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 How To Become Part Of A Roleplay, - character integration made easier -
Posted: Sep 24 2011, 02:39 AM

fighting the Spanish Armada since Sir Walter Raleigh's time
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Group: Fleet Admiral
Posts: 1,106
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Joined: 19-July 10

Guide to roleplay
How to become part of a roleplay

written by: AuroraL of RPG-Directory

Everyone has to start somewhere and roleplaying is no different. All of us first sought out a site that looks interesting and fits our needs and wishes. But what then? This small guide contains a few tips about immersing yourself into a new game and having an easier transition from new player to member.

1. Joining, Read Me

When spot a site that might suit you there are a few things you should do when joining. To make sure you didnt join on impulse do research! Put your Sherlocks Holmes hat on and start investigating.

First you need to read are rules. Many sites share basic rules such as respect staff and other members or No god-modding/power playing but while they are similar there might also be site or genre specific rules or restriction you should pay attention to. Once you check that its best to slowly go through other documentation the roleplay offers. That way youll understand the game easier and world staff has made. This enables you to get a sense of what character could fit and how to enter the site story.

2. Stalkers Digest

There are some things you wont find in rules or chat boxes. By now you read the rules and all other informational threads but there is something youre still not sure about. Whats the community like? Is their posting habit similar to what Im looking for? There are two things to do:
  • If the site has an OOC section, take a look. Tight knit communities often have this section active though others prefer Chat Box. Both will give you a hint on whether the community is active and welcoming and fits you or not.
  • The IC section will show you what kind of role-players write there. Be sure to check out more threads [of course you dont have to read it all] and make a diverse sample when choosing. Pick different characters, threads in different places this will give you a chance to get to know the site better before join.

Note: Before making a character in case youre uncertain how to fill the application or write a biography take a look at already approved characters.

3. Ready? Go!

You joined, read everything you need [and even more], made a character what now?
There are a number of ways to get into story and become member of a community. Here are some tips:
  • If there is a plot page section, make one and check out pages already there. Be proactive! Dont wait for players to come to you, go to them. You might easily find interesting characters to start threads with or plan plots. Never be afraid to leave a message or PM player about possible plot.
  • Dont just make your own threads. Try open ones! Beauty of open threads is in their randomness, the spontaneous that can happen when you join a character you didnt think of. Anything can happen and thats were opportunity for fun is.
  • .Be open. Greet staff and members, start a conversation, play OOC games and get noticed. Also never be reluctant to ask for advice if you have problems or dont understand something. Staff is there to help new members and often old members enjoy answering questions too.

As long as youre proactive and have fun, everything else will slowly come to place. .

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Posted: Oct 17 2011, 09:48 AM

fighting the Spanish Armada since Sir Walter Raleigh's time
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Group: Fleet Admiral
Posts: 1,106
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Joined: 19-July 10

How to Get the Most Out Of Your Scene

Written by: James @ Capturing Fantasy

Scenes are meant to be savored. Each is a mini-story in itself. There is a premise, an introduction, the build-up, the climax and the denouement, then action slows during transition to the next scene. Skip over one of these elements or move through them too quickly and the scene falls flat. It leaves players with an empty, unsatisfied feeling.

To avoid that problem, here are a few tips to get as much as you can from a scene:

Have a purpose. What does your character want to explore? Whether itfs the old ruins in The Forbidden Zone or a personal emotional issue, have a clear goal in mind when you begin a scene. You may not reach that goal and the scene may take you in a new direction, but that clear start helps you focus. If you involve another character in that scene, youfre acting like your own Storyteller for the moment. You know where you want to go, so take action and lead the scene.

Interact with NPCs. NPC characters are there to add some flavor to scenes. They are extras, bit parts. But be careful not to dismiss NPCs quickly. If you ask a question of one, give the NPC the opportunity to respond. The result may be predictable, but very often, the scene could take off in one of several different directions, depending on what the storytellers have in mind. Sure, the cashier in the convenience store could give your character change right away and your character might be off on his merry way soon enough, but what if that cashier decided to be a jerk? What if she said something important? What if she could answer a question? Unless the storytellers imply therefs nothing more to happen in the scene, donft move on too quickly.

