Guidelines for Role Playing at Gaming Steve
Last Edited 10/07/08
The object of Role Play (RP) is to become a character in a fantasy world that you and others will slowly develop over time. You tell a story from your character's point of view and detail their actions and adventures. These games can be very fun and satisfying when you have a dedicated group of players that work well together. The point of the game is not to beat the other guy, the point is to write an interesting story that people want to read! And maybe you'll even make a few new friends along the way.
- Try not to exert too much control over another person's character. You're more than welcome to include meaningless conversation and basic actions; however, you should never do anything to another character that has a lasting impact on them.
- Just like a person's character, any important objects or inventions that someone creates during an RP are under their control. You should seek permission from someone before doing anything drastic with one of their assets.
- There is a major difference between a player knowing everything about the game and a character knowing everything about the game. As a player, you are encouraged to know as much as you can about every aspect of the RP you are a part of. Characters should not know everything and are not expected to know everything.
- You are always allowed to leave the story but be careful! If you leave an RP your character is free to be manipulated by the other players. You can avoid this by writing up an exit for your character.
- If someone's prolonged silence is keeping the story from progressing the other players are allowed to take control of that character. The only condition is that they cannot kill off the offending person's character.
- Try to stick with the basic rules of the world. No magic spells in a world with no magic.
- Double posting in an RP is frowned upon. The only time when it is acceptable to double post is if you are trying to jump start a stalled story.
- Out of Character (OoC) discussion and using the forum's quote function is discouraged in the RP topic. All Out of Character discussion must take place in a separate Out of Character topic.
- Finally, if you feel inclined to join an RP that is in progress make sure you are not jumping in during a scene that is pivotal to the plot or at the climax of a story-arc. This can knock the scene off kilter and make things difficult.
Throughout the RP you're going to encounter all kinds of special formatting. Never fear though, it's not too difficult to understand.
- Normal text denotes plot development and character actions. The bulk of the RP is made up of normal text.
- "Text in quotations denotes speech. A large part of the RP is usually made of up speech."
- ~"Text in quotations preceded by a tilde denotes a translation. If your character speaks another language and you wish to write what they say in English, put a tilde before the first quotation. This isn't used very often."
- Italic Text denotes thought and inner monologue and is also used for flashbacks, dreams, books, and computer readouts.
Here is a collection of tips from experienced RPers that should help make your time here easier.
- Don't be afraid to ask for help or to coordinate plot sequences! Conferring with your fellow players is the key to making a good RP, however don't give up your whole plot or become reliant on other player's ideas. Also remember that you're allowed to scheme with the person playing the villain too!
- Hey guys, use spell check and proper punctuation and please proofread!
- Know your limitations. RPs are taken seriously so don't bite off more than you can chew. RP posts are expected to be smart and well thought out. It may sound mean but if you can't write well you might want to pass on joining an RP.
- An RP usually follows a set point of view. Generally they're written in third person limited omniscient. It is not unheard of to have an RP written in first-person but it is generally seen as more rigid. Whichever point of view you choose, try to stick with it! There is nothing more jarring than having to wade through a ton of perspective changes.
- Don't be afraid to push the action or do something big. If the same few people lead the RP all the time the story will become tired and predictable.
- Your job is to post about your character, if other people have trouble keeping their characters in the limelight than it's their fault. Don't feel obligated to carry other people's characters because it will limit your creativity and could have a severe backlash down the road.
- Try to get into a regular posting schedule. An RP will run much smoother if you are posting regularly. The other players need to be able to depend on your post, they have to know that you are going to post. If this confidence is not there everyone begins to slow down and things will deteriorate rapidly.
- Let's just be blunt about this whole RP business, it takes dedication. You can't just sit down for five minutes, slap an idea together, and expect it to glimmer. There has to be planning, editing, checking, rechecking, and a whole lot of conferencing with the other players (This includes the villain, NEVER forget to talk to the person controlling the villain). This process of building your story can take hours or even days. Be a good neighbor and talk to the people who are in the RP with you. Make plans with them, it will enhance the story! Double cross them, it will enhance the story! Do whatever you can to enhance the story!
