost every aspect of daily life was influenced in some way. Most notably, average income and population began to exhibit unprecedented sustained growth.

no stop oh god This is Over-Fluffing and it adds LITERALLY nothing to the RP besides fleshing our your post for the sake of fleshing it out. Sometimes you end up doing this on accident, and that is okay! Just as long as you realize it and move past it.
Raxy wrote:
"Hello," Raxy said, while studying the student, "my name is Raxy and I am the guinea pig for your lesson." She smiled, and waited for the student to reply.

This would be a low, but acceptable amount of fluff. It shows that you are interested in posting, and you have an understanding of what is expected of post quality.


#3 God Modding and You; A How-To on not being a dumb jerk



A god-mod, in the simplest terms possible, is someone who completely ignores common sense and manages to be "the best at anything," including avoiding attacks flawlessly every time, and even avoiding death. Surprisingly, not god-modding is difficult for a number of reasons, the most obvious being everyone wants their character to be the very best. A god-mod is very similar to a Mary Sue, but god-modding generally refers to they STYLE of Role playing, and not the character. Which means that even the person running the RP can, technically, be god-modding.

But how do you avoid it? Raxy actually explained it very well, and you can just scroll up to get most of what you need to avoid god-modding. Anything more specific, you should probably post in the thread to get tips.

But how do you avoid it AS THE GM? This is a VERY slippery slope, because the GM is meant to have more control over the game than others, and if they have a loose hand to prevent God-modding, they will lose control over their plot. You need to draw a line, how far you will go to prevent your plot from falling apart. Then, you need to toe that line like an Olympic gymnast. A good line to draw would be to allow characters to do what they think is correct, but not let them run off with the plot on some dumb sidequest.
A good rule of thumb for plot characters would be to let minor plot characters die if this has happened in the RP, and try not to have any sort of divine intervention. Main plot characters should have some sort of plot armor, but nothing ridiculous. If they have been stabbed in the face, they were stabbed in the face. I'm sorry.


#4: SEX?! Or how I learned to stop worrying and avoid the ban.



SEX. Just come out and say it, you won't die I promise. Romance in general is a fantastic way to build character development, but there is a GAPING CHASM of differences between using romance as a development tool and using it because you are a horny teenager and teehee sex. First, let's define what is okay and not okay in general.
Posting a FULL description, with flat out details of everything is NOT okay.
Posting a semi description, with any descriptions of scenarios is NOT okay.
Posting a brief description, with very vague details CAN BE okay, but you should PM a mod or me first to make sure.
Posting "they had sex, it was great" is okay, but remember the fluff tip!
Really, it is a fine line to walk, and you have to be careful not to upset other people. Generally, people will not be upset by whatever you post, but we have rules to uphold. Totally PM me and raxy that fleshed out post though we don't have enough.

Even if you have an idea of what you want to do with a relationship, you have to make sure that the person behind the other character is completely okay with what you want to do. Some people get weirded out with reading about their character's sexual exploits, and you don't want to make other people feel uncomfortable. Maybe that person had a plan laid out and already had another person in mind to start relations with. You just can't be sure until you ask.

Beyond just the sex stuff though is the romantic implications that you are setting for yourself. You go out on a date with Character A. You are now romantically linked to this person. Your character will now act differently towards this person, and generally act differently in every setting. It is good practice to have, knowing how a character will act once he or she is in a relationship. They will look at things differently. What about if things go sour, and your character breaks up with Character A? Another world of emotions for you to play with. As a RP master blaster in training, these emotions are your tools to a world of a better post.


#5 CO-OPERATION; Do's and Don'ts



The BIGGEST thing you need to know going into this section is that cooperating with a fellow RPer is the biggest part of any RP. Role Playing only comes together well if EVERYONE is on the same page. The combined efforts of everyone together is what any good GM really sets out to see. They want to see a group of people overcome their puzzles and their story elements to breathe life into a world they shaped. It really does make all the difference, to fully cooperate with other people.

