CHECK YOUR SPELLING AND GRAMMAR:
Incorrect spelling is annoying and can really ruin the flow of the RP. Run your post through spell check or just copy/paste it into Microsoft Word. It’s not hard to fix bad spelling. This also means using proper punctuation and quotes to show speech. Occasional mistakes are ok, but if it makes reading or understanding your post difficult, then there’s a problem. God I hope I didn’t spell anything wrong in this.
You might think it's incredibly original and unique to have a character who happens to be skilled with every weapon known to man kind and is a fallen angel seeking vengeance, etc, etc. Or an orphan who seeks revenge because his parents were murdered. Or someone who lived on the streets and soon became the toughest street fighter/gang leader who can beat anyone. ALL OF THESE THINGS ARE BAD. If you can do something like this in a TOTALLY new and unique way, go for it, but 9 times out of 10, it just winds up being a played out, done to death character, so don’t even try. Using other characters as a base or starting point is not a bad idea, but develop your new character into something no one has ever seen or heard of before.
This will nearly always help you improve your role-playing skills. Just say exactly what you imagine in your mind about your character and or the things around the other players. Just like drawing a picture of a person, a stick figure does not always look good. Just say everything you imagine, and then you can paint the same picture for others to see, that is good role-playing. Role-playing has two main parts to it: Speech and Action. (Sometimes you need to describe a third part, Emotion, but usually you only need to do that once and your following posts stay in the same mood, if they don’t however, describe it again. And even if your character’s emotions remain the same, it’s still good to continually express it through either Action or Speech.) In your description, be as detailed as you can in both areas, this is especially true when you write your first post (intro) in a thread. And yes, you must have both in every post (unless you’re a mime). This also comes into play when you talk about things like spells. Naming the spell is not enough; not everyone knows what you’re talking about, so describe what the spell does.
WORK WITH OTHER PLAYERS:
This means work with what the other people say. As long as they’re not breaking the rules, go with what they say. Play a long, go with the flow, roll with the punches, whatever you want to call it, it’s the same. Agree with them. I don’t mean let someone else control/run your character, I just mean work together to build the story and keep it moving.
SPEAK IN THIRD PERSON:
This means don’t speak in first person. Simple. Say “he” instead of “I”. The person reading your post isn’t the one doing the action, so when they read what you wrote, it shouldn’t seem like it. Read this out loud: I kicked the box. Who kicked the box? You did. This is what I (talking about me now, the author, keep up) mean. Also, speak in the past tense. This isn't really a strict rule but it helps. First of all, it's better to have everyone writing in the same tense, just for basic the basic flow of the thing. And why past tense instead of present tense? Because being part of an RPG means you're basically writing a story, and stories are (for the most part) written in past tense. It's just common practice.
Any rules that the creator (of the RP, duh) says, follow them. And don’t act in a way that doesn’t fit the general world/tone/atmosphere/mood of the thread. This includes things like not pulling out a laser in a medieval themed RP, not cursing or describing “adult” situations if there is no reason to (or are asked not to), and generally playing in a way that helps maintain the world of the RP.
KEEP THE PLACE CLEAN:
Keep OOC posts to a minimum and never post spam. This is just for cleanliness and order. If you can, PM someone if you need to talk to them and don’t have OOC fights.
I will go more into two main kinds of godmodding later, but basically it’s this: Don’t be God. You can’t do anything and everything. There are areas where your character is strong, and other areas where he/she/it is weak. DON’T have a character without weaknesses (physical, mental, emotional) that can be exploited. Don’t make an all-powerful character; it really kills the RP if no one can possibly beat you.
Double posting is a distraction and a waste of space, simple as that. If you make a mistake, just delete the extra post, easy.
WRITE CONFLICTING MESSAGES:
This includes conflicting with yourself AND others. The first part is simple, don’t do something or act one way in one post, then do the polar opposite in the next. (There are certain situations that this doesn’t apply to, but for the most part, DON’T DO IT!) The second part is simple also. If someone writes something that doesn’t break any rules, don’t disregard it or defy it. Most of the time this is done on accident and can be prevented by refreshing the page before you post in case someone has done something while you were typing.
Don’t make someone else do something, simple. This includes, moving, behaving, talking, attacking and (really important) dying. You don’t have any power over anyone’s character but your own, don’t act like it. You can’t hurt someone without his or her permission (auto-hitting) or affect anything that belongs to them. This isn’t necessarily a rule, but it’s good advice to follow. Most people don’t like it when others take liberties with their characters. This is sometimes called leaving a statement “open”. When a statement is open, it lets the other person choose the way they react. (This is covered more in the auto-hitting and no-selling sections below.)
