Running a CHARP

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Minibit, May 2, 2016.

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  1. CHARPS (CHAt Role Plays) are some of the most fun you'll have in a group roleplay. They're fast-paced, colourful, lively, and because of the speed of their format, the story almost feels like it's happening in real time!

    So why don't we have more of them here?

    Well, it's partly because we lack GMs

    which to me seems silly, since a lot of you have GM'd, and some of you have even done it really well!

    GM-ing, for those intimidated or confused by the title, simply refers to anyone who runs a roleplay and holds it together. The GM is usually the one who came up with the idea, but it's not unusual for a creator to pass their ideas off to another person to GM so that they can participate as a player. The GM keeps an eye on every player, makes sure there's some sense of story that continues, helps new players to find an entrance, bored ones to find an exit, and makes sure there's always something for the players to be doing. There's more, but these are the bare bones.

    "Hey, that sounds like something I could do!"

    You're probably right! And you should give running a CHARP a try! But just like any different medium, running a CHARP is slightly different from running a group here on the forums, which is why we've got this workshop to show you the ropes of being a GM in a CHARP!

    But hey, I'm going to step back here and acknowledge that I'm not a CHARP-er. I understand the appeal, and I've enjoyed lurking on a few of Iwaku's CHARP events, but I'm not a group-rp person, I'm a forum-based One x One -er, and therefore I'm not the most qualified to advise you!


    Calling everyone! All @Staff, all @Community Volunteers, all roleplayers and GMs and writers and know-it-alls!

    What's important to know if you're interested in running a CHARP? Share your wisdom!
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  2. If you're interested in running a chat roleplay, you've most likely gotta know how to improvise. Because people can be chaotic sometimes and if you try to set up a scene, people can always mess it up. Also, encourage fast and concise posting in order to maintain a pace that you, as the GM, want the game to be experienced at. In addition, make sure to get everyone interacting with each other. You don't want people to feel left out and leave the game.

    Finally, I'd say throwing an occasional surprise or two into the chat roleplay can really help keep players attention.
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  3. There are, I think, three primary things that are really critical to being a successful ChaRP GM:

    Know what you hope to accomplish in a particular scene. This is less important for persistent chats like Astaliviel and the Inn, but is absolutely crucial for scheduled ChaRP sessions. Plan accordingly so that the game doesn't wander aimlessly come showtime.

    There is a famous Winston Churchill quote about speeches:
    "A good speech should be like a woman's skirt; long enough to cover the subject and short enough to create interest."

    The same goes for ChaRP sessions. Make sure they're long enough to get the thing you wanted done, but don't make them so long that the players are likely to drop out from lack of interest or boredom. A good general rule is about 2-4 hours per session, depending on the number of players.

    Flexibility (Sorry, I couldn't come up with another P word here lol)
    Depending on your ChaRP crowd, you may get experienced players, or very inexperienced ones! It's usually some mix of both, but the important thing is to adapt to the things happening in your game.

    Sometimes your players are just going to do things you couldn't predict. It's up to you, the GM, to be flexible and to find a way to work things into the story. It's not like a forum RP where you can pause the action and say "WAIT, YOU NEED TO REDO X." Of course, if people are getting sufficiently out of line in your RP you could always stop, but the most effective GMs I've ever seen are able to work those things into the story.

    Yes, you planned. Yes, you paced. But if you can work your players into the story and make them feel like they've contributed, like the actions of their characters matter, then you can help to make your players feel more like participants rather than just spectators. Make people feel like their character has had an impact, has helped to drive the story forward, and you will be surprised how much fun people will have. They'll start to take it more seriously, too!
    #4 fatalrendezvous, May 2, 2016
    Last edited: May 2, 2016
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  4. I'm in for being a chat Roleplay gm! Seems like tons of fun
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