Teacher Sin's Guide to Roleplaying.

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Ibara no Joō

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Common Roleplay Etiquette

Depending on the type of roleplay that you are taking part in (futuristic, present, medieval etc) there will be different rules. Most roleplay threads will outline any rules that they in particular wish you to abide by, but the majority of roleplaying rules are common sense.

  1. Don't Cheat

    This is arguably the most important rule. There are many different ways to cheat whilst roleplaying (sometimes referred to as 'munching' or 'Godmoding'), too many for me to go into here, but I recommend that you read the Anti-Munch Project. If you're new to roleplay then it outlines several things that you should avoid. Think of the AMP as a list of roleplaying guidelines. In certain situations it's ok to break them, but I wouldn't recommend it until you've been roleplaying for a while and know how to recognise these situations.

    As well as being a term interchangable with munching, Godmoding also refers to a particular type of munching. Godmoders are arguably the worst form of munchers, because their characters have powers akin to Gods. They can dodge bullets, fly, run incredibly fast, do martial arts... Basically, a Godmoder can do anything. It should be easy to see why this can get annoying.

  2. Be Realistic

    In some roleplays you might be able to get away with bending the laws of physics, but in 'realistic' roleplays in particular you will have to bear what can and can't be done in mind.

  3. Stick to your Story

    It can get increasingly annoying if somebody that you are roleplaying with keeps changing their character, saying that they grew up with their parents on a farm one day, then claiming that they watched their parents die at the age of 1. Once you've got a story going in a roleplay, stick to it.

  4. Only Control Yourself

    There's nothing wrong with interacting with another user's character when roleplay (in fact, it's encouraged ) but don't control them. For example, it's fine to say that you offer another character a beer or that you throw a knife at them, but it is not ok to assume that the character takes the beer or that the knife hits him. I'll go into battles themselves in more detail later on, but the basic idea is that you let people control their own characters. After all, you wouldn't like it if somebody was controlling your character, would you?

  5. Offline? Leave Them Alone!

    If somebody says that they are going offline but you wish to continue roleplaying, then the best way to do it is to pretend that the character started to ignore you or went off to do something else. Just because somebody has gone offline without making excuses IC does not mean that you can attack them, kill them, draw funny faces on them with pen, or anything like that.
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Ibara no Joō

Original poster
Roleplaying Terms

  • Roleplay : To assume the role of. Example: I am roleplaying a knight. I am pretending to be a knight.
  • RP : An abbreviation of the word Roleplay. Example: I'm going to RP for a bit.

  • Profile : A character sheet depicting the qualities and information about a certain character such as name, gender, inventory, powers, etc. Example: Name: --- / Age: --- / Appearance: --- ...

  • Out-Of-Character : Commonly abbreviated as OOC. Means to talk outside of one's role; to talk as yourself rather than the character/role that is being roleplayed. Commonly is surrounded by symbols such as (()), []. Example: ((Drat, my keyboard is a mess.))

  • In-Character : Commonly abbreviated as IC. Means to talk/post as the character/role you are roleplaying (i.e. To resume the role I was roleplaying as.)

  • God Moding : Roleplaying in-character but ignoring all rules of roleplay, dictating what happens to other roleplayers' characters, making their own character a super-being who can't die. Generally used to describe a character being roleplayed in battle situations (e.g. every attack they perform hits, they dodge every attack directed at them, they are unfairly powerful compared to other characters).

  • Non-Playable Character : Commonly abbreviated as NPC, also referred to as Non-Player Characters. A character that isn't controlled by just one roleplayer, such as an innkeeper in a tavern or a guard at a gate. An NPC may be controlled strictly by the person in control of the roleplay, or the roleplay creator may let anyone control them. Example: The following are non-playable characters: Billy, Bob, the goblins, and the guards.

  • Puppeteering : If a roleplayer has to leave for an extended period of time, sometimes they may permit their character to be 'puppeteered', or controlled by other roleplayers, so that everyone else can continue with the story without waiting.
    Example: ((I'm off on holiday for a week now, guys! Feel free to puppeteer my character if you need to))

  • Storyline : Every roleplay has a story in it...read the first page of every RP you're going to participate in before jumping in. Also called the plot.

  • Closed RP : A closed RP means that it is restricted to ONLY the users that were invited. It's best not to disrupt other RPs that you're not involved with.