- Plot is your friend in an RP. Sometimes you are going to have to forgo the simple, or even logical, solution in exchange for something that will keep the story moving forward. It's just a fact of life; yeah, the Empire could have blown Yavin to smithereens and then they'd have had a clear shot at Yavin IV but that just isn't good storytelling. In a story-based RP your primary goal is to tell a compelling story and to do that sometimes you'll have to go against that little voice in your head that is telling you to take the shot.
- You didn't get chosen to be the villain, darn. Instead you are playing the role of the hero but that is nothing to be ashamed of, the hero is very admirable! Do not, however, decide that you are going to get smart and tell a story of your own. If you want to write a short story, write a short story! In an RP you are encouraged to enrich your character with a deep and engrossing side story but please, for the love of all things holy, don't tout your story as the second coming. The fact is that the villain is the one pushing the main plot points and let's face it, his plot points involve all of the characters. Your character's plight may be neat, but unless it involves everyone who is playing it runs the risk of becoming intrusive and can detract from the game.
- This one will be really short. Characters who are overtly crazy or insane tend to ruin RPs. They are shallow, have trouble interacting, and usually draw the ire (and the blades) of the heroes.
- Plots tend to work better when the villains' plans relate to the heroes personally. The two groups should know one another; this allows for more emotion during fight sequences as well as charging up the dialog scenes.
- Every post is different, but there is a certain structure that they all have in common. The first part should address what happened before it, the middle part should advance the general plot as well as your character's plot, and the last part should leave an opening for the next person to post. Your post will start out broad, then become more specific as you include character details, and finally become broad once more to allow someone else to jump in.
- Coincidence is cool, but it is not entertaining. Try to avoid coincidence if you can. At the very least, make sure its justified if you do use it.
How it Works...
Alright so you've read all of this stuff about how we RP here at Gaming Steve but you haven't seen any examples. Examples can explain things far better than a soulless and faceless guide! The following is a link to one of Gaming Steve's best RPs. This RP is relatively short and can be read in it's entirety in two to three hours; this is what you want to work towards if you are in an RP, everything came together perfectly in this RP and it is a fantastic read.The Historical Superpower RP - Volume I
The secret to doing a good job in an RP is to really get into it, be proud of your work and put a bit of yourself into each post you write.
Here is a collection of links that will help you better navigate the Gaming Steve RP scene.Forum RulesThe rules that you must abide by everywhere on the Gaming Steve forum.The RP Creation GuideA short guide that talks about the secrets to making a successful RP. Everyone should read this.The RP Planning ThreadDo you have an idea for an RP? Post it here, you might as well do it anyway because we will just move your suggestions here if you don't.The RP ListThis list contains links to every RP we have ever had here at Gaming Steve, if we've played it you can find it here.The Out of Character LoungeA place where all of the Role Players and Meta-Gamers can chat about things that are happening in the Storytelling & Roleplaying section.Spore RPsNot in the right place? Do these RPs look a little off? Maybe you wanted to go to the Spore RP section instead!Meta-Game ListAre you really lost? Don't even know what an RP is? You probably wanted the Meta-Game List.Dungeons & Dragons on Gaming SteveSo you're looking for that kind of RP, eh? Head on over here and let the resident pros get you set up!
Odds and Ends!
Everyone is free to discuss rules they want added or removed. That's what this topic is for, if we get a point where a decision has to be made I'll send it up to the poll. The results of the poll will decide if the rule stays, goes, gets edited, or whatever.
If there are any further questions or if you've found a mistake in this guide please send me (PatMan33
) a Personal Message and I'll do whatever I can to help you out.
Enjoy your stay in the Gaming Steve Storytelling & Roleplaying forum!