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 A Basic Learner's Guide to Role-Play

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Role-Play Type :
  • Fantasy
Years/Experience :
  • 7+ Years
First RP Site : MySpace Age : 27
Posts : 33

PostSubject: A Basic Learner's Guide to Role-Play   Wed Mar 07, 2012 7:43 am

Here is a short guide to the basics of role-play. This guide is comprised of the simplest things that I have learned about role-play in the 7+ years that I have been role-playing.

What is role-play?
Role-play is, in a sense, creative writing. There is, of course, a real-life role-play, but that is a whole different story. Internet role-play is comprised of paragraphs, turn orders, description, etc. Role-play is basically descriptive, creative writing between two or more individuals. I will go into more detail about the technicalities as this guide goes on.

IC (In Character) and OOC (Out of Character):
I figured this would be a good point to start this guide. When you are posting in a role-play, you are "in character," because you're assuming the role of the character you are role-playing. Basically, you're writing based around a specific situation involving your character. You can also have your character speak with another role-player's character. You write their speech with their own unique personality. In-character speech is always done in quotation marks. For example, let's say I wanted my character to say hello to another role-player's character; I'll be using action marks (you'll know what they are once you see them) around my writing to show that I am writing in-character.

*So-So averted his eyes to the sky, and his mouth soon opened. Words came to pass his lips: "Hey there!"*

As you can see, the asterisks (*) that I used were the "action marks" I previously spoke of. Normally these are not required unless you are role-playing in a chatroom, as topic posts in forum role-play are generally kept role-play-specific.

If, for whatever reason, however, you have to say something outside the role-play (this applies mainly to forums, but you can also do it in chatrooms), then you do so in parentheses or brackets. Here's a slight example of saying something outside the role-play.

[Hey, guys. What kind of RP is this?]

The above is an example of talking with one another outside of the role-play at hand. If you want to say something to the other role-players, you would generally do so inside brackets or parentheses. This is what is known as being "out of character." When you're out of character, you are not participating in any role-play at all, so it only makes sense.

How to Role-Play:
This isn't so different from the examples I gave you in the above "IC" and "OOC" portion of the guide. When you are role-playing (as earlier stated in the beginning of the guide), you are essentially taking part in creative writing. Generally, when you post in a role-play, you want your posts to be a couple to few paragraphs long; something with good description so the role-play can advance nice and smooth. However, beginners are not expected to have these kind of skills right off the bat. After all, we have to start somewhere, don't we? For the sake of simplicity, I am not going to write a huge paragraph in the following example (I will be writing just enough so you can see how role-play should be done).

*So-So stepped forward, his toeline barely hanging off the edge of the cliff he stood atop. He sighed; clearly a sign that something was troubling him. He stared into the sky and horizon. Before long, he closed his eyes, and simply thought about what had just happened.*

Again, I used action marks for this example, but remember that they are usually only needed during chatroom role-play; when role-playing on forums, your post (or at least most of it) should consist of actually participating in the role-play at hand. If, for whatever reason, you need something to look at for reference in regards to this, then you may do so by looking at the "Role-Play Archives" section of the forum here on EK; it has many posts that are relevant to this "lesson" of sorts.

Turn Order:
"Turn order" is one thing you should always be aware of when role-playing. When you are role-playing, you must follow a certain order of turns between you and the other individual(s) you are playing with. If you are the person who started the role-play, then you must wait for another person to post in response to your own post. If you are role-playing with only one other person, then you would post again after they have posted. The cycle continues: you post, then they post, then you post, then they post, and so on. If you are role-playing with more than one person (let's say three for example's sake), then you would wait for the rest of the participants to post before you take your own turn. You would post, then poster number two would post, then poster number three would post, and then you would post again (restarting the cycle/order). Generally, you would want your posts to be related to what the other person(s) is posting about; that is how a role-play grows/improves. Here are a couple examples.

*So-So #1 looked to his side. He saw a stranger coming within range. Their face was blocked by the sun's harsh glares, but he saw a figure coming toward him nonetheless.*

*So-So #2 walked forward, stopping in front of the sunlight and staring at this other person who looked at her. Why was he staring at her so intently? She raised her hand and moved her hair out of her eyes. Her hand caused a shadow to move over her face, blocking the glare of the sun and allowing him to see her. "Hmph! What are you looking at?"*

*So-So #1 couldn't believe how beautiful this woman was. She had an attitude, but for a few moments, he just couldn't stop thinking about her beauty. He was speechless for a short while, but then he finally gave a response to her. "N-nothing. I just saw you walking this way, and I looked at you out of curiosity."*

As you can see, when the last poster has completed their post, the turn cycle restarts with you posting once again. You must always take turns with one another when role-playing. Don't try and sneak a post in before the other participant(s); you'll just mess up the turn order that way, which could potentially mess up the role-play entirely.

Controlling Other Role-Players' Characters:
You are not allowed to control another role-player's character. You and the other role-player(s) are controlling your own characters for a reason. You may control more than one character (either in one post or in individual posts; if the latter, remember to abide by the turn order), as long as all the characters are your own. Controlling another role-player's character in your own actions is greatly frowned upon in the role-play community. Here is an example of what it would be like to control another role-player's character in your own post(s).

*So-So #1 continued to look at the girl; he didn't even know her name. She just made him so speechless, he couldn't bring himself to words.*

*So-So #2 grunted, feeling uncomfortable because he was still staring at her. She noticed that he gulped, like he was nervous.*

As you can see, in the second post I controlled the other person's character by writing that he gulped. You should never control another role-player's character, no matter what.

"God-modding" is another major thing to be aware of in the role-play world. A "god-modder" (generally speaking) refers to a person who creates characters that are 100% immortal or invincible; characters that cannot be destroyed/killed in any ways. "God-modding" is the act of controlling a character and making them completely invincible in whatever situation(s); literally like a "god." No one in the role-play community likes a god-modder; god-modding is greatly frowned upon, and is quite possibly the worst thing to ever happen to role-play in a lot of people's eyes. If you're god-modding, then chances are that people won't want to role-play with you, period. No matter the situation, a character should always be able to get injured or killed (depending on the type of role-play; casual role-play or fighting).

Killing Other Role-Players' Characters:
Unless you are role-play fighting (this will be explained in a completely different topic/guide), you may not kill another role-player's character. Why, you may ask? It's simply just not allowed, and is another thing that is not appreciated in role-playing. This is the same thing as controlling another role-player's character in your own posts; you just don't do it.

**I hope this guide has been useful. I tried to make it as simple yet as detailed as possible.



Let the blades of the old be hewn into the lives of the new. Let the ways of the old be transcribed in the pages of the new. Let the wisdom of the old pass to the new. Let the new be mentored by the old.
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A Basic Learner's Guide to Role-Play
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