MAKE SHORT POSTS:
Really easy to understand. Short posts add nothing and shouldn’t be in an RP. There’s no real minimum of words, but as a general rule, stay over 3 lines. If you don’t know what to do, add details or dialogue. Maybe write what your character is thinking. It helps the story along, makes it more interesting, and avoids pages upon pages of small, meaningless posts. Don’t just write one line of dialogue and nothing else, even if you’re talking with someone and don’t want to write an answer for them, you can always add something else to your post other than just speech.
ABANDON THE RP:
If you can’t be there for a while, tell someone or make an excuse in character. If you want to leave, make your character leave, don’t just leave him there not responding. If you want to end the RP, close it up in character, don’t just leave it standing. This all goes double, hell, quad-triple if it’s YOUR RP since you’re the one who is most likely leading the action.
EDIT YOUR CHARACTER WHILE PLAYING:
Don't edit your character in the middle of an RP. Changing your strengths and weaknesses (or just as bad, your history) as you go so you can deal with whatever is happening at the time is unfair. Not only that, but it defeats the purpose of what you are (or should be) trying to do. The fun of the RP is dealing with conflicts in unique and interesting ways and creating a story. Just changing what your character can do gets rid of any effort and requires no thought at all. And even if you don't care about how the story is for you, it ruins it for everyone else. Changing your strengths so you can do anything or changing your weaknesses so nothing can hurt you basically get into Godmodding, which is covered below.
There are really (in my eyes) two kinds of godmodding. Auto-hitting and No-Selling. Here’s information I copied (from people who copied it from somewhere else) about them.
Autohits are BAD
You know what I'm talking about here. Hitting a person without giving them a chance to respond. Let's take Bob and George. George is your character and he's fighting Bob. George is prone to autohits. Here are some of his actions during his latest fight.
George kicks Bob's sword out of his hand, then swings, cutting off his foot.
George slams an energy bolt point blank into Bob's stomach.
George swings around, hitting Bob in the solar plexus and throwing him across the bar.
George snaps his whip along Bob's eyes, blinding him.
George jump kicks Bob, snapping his head back.
George uses his AMAZING CHI POWERS to burn Bob into a pile of ashes.
These actions are wrong for obvious reasons, and if George even thought of using the last one ANYWHERE, he should have someone come over and put his genitals in one paper shredder and I MEAN IT, GEORGE YOU STUPID BASTARD! Now...let's do these actions a little bit better ...without that stupid bastard George autohitting.
George uses his dagger to slash along Bob's sword hand, while the other takes a lower arcing loop, aimed at his foot.
George places his hand fractions of an inch from Bob's stomach and charges up an energy bolt.
George swings around, aiming a backhand into Bob's solar plexus.
George snaps his whip in front of Bob's face, the tip missing his eyes by only a centimeter.
George aims a rather beautiful jumpkick at Bob's head that, if landed, would make Bruce Lee proud. (and if Bob is in a sardonic mood, he can respond with "Bob dodges as George disgraces Bruce Lee's memory."
George uses his AMAZING CHI POWERS to run like hell away from Bob who is going to kick his stupid ass.
Now keep in mind actions like, say, grabbing Bob, pushing Bob back, or tackling Bob as both of you roll on the ground may be considered autohits if abused too much, but so far, there are no probs with that from what I've seen. But if in doubt...don't do it.
No-selling is BAD
The polar opposite of auto-hitting is the lesser topic of no-selling. Basically, it's deflecting or blocking every single move your opponent makes while you smile evilly and mock the person or something. It didn't work for Goldberg, it didn't work for The Undertaker, and it sure as hell doesn't look good on you. Let's put this in simple words. You are not Goldberg. You are not the Undertaker. You must take blows if you wish to dish them out. It looks significantly worse if you are a newb character who's no-selling against a character such as...say...McClaud. G-Crusher and Necrobile, in the cases when they have fought, suffer about two or three minor wounds in a fight ranging from say a stab wound to a broken rib. That doesn't mean they're bad fighters. It means they're fair ones. Well...okay, maybe Necrobile's not totally FAIR, but...you know what I mean.
Above all and foremost, as in with every aspect of role playing, use your Goddamn head.
Know your limits, respect others, play your character, work out gaps and problems in a civilized manner in messaging before-hand. Simple as that.
- Acronym Key
RP – Rping - RolePlaying: Playing a different role/simulation.
OOC - OutofCharacter: Things that are not said by the character but instead by yourself.
IC – In Character: Things that are said or done by your character.