  • Open RP : An open RP means it's open to anyone who wants to join.

  • RP Rules : Every RP made by different users has their own set of RP rules, please follow them to avoid embarassment.

  • Quest RP/Long-term RP : These RPs are very committed. If you're not the 'serious' role player than this isn't recommended for you. The reason is a Quest RP can go on for a long time, with a very carefully crafted story. These RPs are often organized by "serious" roleplayers who know their stuff.

  • School RP : A place for those that would enjoy a good educational RP. Class is in session! The University/School subforum has plenty of these!

  • Anime/Manga/Game RP : These RPs are mainly based on the series itself. For example: A thread was created called "Final Fantasy RP" and that means the RPers on that thread may RP in character as Cloud or Tidus or be original characters that they have made up RP with the FF characters.

  • Original Characters (OCs) : Often used in roleplays based on existing book, cartoon, game or movie series. Just because you choose to roleplay in the world of Final Fantasy VII doesn't mean that you have to play one of the game's main cast, like Cloud or Sephiroth. You could make up your own character within the Final Fantasy VII world e.g. a shopowner who works in Midgar called Claude. Claude would be an OC, or original character.

  • Canon Characters : 'Canon' characters are those which already exist in an existing series. If you play Cloud in a Final Fantasy, he would count as a canon character. The word 'canon' can also be used to describe anything already established within a game, book, movie or cartoon world. For example, Squall and Rinoa's relationship in Final Fantasy VIII is considered 'canon' because it happens in the game. Sometimes people will want to roleplay scenarios which are not canon - for example, roleplaying a romance between Squall and Selphie instead.

  • Symbols : Sometimes you will see those asterisks * used during an RP. Those often times by most users are used to describe motion/action. But not everyone uses it like that. Some may use color on the text and others will use slashes / or make it to italic or small text or :: or ~.
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Ibara no Joō

Original poster
The Game Master, or GM, of a roleplay can have great responsibilities in terms of guiding and maintaining the roleplay. This guide will help you understand these responsibilities and advise you on how best to handle them.

  1. Overview

    The creator is usualy considered the GM of the game, and they do have unquestionable control in most cases. They are the referees in fights, they are the controllers of NPCs (unless they are created by others), and they are the controllers of the plot/storyline. But I'll do my best to address each case individually.

    Just how much control over the story does the creator have usually?

    Like I said, the creator usually has indefinite control over the story, though it really depends on the GM. There needs to be leniency, and there needs to be space for sub-plots to fall in. In essence, you really just need to trust in their judgement before doing anything about it. I myself was left with control over a guild at once point when the leader left for a bit, and I ended up moving the story along as I saw fit. How ever, the story was already in place and I just had to work the others through it. I did the best I could with the absence of the guild leader and ended up doing a pretty good job in the opinions of my comrades. The reason for that is because I allowed space for each of their characters, I took questions and answered them, and I took charge in a way that I deemed justifiable.

    The best you can do is trust the GM knows what they're doing, though don't be afraid to put a little of your on stuff in (within reason of course).

  2. What to do when:

    You have a lacklustre roleplayer?

    While I question the definition, I believe there are more than a few things to do here. If by lacklustre you mean he/she is illiterate by your standards, then there is something you can do. While it does tend to push them away from what I've seen, you could ask them to put more work into their writing and try to follow the story more so, as well as being more exuberant in their posting style. This isn't an actual insult so much as a constructive criticism in my opinion. I've had it done to be a long time ago, and I grew from it. I've told others that and they've bettered themselves as well. Problem is that most users see it as an insult and a stab at their own pride as a roleplayer.

    A roleplayer is going against the plot?

    If some one goes against the plot, it's not always a bad thing unless it's to an extravagant extent. If they change the entire storyline with what they're doing, then yes it is the GM's duty to step in. Before they can do that, they need to have permission from the GM first and THEN move into it.

    Now, I said it's not always a bad thing also. Sub-plots make for an interesting read also. If there is a romance brewing, then that's a sub-plot. If by chance the roleplayer found out his/her lost sister was still alive, then yes that's also a sub-plot. They go on and on, and they can improve upon the actual story itself.

    Someone isn't posting very often?