Avoid abrupt transitions. Nothing is more jarring to other players than a character that suddenly leaves a scene for no apparent reason. If your character is in the middle of a conversation or waiting on an answer, give players a reasonable amount of time to respond. Don't have your character pose a question and then walk out the door in the same post. Wait for a response, and then move on.

Explore possibilities. Use a scene to its fullest potential. Explore every virtual nook and cranny available, open a few cans of worms, or stir the pot for conflict. What your character does or learns now affects what happens next.

Speak up. Share some internal thoughts from your character with other players. Use dialogue. Unless your character speaks up, no one else can react to whatfs going on in your characterfs mind unless an action gives a clue.

Writing in a play-by-post online rpg game is like playing a game of chess. Chess takes time and consideration. All angles are considered before a move is made. Quite often, players are thinking ahead, sometimes two or three moves in advance.

Players are also trying to outthink each other. Sometimes they can guess or even predict what the other player does next, but plenty of surprises still happen. Find the surprises, savor the scene and take the time to slow down before moving on.

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Posted: Mar 7 2012, 02:41 AM

fighting the Spanish Armada since Sir Walter Raleigh's time
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Group: Fleet Admiral
Posts: 1,106
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Self-Accountability And Rping
A guide of your own involvement in the game

A Documentation by Dun of the RPG-D

It's not me. It's you. . . or is it?

This topic's often on my mind, and it has been on my mind rather frequently for the last week or so. Self-accountability is something of an issue in life in general, but I find that it plays a pretty big role in RPing in that I think it's extremely important and fairly rare. How often do you find that people having trouble with a game attribute some of their difficulties to what they're doing wrong? How often do they say, "Maybe it's because I haven't done XYZ" or "Maybe I should do XYZ"?

Sure, that happens. Some people are great about doing their part and putting forth the effort required to get involved. . . but how often do people say something like "I can't do anything because people aren't posting in my plot thread", "Everyone is cliquish", or "These people are such snobs. Clearly they hate new players"?

If you take an introductory level psychology class, you'll probably have a professor talk to you about the tendency for people to attribute their problems to external sources while attributing the problems of others to faults in their character/personality/etc. I often find that it's the same in RPing.

If you're finding that you're having a hard time getting involved in a game, I'd like to encourage you to ask yourself the following questions and give yourself some honest answers:

Does my character make sense? If your character is nonsensical, people are likely to find that offputting, whether the character is ridiculous or just confusing.

Is my character interesting? Why should a player spend time writing with you and your character rather than spending that time writing with someone else? If you can't think of a reason . . . Need I say more?

Have I been reaching out to other players and actively looking for plots and threads? You can't expect everyone to come to you. If you're sitting back and expecting everyone else to do the work . . . is that really reasonable? Are people jerks because they aren't tossing all their effort your way while receiving little to nothing in return?

Am I posting frequently enough in the threads I do have? You need to keep people interested.

Are my posts interesting? Are you moving things forward, offering interesting insight, contributing exciting things? Are you boring the heck out of people?

Do characters have enough reasons to interact with my character? Age, ethnicity, nationality, social class, and other factors can turn into social obstacles. Your character needs connections, perhaps through his/her job and other affiliations (gangs, guilds, etc.), that will produce acquaintances, common friends and enemies, etc. If your character can provide a service-- even better! That's going to provide a lot of reasons to interact.

Have I tried posting an open thread?

Do my open threads actually provide an easy introduction for a variety of players/characters? If you're limiting the type of characters that could get involved, you're limiting your chance of getting a response. If your character is in an empty room doing something awkward, people probably won't want to approach him/her even if they do come by. Think about this stuff!