A huge thing you should be aware of is the difference between COOPERATION and BEING IN CONTROL. Cooperation is a UNITY between two or more RPers; people who can trust the other to somewhat control their character. For example, if you have a cave in, and all of your characters move, you would obviously post that "all of the characters seemed to get out of the way" and then the other people can have a plot twist that maybe one didn't get out of the way. Little details like that make or break a successful partnership.
However, you cannot take control of someone else's character completely. You can't force them to do things that aren't basic reactions to simplistic details. It is another fine line to walk, and if you take the other person out of their comfort zone they will hopefully tell you, but ultimately it is up to you to ask your partner if they are okay with this.

ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS GET PERMISSION FROM SOMEONE BEFORE YOU DO ANYTHING BIG. They might have plans with their character, and it is RUDE of you to assume otherwise.


#6 Criticism, Making Faces While Someone Tells Me I Did It Wrong.



No one likes hearing someone else tell them what to do, ESPECIALLY ME. So take it from me when I say that Criticism is the best thing for a writer you can have. It is humbling, and it makes you rethink what you are posting. Sometimes people get upset when they are met with criticism, and that is a reaction that shouldn't be okay. You should THANK the person who is going out of their way to show you what you need to improve on, unless they do it in an incredibly rude way. Then you should be THANKING me. You may have a STYLE, but you cannot disguise a weak writing quirk as a style. You are just robbing yourself of improvement.

Remember that if you don't know how to go about changing what you do, ASK SOMEONE. Post in this thread! We are always happy to point out what you need to change. But, it is YOUR style, YOUR writing abilities. Don't drastically change what you do just because someone tells you. Baby steps.

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Last edited by Mecha on Fri Aug 24, 2012 8:37 pm, edited 10 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Tips/Help/Critique
PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2012 11:59 pm 
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That essentially distills a big part of what I was trying to get across, so thanks for the post Mecha.

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 Post subject: Re: Tips/Help/Critique
PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2012 7:05 am 
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Raxy wrote:
That essentially distills a big part of what I was trying to get across, so thanks for the post Mecha.

I'm probably going to add more tips, and little tricks I use, to help people post at a higher quality. Is there anything in particular anyone wants clarified?

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 Post subject: Re: Tips/Help/Critique
PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2012 2:52 pm 
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Since this is the "help" thread...

Rule 1 of the RP Rules says that no porn or anything is allowed(obviously), but then says that "All Adult RPs should be marked". If Porn and stuff isn't allowed, what constitutes an "Adult RP"?

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 Post subject: Re: Tips/Help/Critique
PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2012 3:22 pm 
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The porn part was just about images posted.

I pretty much just reworded mechas rules from the old forum and added some.

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 Post subject: Re: Tips/Help/Critique
PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2012 3:27 pm 
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Maybe "adult" should be reworded to "NSFW", since Falcon has expressed a huge distaste for actual written pornography that goes into any explicit detail. (which I share)

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 Post subject: Re: Tips/Help/Critique
PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2012 3:33 pm 
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I think NSFW would imply more porn than adult does.

The difference is that an 'adult' RP would have to be tasteful with whatever content it has in it. You can have sex in it, but don't need to go into extreme detail with it. Or even if you do detail it, make sure you have a good reason for doing so. The adult tag might be for something like a serious detective RP and not an RP based entirely around sex. The former would be allowed and the later wouldn't.

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 Post subject: Re: Tips/Help/Critique
PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2012 5:18 pm 
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i already did a tip on what people should expect when you do adult things here, go read my tips!!!!

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 Post subject: Re: Tips/Help/Critique
PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2012 5:49 pm 
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I did not realize you updated the post. Mecha deals with it pretty nicely.

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 Post subject: Re: Tips/Help/Critique
PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2012 7:56 pm 
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For the most part, Raxy and Mecha got it down. I think something else that should be elaborated on is cooperation; if you don't know if you should do something, ask someone for instance, get permission for things, how to take criticism etc.

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 Post subject: Re: Tips/Help/Critique
PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2012 7:59 pm 
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FSLAR wrote:
For the most part, Raxy and Mecha got it down. I think something else that should be elaborated on is cooperation; if you don't know if you should do something, ask someone for instance, get permission for things, how to take criticism etc.

Yeah, that is something I was going to put in. I will be updating the tips frequently, so check it occasionally. I'll post reminders every now and then just so people know there's new stuff there.

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 Post subject: Re: Tips/Help/Critique
PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2012 11:16 pm 
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I think I generally covered all that in my post, at various points.

Minus the how to take critique thing.

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