The Beginners Guide*A Work In Progress
Welcome to the Beginners Guide to RP. I am hoping that with this guide that I can better help those that are new to the world of RP get a hang of things a bit easier. Knowing me, this will turn out to be a rather long read; so please bear with me. There is a lot to soak in when you are new to this world and even those that have been at this a while may be able to pick up a few tips and tricks. It doesn't matter if you have been Rping for three minutes or thirty years, we all can learn something. Shall we begin? Let's.
Rp has it's own slang and many things that pop up may make you scratch your head until you get used to it.
Rp has it's own slang and many things that pop up may make you scratch your head until you get used to it.
- RP - Role Play; the act of creating a story with at least one other person on a forum, in a chat room, etc.
- Rper - Role Player; a person who Role Plays
- RP Thread - Role Play Thread; The location for an RP you are participating in - It will contain an IC, an OOC, and a CS Tab
- IC - Interest Check; a post made to see if others are interested in an idea for an RP
- In Character; a post made by an Rper that is using their characters
- OOC - Out Of Character; a post made just discussing the Rp when not in character
- CS - Character Sheet; The specific details about the character you have created written out
- CS Tab - Character Sheet Tab; The location in the RP Thread for your finished CS to go after you are approved by the GM
- GM - Game Master; This is the person that is hosting the RP, the control everything that happens and who participates
- CoGm - Co Game Master; This is the second or third in command of the RP, they are the back up GM and help to keep things running
- OP - Original Post(er); this is the first post in a topic or the first person to post. You will usually see this combined with OOC (The OP OOC, a GM may say "please refer to the OP for updates.)
- OC - Original Character; this is a character that can be played for a fan based RP or any RP really. This is a character you create from scratch and isn't just playing a character already in creation from a T.V. show, movie, or game.
- Free - This is the open section of RP. Posts are usually short and happen quickly. There are usually not many rules put into place in this section and it is many of the times the starting point for many Rpers.
- Casual - This is the more laid back section of RP and the middle ground for many Rpers. Most here have a laid back attitude about RP, have been at it some time. Some learn or teach here. Posts are usually between 1-2 paragraphs but can be much longer. Gm's vary greatly in this section and each has their own reason for choosing to host an RP here.
- ARP - This is the advanced section of the forum and is where you will usually find the most in-depth story lines, the highest standards, and the most requirements to join. Posts usually come much slower in this section.
- NRP - Nation RP; this section of RP has to do primarily with creating various nations or worlds and controlling them as other RPers do the same. There is usually warfare involved, heavily planned out posts that are put together with more than one RPer, and the conquering of other nations.
- TT - Table Top; these Rps are based off of games such as Dungeon and Dragons, Shadowrun, Magic The Gathering, and the like. Characters are created here using fixed systems already in creation and dice rolls are used to determine what happens.
- 1x1 - This section is for Rps that are usually just between two people, sometimes three. They are usually more intimate and you and the other Rper control not only your own character but all the NPC's to create a private story just for you two.
- NPC - Non-Player Character; this is a character in RP that usually has no CS and can be controlled by one person or many. They are not a main character in the RP but are there as a support character, a minor addition to help drive the story-line forward or to give details about a PC.
- PC - Player Character; this is the character that you control or another RPer controls
- Ship - A couple in RP; they may have come together in the actual RP itself or people known as Shippers may have seen their Cs's and thought they were the perfect pair.
- Metagame - The act of taking information from an area of the Rp your character has not been privy to. Such as knowing a character has had a bad life just because you read it in their CS but the character had not actually told you in IC.
- Godmodding - This usually is used to describe when a character does an action or series of actions that are without limits. They seem to avoid injury no matter what, can land every attack and so forth.
- Bunny - Moving another players character, having them respond or react. Example would be your character slaps another character and you say another players character looks at you and tells you to go to hell. Another would be that a character goes with you when you leave a room or so forth.
- Auto-Hit - The act of making an attack of yours automatically connect with another player without giving them a chance to react, respond, or attempt a dodge.
1) How do I get started?
Well you have completed step one, you have created an account here on the forum. Kuddos! Now for the next and perhaps the most difficult step when it comes to beginning; jumping into the mix. First thing is to determine what you want to RP, what type of things do you enjoy? Are you a fantasy type? Do you wish to slay dragons and wield magic? Or would you rather to be in the real world and test the waters as a beat cop? Perhaps there is an Anime or Game you really enjoy and you want to make a character for. Figure out what you are craving before you do anything else.
Once you have determined what you are craving you need to figure out how much time you want to dedicate to RP, as well as your skill level. Most all beginners can jump either into the Free Section and just roll with it. Those that are a bit more advantageous may just want to leap head first into the casual section. Either way, unless you have been at it for a bit it may be best to stick to those two areas and refrain from ARP, NRP, and TTRP. 1x1 is a different monster since it would just be you and one other person. Each person has their own requirements so you will need to sift through all the 1x1 interest checks to find what skill level fits.