Is my character a social misfit? If your character displays offputting behavior, being generally unfriendly and/or even a bit scary, people are probably not likely to randomly approach him/her. You need to find reasons for your character to interact with other people or get them to keep initiating interaction.

Am I being a bother? If you're whining about no one plotting/threading with you, being rude, pestering people to post, etc. this might be an issue of your OOC behavior making people hesitant to write with you. Although OOC and IC interactions are mostly separate, there's some level of communication and trust that often comes into the good threads and plots, and if people don't want to interact with you because of what you're doing, that's likely to impact your IC success.

Am I present in the community? If you only write with one or two players in a large game, never chat with people, and are rarely online, that's likely to limit you. You don't have to be bubbly and outgoing and constantly online to get people to play with you, but if people know of you and your characters, know a little about what you write, feel some sort of connection with you, think they can trust you, and see that you're present and active-- they'll be more likely to write with you and think of you when they come up with their next great plot idea.

Is my writing kinda crappy? No one really wants to think they're a bad writer, but if your writing is sub-par, people are likely to go for a more interesting or easier read. It doesn't necessarily have anything to do with length, flowery words, etc.

When people toss ideas at me, am I contributing to the ideas, shutting them down, or just accepting them? If you accept ideas, that's a plus. If you keep shutting them down, people will probably stop offering them. If you accept ideas and add to them, you're really doing a good job.

Do I make an effort to help other players pursue their plot interests? If you give, you're more likely to receive. . . a lot. When you find out that someone really wants their character to run into some trouble so they can get some development going, offer up your character to help, for example. Rope people into plots that will benefit you and them. They'll be more likely to return the favor, and you'll get connections out of that.

I don't always do all of these things. I know this because I can tell when I'm not getting the most out of my time enjoying a game, and when I recognize that, I ask myself what I'm doing wrong. I ask myself these questions, and I give myself some honest answers. Usually what it comes down to is my lack of availability. When I can't put time into a game, I can't put myself out there to do some plotting, I can't be super visible in the community, I can't post as frequently as I'd like . . . It's on me.

If you've found yourself complaining about everyone else in a game recently, hopefully you'll take a second now to figure out what you can do to better your experience.

Maybe- just maybe- it's you. . . Not them.

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Posted: May 16 2012, 05:10 PM

fighting the Spanish Armada since Sir Walter Raleigh's time
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Group: Fleet Admiral
Posts: 1,106
Member No.: 2
Joined: 19-July 10


from Draegon of RPG-Directory and Sizael

Note: This is general advice. Not everything listed here is applicable to "Before the Mast"

Being new is hard work, and though admins and other such staffers will do what they can to help you out, it still boils down to you and your effort. What you're essentially trying to do when you join a roleplay forum is to become a member of the community. No, strike that a known member of the community. Think of it this way: you just got a new job! Yay! But you're not talking to anyone, or only a little bit. So your boss will probably talk to you, but the rest of the staff will be polite and say hi, but until you open up, they won't hold an awesome conversation with you.

You just got a new job found a new roleplay forum! Yay! But you're not talking to anyone, or only a little bit. So your boss the game's staff will probably talk to you and thread with you (at least once), but the rest of the staff members will be polite and say hi, but until you open up, they won't hold an awesome conversation with you or have threading ideas for your and their characters!

So here are my tips! The main thing that pops out at me with these is that you need to build a rapport with the members or a reputation for being around and eager to thread!


OOC: Chatting about hobbies besides roleplaying (eg, reading, playing console games, TV Shows, walking, random dreams, drawing, designing). I'm bad because I should do more of this on all the sites I play on including my own lol! There was one time when Skyrim came out that most of the memberbase at my site revealed they were playing it, and we had an awesome OOC thread about it!