NPC - Non-player Character: A character created by a user in an RPG other than their main one. Control over this character may vary.
This next little bit is something I found concerning human characters. I though it was interesting so I’m including it.
Now believe it or not, playing a simple "human" is NOT boring. That is a MAJOR misconception that many role-players seem to have. Why? Because humans are honestly what the role-play world needs more of, in my opinion. There are so many different "non-human" characters out there, that it's almost as if humans do not even exist. One reason is because with all the different powers that non-human characters have, most are afraid to play a simple human character, in fear of never being able to stand against other beings that are so powerful. I think it takes someone brave and intelligent, to play a simple human character. Not only is it harder to play, because so many other beings have all these powerful abilities, but being able to keep your character alive in this vast fantasy world of powerful creatures, is an accomplishment of its own. And take it from me, it's not as hard to keep a human character alive as most would think.
NPCS: These characters are fair game unless posted otherwise in the opening of the Rpg (or whenever they are created). But as a rule, make it interesting. If you're in an Rpg with Superman as a NPC character, don’t kill him in one post. Stretch it out, just cause he’s NPC doesn’t mean he’s lost his powers and abilities. The purpose of an Rpg is to create an interesting story, not to effortlessly blow through any obstacle, and this carries over to NPCs.
WEAKNESSES: Your character needs to have some sort of believable "weakness". It doesn't have to be something like Kryptonite, yellow, or fire (though if you want to or it fits your character, that's fine), but you do need to have weaknesses. If you want to put Normal that’s fine as long as you stick by that and actually take damage like a "normal" person. Being without weaknesses is an easy way to start no-selling. Things like, Alcohol, Women, Attention Span, are not weakness.
OPEN/CLOSED THREADS: This is something new that I think would help with the problem of who should and shouldn't be in a a thread. For threads anyone can join, write "Open" after the thread title. For threads where only specific people are allowed in (and they already know who they are) the thread creator should write in "Closed" after the thread title. That means no one but those specified are allowed in the thread. People can ask to get into the RPG in the OOC thread and there should also be a list of who's allowed in, in that thread. If you post in a thread that is closed and you weren't invited to, your name can be sent to a mod and some kind of action may be taken. Lists should not be like "Everyone but so-and-so". The purpose is not to exclude certain people all the time. Basically, don’t post in anyone's RPG unless given permission first. Yes, CV is open to everyone, but if someone does not want you to join for whatever reason you should respect that.
And remember, if someone is a problem bring that to a mod's attention.
Some Helpful Tips From Gambler
I see a lot of newcomers lately eager to participate in Rpgs. I think this is great, it can only add to the experience of Rpging on the Vine. Now with the creation of an Official Training Thread, I figured I would write down and post some of my thoughts.
• Describe your Powers: Don’t be afraid to mention your powers in your posts. This will always help translate what exactly your doing to your opponent and or reader. For example, if your opponent unleashes several attacks in one post. If your character has Superspeed, don’t feel guilty about dodging ALL of thee attacks. But remember to describe it in your post. Such As:
Sabretooth unleashed a series of right left combinations at Gambler
Using his Superhuman Speed and Reflexes, Gambler was just barely able to duck and backflip away from Sabretooth.
Of course it doesn’t have to be worded as such but you get the idea. If you simply dodge an attack without much detail as to how it leaves a bad taste in your opponents mouth. This also applies to attacks. If you fire an energy blast at your opponent, you may want to elaborate on the size, shape, and speed. But don’t get greedy or silly. If you say something like,
Gambler launched several kinetically charged cards at Sabretooth. They traveled at 10 times the speed of light with enough energy to blow up the sun.
That’s another form of God-Moding. This isn’t Dragon Ball Z. But something like this is totally acceptable,
Gambler launched several kinetically charged cards at Sabretooth. They traveled with breath taking speed and accuracy.
It puts a lil something on it, but nothing over the top.
RESPECT: We’re all human, we all have egos and don’t want our characters looking like b!#$%es. Give your opponent or there attack some dap (some respect) something like,
Gambler had dodged Sabretooth’s vicious onslaught. He couldn’t help but admire the evil within his enemy.
Gambler was caught with a right hook. The force of which knocked him end over end. It had been sometime since he faced such a powerful foe
This doesn’t mean you have to kiss there ass, but don’t feel like you cant show them some respect either. Trust me, its worth it. Not only will it make the Rpg less competitive, but it will add to the over all story. Even if it’s a simple One on One battle there’s still a story there.