After that, just head into a section and check out the Interest Checks. If you don't see anything, don't be afraid to jump into the RP area of each section. There is a little note with each RP if they are accepting or if they are full. If they are accepting, look to joining even if you are new and it has been going on a while. Most Rpers and Gm's are more than willing to work with new comers and enjoy it in fact. A new fresh face to an RP is always welcome and as long as you are willing to read, to listen, and to learn you will do just fine.
2) Okay, I found one and they said I could join, what now?
First thing is first, read everything in the original OOC post no matter how long it is. Take the time to see what the GM expects from you and their other Rpers. Make sure you can fulfill what is requested of you before you really commit. Some may ask for you to post at least twice a week, others only once. Some will require in-depth Character Sheets, others you just wing it. No matter what the Gm requests, know this. In an Rp the GM is God/Goddess. They make the rules for that RP. By joining you are agreeing to follow them.
3) Alright, I agree to everything and like the set up. What now?
Now it is time for the character sheet. If the RP is already running look to see what others have done. Do all their character sheets look the same? Have the same format? Chances are the GM provided a precoded character sheet that you can copy and just fill in the blanks. If so, copy it - go to your profile page and PM it to yourself. That way you can edit it and change it as you need to while being able to look at it. Once it is complete, then post it in the OOC section and let the GM review it.
Some Gm's will leave it to you to create your own CS, others will say you don't need to wait for approval and can just toss it into the CS tab. Some, very few, will say you don't need one. Again, whichever is the preferred method of the Gm, go along with it. They set it up a certain way for a reason - that reason is usually a mystery to everyone but them but hey; they're running the show.
4) Okay, filled out and approved. Now, what the hell do I post?????
This can be tricky because it all depends on what the RP is about, who is running it, how long it has been running, and so forth. Here are a few things you can usually always post about to start and get you into the mix
- Detail out what your character is wearing. What color is it? Is the fabric stiff or flowing? Easy to move in or are they so over-weighted that the heat is starting to get to them?
- What do they look like? Even if you have an image for your character, talk about how they look. Alert? Tired? Flashing green eyes or deep chocolate ones? Is their hair nice and neat or a mess? How about how they carry themselves? Do they walk hunched over or are they riding a horse and looking prouder than a peacock?
- What are they thinking about? Is their mind wandering to their lost love? Are they glad to be out in the open air? Does this dungeon really need a spritz of Fabreeze?
- What do they see? Talk about the scenery of where they came from or where they are going. Did they just have to stop and empty rocks out of their boots? Are those stupid kids playing their rap music too loud? Hey, coffee shop! Java time! Roll with it!
- Cross The Line - I hate to admit this but with most any Rper I have ever Rped with - if they can't think of something to post I will usually then say, "Then post about a fart!" - Seriously. Fart, burp. Don't care. It is something. (And frankly some of the funniest posts I have ever read had to do with the two. Even at my age, toilet humor still cracks me up and brings out the twelve year old in me.)
5) How long should my post be?
That will really depend on the GM - more so than the section. So check and see what others are posting but also look at what the Gm requires as a minimal or a maximum. Most Rps I host require a minimal of two well developed paragraphs but most people in my Rp's will type well beyond that. So just take a look. If the Gm only requires a paragraph but everyone else is posting ten do NOT let that deter you. If you can only post one, post one. Never let another Rpers post length or quality put you off or daunt you. Rp is an ever evolving learning experience. Don't be afraid to surround yourself with outstanding Rpers. We all started somewhere and trust me if you saw the crap I used to post... Let's just say I am glad those places are closed down now. lol
6) Yeah, this is all well and good but I really still haven't found anything for me. What do I do?
Start your own! Get a basic story line up for the RP and post an Interest Check in the area of the forum you want to draw people in from and wish to host it. Once you get enough people saying they are interested then create and OOC post that includes your story line, any rules you want people to follow, a CS sheet if you wish and so forth. After people have filled in, submitted their Cs's, and are ready to go - RP!
7) I don't know how to code all this stuff... What do I do?
Well, you can either go without coding or just give it a try. Remember when I mentioned Pming yourself? Yeah, use that so you can get your stuff together without others looking on if you want. A little bit of practice and you should have it down no problem. If you are having an issue and you just can't figure out why it isn't looking right. Pm a friend on the forum that knows coding here to help. Or Pm me if you wish. I'll give you a hand. (Sadly coding this crap is one of my favorite things to do. ><!)
Sweet, is that it?
God no, but that is where I stopped typing. See the thing with RP is that it is ever evolving and people always have questions. There is no way to completely encompass every last detail here. What I can do is this... Ready for it?... Here it is.... Breath. You'll get this. If you have any questions, ask them below and I will answer when I can. As questions get asked and answered, I will see what I can do about adding them to this and slowly building on it. It will never be completed.
Welcome to the Rp World