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Roleplaying: An Introduction
Targeted for beginners to help them get started
Targeted for beginners to help them get started
[fieldbox="Overview, Teal, dashed, Trebuchet MS"]This is a basic guide meant to help introduce newcomers and beginners to forum roleplaying. It does not encompass everything there is to know about roleplaying, only to give an understanding at its most basic of what roleplaying is, the basic terms used, and how to create or join a roleplay. The guide has been created to cater to Iwaku's system, to help people get started.
Feedback is welcomed and encouraged. Please PM me for any suggestions to be added, or things to be clarified. This guide will be routinely edited and updated to fit with Iwaku's current needs and features. Examples and links will also be added to sections to help make things clearer to beginners
Published on 5/15/16. This guide has been added to the sticky posts in this section with Diana's permission.[/fieldbox][fieldbox="Table of Contents, Teal, dashed, Trebuchet MS"]1. Definition of Roleplaying
2. Basic Terminology
3. Forum Roleplaying
4. Classification of Forum Roleplays
5. Joining a Roleplay On Iwaku
6. Basic Roleplaying Etiquette[/fieldbox]
Definition of Rolepaying
- roleplaying, at its most basic, is to assume the role, actions, and personality of a character in a fictional setting. This means taking control of a character's actions and decisions. It is the main purpose of Iwaku.
A forum roleplay is a roleplay that is typically held in forum thread(s). It is usually conceptualized and thought up by a person who then creates the plot and setting, before posting it in a forum. From here on players are recruited to help write the story or roleplay. The person who created and runs the roleplay will then be called the Game Master of that roleplay.
Roleplayers create and apply characters following the GM's rules. The GM would then lead and guide the players and their characters through the events, settings, and story of the roleplay. This is usually done by letting the players post in turns and by group per 'round', assuming the roles of the characters and writing their thoughts, feelings, reactions and decisions to the settings, scenes, dialogues and actions that they witness and experience.
Classification of Forum Roleplays
There is a number of ways to classify and group the kinds of roleplays. Most often, roleplays are classified by genre, number of players, posting expectations and medium for roleplaying.
Joining a Roleplay On Iwaku
Joining a roleplay on Iwaku is simple. In the partner search (Red and Blue Star separate) forums, partner searches typically let interested people start a roleplay with the searcher by simply replying to the thread to show their interest, or PMing them. A player searching for a partner may include their own requirements and interests in their search threads to better refine what they are looking for in a partner, and help roleplayers see if their interests are matched. There is also a type of 1x1 RP that is termed as
Group roleplay signups are a tad bit more complicated. A roleplayer must always read the rules set by the roleplay's GM before confirming their intent to join. Then usually they must create their characters following the character sheet (CS)outline or format set by the GM, if there is any. A group roleplay on Iwaku may hold up to three threads, typically In-Character RP, OOC Discussion/Chat, and Signups. Here on Iwaku OOC and Signups threads are both put in the Group RP Plot Info and Signups forum, and may even be combined together. The same method of applying is also most often used for ChaRP.
Players must make sure to read all the information and rules that have been written down in the overview and information sections of the roleplay they are interested in joining.
Players should also take note of the thread prefixes attached to the roleplays they are interested in. There are five thread prefixes to indicate whether or not a group roleplay is open for new applications.
Basic Roleplaying Etiquette
What you can/cannot do in a roleplay
Roleplays can vary from being casual and having few rules to follow to being very strictly guided by rules. Players must always respect the rules set by a GM in the RP they are interested in joining. Basic etiquette usually consists of not controlling another player's character (powerplaying), controlling everything and other characters (godmoding), and writing an attack that hits another player's character in your own post (auto-hitting). All those must be avoided. Another sensitive subject that is related to those are overpowered or OP characters, characters who can do anything and who the players write out to be above the rules and settings within the RP. This will undoubtedly cause tension among players and partners.
The GMs may exert a certain level of control over what happens to or around a player's character. The degrees of control may vary with every GM's style and methods but generally a player still retains control over how their character decides to act and react.
Roleplaying is a collaborative venture that is hopefully enjoyable and friendly for the players who are working together. This means learning to be considerate of others. For 1x1 RPs, players searching for partners must be able to set expectations that are both suitable to them and considerate/realistic for other players. Unrealistic and uncomfortable posting level and frequency expectations would make it more difficult for one to find a partner. Within a group RP, a GM must also take note of their players' interactions and comfort levels.
It is common sense to be polite and friendly, or at the very least polite when addressing each other, even when pointing out things that go against your rules and expectations for your roleplay. This goes even for GMs, especially when they want to bring together their players to work with them in a good environment.
For one x one roleplayers, partners must have an understanding and an agreement of each other's conditions and roleplaying styles. It is also sometimes good to be willing to make exceptions or compromises when needed, especially with a trusted partner.
[fieldbox="Affiliated Works and Authors, #46cf46, Dashed, Trebuchet MS"]The author for this guide is working in collaboration with another member. @Sen has an ongoing series currently in the works, The Roleplaying Dictionary, which tackles the different content genre tags on Iwaku. Her work will be cited in this guide.
The Roleplaying Dictionary
Roleplaying Dictionary - Fantasy
Roleplaying Dictionary - Cyberpunk Derivatives
Roleplaying Dictionary - Horror (Collaboration between the two authors.)
Other Resources Cited:
Ultimate Character Sheet
On the other hand, if it is basic site features that you need to familiarize yourself with, here are some resources.
Site Navigation and Features
A Beginner's Guide to the Rich Text Editor[/fieldbox]