OCC: (Don't) post challenges or other such things - some members may not have the time or energy (especially staff). I find unless it's something like "take an awesome picture", these flop. I've even had competitions flop majorly before when there were amazon vouchers at stake XD

OOC: Loiter in the shoutbox and chat about your character (and other non-RP things) with other members! Ok, so this one means catching someone talkative in the shoutbox, which can sometimes be hard dependant on the memberbase. Still, there will be one or two members in every community who like to loiter and chat! Try loitering in the shoutbox for at least an hour a day. This is a good way to build up a rapport or a reputation for being around and able to thread! If you are not very good at chatting in the shoutbox, start off with "how was your day?", and maybe have a few things to talk about ready in your mind (film you watched last night etc). Be silly in the shoutbox! Create shoutbox games!

OOC: Chat to the admin by PM about your concerns. They may be busy working on things to improve the board itself (or other things), but they should respond to a PM about worries. Perhaps if you knew what they're up to for the site (if they'll tell you), their appearances around site will make more sense Maybe they're just majorly advertising right now, so the extra time they'd normally put into the board is going into that, or maybe they're working on revamping old features and bringing new ones etc.

OOC: Ask the admin what time is busiest on their board. In a PM, ask them this. They'll be able to tell what time they've noticed larger numbers of their memberbase appearing. It could be that it's not the same everyday, but it might be x time most days sorta thing.

OOC: Read other character apps. This can help you to figure out what your character and their character might get up to. Then PM those members!

OOC: PM the memberbase! Ask them if they're interested in a thread!

OOC: PM the memberase PT2: Hey! How was your day? I had a weird thing happen today when this... Build a rapport! Get to know the other members personally!

OOC: PM other members and ask to chat over instant messengers about threading and characters and such. I've been doing this over the past few months. Though I've not actually got much instant messaging done, I do swap emails with other members on the three board I'm on It does work (especially if members you're emailing use their phones to check their emails too!).

OOC: Read! Reading encourages our minds to think creatively. Don't copy a book's ideas or scenes, but it should help your mind be more, "hey plottage!" as one of my roleplaying buddies would say XD

OOC: Get out of the house! I am guilty of sometimes being indoors more often than I should be. Walking is proven to get humans' minds being productive, so go for a walk somewhere, or just explore where you live. See how far away you can get from your house, shopping centre or favourite bolt hole!

OOC: Go to writing seminars and workshops! Not all of these cost a lot of money, and it's something I intend to get more into doing If you can find one and you can get to it, go to it!

OOC: Go to other 'Gatherings'. Other get-togethers such as comic book conventions, game mastering conventions, history conventions, LARPing conventions and other such things are great fun, and can also give you that wonderful 'old time marketplace' feel, in a random, put your mind to work creatively way. Or maybe that's just me. If you live in the UK, PM me! I may know of some and then two roleplaying fanatics could team up against the wor... *ahem* could promote their favourite hobby and have fun, do lunch...

OOC: Know that other members don't know you yet, being new. Both your character and you are new. So they have no rapport with you, no experience of you. They have little understanding of what your character is like, and as a result may struggle to come up with threading ideas.

OOC: Make a really strong effort to come up with threading ideas. So many new members don't bother (or can't), or come up with only one. What are your character's goals? Incorporate them into your threading ideas. Character looking for a home? See is anyone's character is working on buying or rebuilding a property (this could even include ships). Does your character need to make money for any reason? See if another character would have employment opportunities for them that could result in lots of threads!

OOC: Do you know the admin elsewhere in any way? If they know your habits, it may be they're watching to see if you "sink of swim" without their help due to those habits or their past experience of you on other boards or online communities.

OOC: Are you transmitting your excitement? Don't be shy! Be hyper! Hyper members get more threads because they're excited to be there! Hyper people are automatically assumed as wanting threads, so just because you're new, doesn't mean you can't get excitement going! Some new members are very very bad at being excited, and I feel that it more often as not swats their chances like a bug on the wall.

OOC: Have the current memberbase admitted that they won't be posting as much in the notices area? Maybe that's why you're not getting threadage Find those who didn't post a notice.

OOC: Ask the admin (by PM) who is most active posting, who is online loitering the most, who can't or doesn't use the shoutbox, and who is going inactive and/or away. Every little bit helps right? This'll help you to start working on having a rapport and a reputation of being around in the community by actively seeking out those who are just +100000000 by being around, posting and such!

