Sunday, April 13, 2008

[ Roleplaying ] :: The Basics

Not WoW related... not really. Okay. Maybe. It more concerns those on roleplaying servers such as Feathermoon than anyone else. And just roleplaying in general. If that doesn't daunt you in the least bit, read on!

Roleplaying is a form of story-telling, where everyone has their characters, and the characters interact with each other in order to create a story.

Wikipedia defines it as:
...participants adopt and act out the role of characters, or parts, that may have personalities, motivations, and backgrounds different from their own. Roleplaying, also known as RP to some, is like being in an improvisational drama or free-form theater, in which the participants are the actors who are playing parts, and the audience.
There are several different types of roleplaying -- the familiar (or maybe not-so-familiar) pen-and-paper (and dice!) game being one, and free-form roleplaying being another (along with others, of course!).

The old pen-and-paper roleplaying is usually connected to the idea of rolling a dice to determine every move, using miniatures, and consulting a handbook of sorts. Original D&D at it's best.

The type that I've participated in for many years now is free-form roleplaying. In free-form roleplaying, I decide what my character does or does not do, and to what degree. It is... well, free. There are general rules that apply, but other than that, we are free to do whatever we want.

General Rules of FFRP:
  • -No God-Moding (GM). GMs exist in stricter "enviroment", but not in FFRP. This means that one can say that their character threw a punch at another character, but one can't say that they knocked the other character out. It is up to the other character's player to decide whether the shot missed, or hit, and, if hit, to what degree it hit. If one wanted to suggest that their punch is "hard enough to knock someone out/off their feet", they can, and let the other player decide if it happened or not. GMin'g is bad, and doing so will more than likely get you kicked out of the game (thread, board, ect...).
  • -Use something to separate OoC from IC. IC [ In Character ] can also be ‘BiC’ for if you were talking OoC [ Out of Character ] before a post, BiC [ Back In Character ] works a bit better … not that people will nag you about that. xD However, some people prefer using brackets, parentheses, and the like, and that is fine too.
  • -Most of us will ask you to be creative. Use big words that one would not normally see or hear in conversation! Roleplaying improves writing skills. Do no use illiterate [Definition: In the roleplaying world, the word 'illiterate' means that although you can read and write, you are far behind on your... English skills. The following sums up an illiterate: You do not use capitals, correct (or relatively, at any rate) grammar, and have no idea what punctuation is. You use chatspeak or leet and non-existent, improper English abbreviations. You are uncreative, and asking for at least a three sentence post seems unreasonable] anything while roleplaying; it tends to annoy the crap out of some people.
  • -Mary Sue/Gary Stu -- no one has a perfect character that is better than everyone else due to one thing or another, is chum-chum with an existing character from a story/changes the story/becomes more important than they (for fanfictions and roleplays based off of an existing story).
  • -And others. Rules differ from board to board, but those are the general ones that normally apply to most boards.
Now, the younger brother of a friend of mine asked me for help in his writing. He aspires to be a writer someday, but doesn't know where to start when it comes to original characters and original plots (for many, their writing careers start in the fan-fiction world -- this guy was no different). As I was answering his question, I realized that others might be pondering the same... We shall call him [Ben]. [Ben], his questions, and his quest to create a character and a story, will star in all posts of this ilk. What does [Ben] have to do with FFRP? Each of the initial steps he has to follow applies to FFRP; for many of us, roleplaying is our warm-up to writing.

We'll be covering roleplaying in depth in the upcoming weeks...

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