    There is a matter of how lenient the GM is in posting. More so, how active the actual thread itself is. I know a few roleplays where the GM only asks that the users post every week to every two weeks in very advanced roleplays. Also, there are roleplays that don't merely go into paragraphs, but dwell into short stories themselves. A rarity indeed in the iwaku forums, though there are a number of threads out there dedicated to that form of roleplaying. On the opposite of this is the threads that have posts every 10 minutes from different users. These are more likely to get the roleplayer reamed if they post one once a day or even every few days. Not only does it make the person look bad in the eyes of the others, but it also makes for a lack of story knowledge. Story is vital for all participants to know. For one thing, knowing the plot would help many to avoid these issues I'm discussing.

    Someone just doesn't give a flip?

    If they don't care then there is nothing you can do about it. Kindly ask them to leave, have the GM ask them to leave, and if that doesn't work, then you may report the user and have a site moderator step in. A

    Do we just inform a mod and let them handle it or should we try to get them back on track on our own?

    If the roleplayer has been repeatedly asked to change what ever it is they are doing wrong by the GM, and there is no reconciling on the defendant's side, then there is the chance of having to call a moderator to step in.

    This is, like I said, a last restort. More times than not, it's better that the people participating ask the user to control him/herself.
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Ibara no Joō

Original poster
One x One Guide

One x one's they seem to be the bolster on iwaku's roleplay banner isn't it?. Well one x one's are popular, unlike like group rps the partners can take as much time as they need to post and don't need to worry about waiting for multiple partners to post.

Where Should I post a one x one search

Over 18+ post here

under 18+ post your roleplay search here

What should I post to get partners / tips
  • your ideas
  • your limits (this is very important, you might get into something that will make you uncomfortable so let people know about it)
  • quirks (what you want in your roleplays, romance, sexual content, fun plots, adventure and so much more)
  • squirks (what you don't like)
  • a sample (optional)
  • or you can use your roleplay resume
Styles of search
  • simple
    • not many colors
    • usually has a simple theme but is organized
    • usually all together in one post
  • kinda simple
    • some colors
    • and image or two
    • spoiler tags
  • elaborate
    • many colors / bbc codes
    • layouts / characters / clear and clean
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Ibara no Joō

Original poster
Character Development Prompts

When you have a basic profile ready for your character, you can develop them further by responding to a prompt that puts your character in a tight spot. You can write these prompts yourself or use my examples.

  1. Situational Exercises

    One way to elicit a response from your character it to stick them in an uncomfortable situation, or else a situation that would make most people uncomfortable, then figure out how your character would respond. The most common ways to respond to any difficult situation are:

    A.Solve the problem
    B.Resign self to the problem
    C.Hide from the problem

    Some basic situations you may want to try are:

    A.Being physically trapped
    B.Being emotionally trapped
    C.Being injured or threatened
    D.Having loved ones inujured or threatened

    Here is an example prompt for C

    Your character is just outside his or her home when two muscular looking men come up and ask to come in for a drink. Since it's not very hot outside and both men look pretty grissled and mean, they've probably got more on their minds. One of them is stroking the hilt a nasty looking sword at his side, and clearly they expect your character to either fight them or come inside quietly 'to talk.' Once you're inside, though, they'll be no chance of random strangers spotting the trouble.

    What you do is read the bit I wrote and respond with how your character would respond (not in this thread, though-- in notepad or something). Don't just tell the reader, but actually write it out like you're writing part of a story.

  2. Reaction to Stereo-type Characters

    One way to force a response of your character is to have them face a stereo-type character. Stereo-type characters are simple and unbendable in their oppinions, often producing a humorous response from more complex character. Some stereo-types you might recognize are:

    A. Hero/Knight in shining armor
    B. Defenseless maiden in distress
    C. Super-bad guy
    D. Super bad guy's frightened minion

    Here is an example of a prompt for B

    Your character has been ordered as an escort for a lady of high standing as she wanders on horseback through the woods. You're the only escort because the woods you two are traveling in are supposed to be really safe, but the maiden suddenly slips out of your sight. For a good few minutes there's just no sign of her.

    Here is an example of a prompt for C

    You've been captured by *gasp* the super-bad guy! He's been after you for months, and, after tricking one of your friends into betraying you, now has you in one of his smaller lairs. You're just waking up with the affects of the drug he gave you still lingering, and you can hear him pontificating near by to one of his minions.

Ibara no Joō

Original poster
Handling Writer's Block and Creating Ideas

Ibara no Joō

Original poster
updating this often, come on in and take a look.
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