OOC: Ask the admin for help (by PM). By this I mean don't ask them to hold your hand. They should already be doing a lot for their site, whether or not you can see it or if they've told you, so they may not have time (or if they already know you, this goes back to them maybe seeing if you'll "sink or swim" on your own). But ask them if they have twitter or site emails to tweet about you and your character/thread requests, as well as emailing members to get them excited about new characters. I wish more members actually asked this of me on my site.

IC: Pick an area and explore. By this I don't mean have the character explore. You as a member should explore. What's down that alleyway, what would happen if you went into the marketplace? What's being sold in the marketplace? Help to really build up an area IC, and more often as not it'll start getting more threads and such!

IC: Notice if some characters are bound to locations. Some characters become affiliated with an area after a while, due to jobs or settling down etc. So maybe a thread in another area (though it might have their interest) might be too complicated for them to join.

IC: Take part in any events taking place around the board! So many new members I've noticed more often as not see a special event already in play then don't join in. Buh why?! Join it! Join it!

OOC: Discuss your IC threads in OOC threads! This goes hand in hand with taking part in special events! Ramp up the excitement!

IC: Develop friendships and enemies. Work on creating friendships with other characters with yours. These are invaluable. As a new member you probably don't have these, so it's time to pull your finger out!

OOC: Develop friendships and enemies PT2. Chat to other members over PMs or instant messengers, create a backstory between your two characters so you have an established friendship/alliance/alliance-that-suits-them-both-but-they'll-stab-each-other-in-the-back-when-it-doesn't-any-longer/temporary alliance/working relationship/reasons to hate each other for evermore/eveil schemes to attack each other for when you do thread together. Sometimes backstory is key!

OOC: Develop your character! Sometimes your character just doesn't have enough meat to them. Are they an immigrant of some sort in the site's setting? Ops. Sometimes this can cause a massive failure.

OOC: Take part in discussions about the game/board itself! Your contributions should always be welcome!

IC: Create an NPC friend. Sometimes just having interaction between your character and an NPC can lead to some pretty interesting threads that others will be dying to join! And give these NPCs goals too.

OOC: Don't like the current memberbase? Bring some friends! Ok, so you may not want to do this if you're not planning to stay, but if you really like the board, then perhaps it's time to chat to others and do a bit of advertising yourself? Have friends on Deviantart, writing communities (even fanfiction), facebook, twitter, myspace, work, school, volunteer jobs? Tell them about this new board, and if you can get their interest, create their character so they and yours has a backstory of friendship! Maybe also drop their advert in a few roleplay areas and say, "if you do decide to play, please say I referred you!" That way you'll be able to jump on them if they join and you'll already be known to them! (Yay! More threading opportunities!)

IC: Establish a shop, enterprise or other such service the characters might need. By doing so, you can become a needed character to other characters!

IC: Look at any companies/enterprises/spy networks and other such joinable groups on the site. Join one or two. Spy networks are fun!

IC: Join in quests and other such things! If the site has quests or other systems that have inbuilt plot ideas, use them! Remodelled them!

IC: Have a career! Think outside the box! Who said an assassin is just an assassin? Who said a pirate is just a pirate? Who said a knight is just a knight? What if they owned a farm, or a brothel, or an... "You want somebody killed, I know just the guy, but it'll cost you!"

IC: Be a tattle-tale! If there is some sort of law enforcement in a game, find out how you would report a crime. Then accuse another character of something they haven't done! Instant plot!

IC: IF ALL THIS FAILS... In character, start setting things alight, breaking windows, murdering people because "what? they looked at me funny!" and really make a big thing of it! It'll be A) fun and B )Will get your character noticed. Of course, this may come with IC consequences, but that's good too! More plots! Wait, hang on a second... Those joinable groups and those characters settled down or with businesses... BURN THEM!

I hope that helps get you started.

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