THE LITTLE THINGS: What I mean by the little things is the subtle words that help bring your characters personality across to the reader. Say your character is a good guy and you want to give off that Captain America type feel. Adding things like,
Cluth stood tall and statuesque. He had a certain level of confidence about him.
Of course I’m no wordsmith and everyone will have there own words they will use. The point is not to forget to flesh out your characters personality.
I would also like to say (and I say it alot) its not about who wins and who loses, its about the story. This doesn’t mean your not giving your all but remember to make it enjoyable as well. That’s why fights where two people or teams have been talkin $#@! leading up to the fight usually don’t end well. There’s already a level of hostility before you’ve even started. No one wants to appear weak or like there backing down, so neither one gives an inch and it turns ugly. Some people are mature enough to take the trash talking for what it is, in character banter, some aren’t. Also, nobody likes a sore WINNER. Rpg fights are based on an honor system so to speak. You CANT win any fight unless the other person basically lets you. There may be several reasons why they did,
They had to go and didn’t want to hold the fight up.
There a Veteran on the Vine and there doing you a solid. They liked they way you conducted yourself and as a sign of respect, gave you the victory.
They felt you out wrote them. They had maybe two good posts, while you where on fire through the whole fight.
There are many reasons why someone lets you win. But the important thing to remember is, be gracious. Don’t go running around, “I beat Gambler, I kicked his ass. I curbstomped Darkchild yeah!” Show some class and act like you’ve won something before. Of course if your friends with the person and know what you can and cant say that’s a different story. Everyone can appreciate a little trash talking now and then.
No killing off of another player's characters, either the main character, or any NPC's (non-player characters)we might bring in. (Example: For either Autowoman or Automan to exist in the "real world", they would have to be summoned by computer by Walter Nebicher. Walter cannot be killed off, as he is essental to the game because he has to call Automan/Autowoman. If I created a regular police officer for the game, and someone wanted to kill that officer, that someone would have to ask my permission first. If the police NPC is nessassary for the game, I would say "No". But if s/he was just there for one scene, and the character wasn't needed, I might say "Yes" to killing him/her.)
I add this as an extention of the GODMODDING rules. When one adds a NPC, it's usually for a good reason. To further the above example:
I'm playing Autowoman and Automan. (They are a mated pair, and thus, a team.) While Automan has been known to appear on his own, for the most part, he must be summoned. For that, the person or persons who knows how to call him (and Autowoman, now) must be present, if only for the short scene required to summon the holographic heros. So far, that person is Walter Nebicher, the computer expert who created Automan (and, Autowoman). Therefore, Walter Nebicher cannot be killed. Other characters that cannot be killed from the TV show: Roxanne Caldwell (Walter's girlfriend and the only other person who knows of Automan/Autowoman's existance); Captain Boyd, the police captain and Walter and Roxanne's boss; and Lt. Jack Curtis, Walter's detective friend. Added NPC from my fic: Lori, Walter and Roxanne's four-year old daughter.
When a player adds NPCs, an indication should be made if the NPC can be killed or not. Say I create a petty theif character. S/he would be needed for a few events, but may eventually allowed to be killed off. In such a case, I would have to indicate when the theif may be killed. I could do this before-hand, and say that the theif needs to be alive for a certain event (prehaps the theif can lead the heroes to the villian's next target/victim). After that event, the theif is then "fair game", and may be killed off or used by anyone. Or, I I don't indicate that he can be killed off before the event, but allow it afterwards, I can say OOC: The theif may be used or killed off by anyone, now.
One rule I just thought of, thinking about the RPG thread in Gen. Discussion: Choosing to play characters.
Your own characters (the character you created, and anyone you've attached to him/her) is your character by default. (Example: My default characters are: Autowoman, Automan, Walter Nebicher, Roxanne Caldwell Nebicher, Lori, Capt. Boyd, and Jack Curtis.)
Other characters you may want to play can be handled two ways:
- You choose a character, and s/he is that character for all role-playing threads. Done this way, we will need a list of players and their characters. An entry to the list might look like something like this:
Autowoman Default: Autowoman, Automan, Walter Nebicher, Roxanne Caldwell Nebicher, Lori, Capt. Boyd, and Jack Curtis. Other: Mighty Isis.
You choose a character, and s/he is that character for one rpg thread only. You still keep your default characters, but the "Other" character you choose changes for each thread. That way, if more than one person wants to play Superman, than one player plays him for one thread, and another player can play him for a different thread.
Established characters (Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Spiderman, etc.) are NPCs only, and the only player characters allowed are your default characters and characters you create.
If you start a new RPG, please post a link to this page when you do so. Not everyone is reading all the rules so a reminder at the start of the RP would be good.