A Newbie's Guide to Roleplaying by Wrecked Insanity

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A Newbie's Guide to Roleplaying by Wrecked Insanity

Postby Gellert Grindelwald » Mon, 2009.06.01 16:13

Copyrights and DisclaimersAll text in this guide, except parts in green, is copyright 2001-2006 Wrecked Insanity.

Sadly, Wrecked Insanity's website went down in mid-2007, so the next two links to point to the Wayback'd copy. All other links contained in the body of this thread are from the original document, and no longer point to anything. This post is taken from The Four Concepts of NEWBIES and the posts below come from The Three Keys to RP.


This RPG Site Follows the Four Concepts of N.E.W.B.I.E.S. (New Experience Welcomes Better Interactive Enjoyment for Stories.) by http://www.rpg-newbies.info

1. Do not insult Newbies: Insulting newbies in any manner does not assist with the situation. It's not friendly, nor is it considerate. Remember, we were all newbies at one time or another.

2. Do not exclude Newbies: If you exclude a newbie out of the role-playing game you are not adding any benefits to the complete game but taking away from it. These new players bring with them fresh ideas and new concepts that could be the next great kingdom or the years most memorable plot, etc. Accepting new players to RP with you will give them fresh examples of how to RP. How can they learn if they are in a room by themselves?

3. Do not kill Newbies: If your pawn happens to get into a fight with another pawn and the player is obviously new don't kill the character. Turn the fight into a spar and give them a few suggestions to help them learn the basics of fighting. (This is kind of moot, at the moment, but remember it when the real battles begin.)

4. Do assist Newbies: If you do not have the time to personally explain to a New Player what a Role-Playing game is and is not then why don't you point them in the direction of someone who can? Give them the URL to this website, the Game System's Website, and/or an RP Help Site. It is not hard! (Personally, I suggest linking them to this thread and to the Lexicon.)
Quidquid latine dictum sil altum viditur.

"It has been said that man is a rational animal. All my life I have been looking for evidence which could support this." - Bertrand Russell
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Re: A Newbie's Guide to Roleplaying by Wrecked Insanity

Postby Gellert Grindelwald » Mon, 2009.06.01 16:21

The Three Keys to RP:
  1. Introduction
  2. The Player vs. The Pawn
    • Knowledge
    • Time spent in the game
    • Emotions & Feelings
  3. Pawn Development
    • History
    • Relationships
    • Skills & Powers
  4. The Online Game
    • Playing
    • Altering The "Game"
    • Other Players
Quidquid latine dictum sil altum viditur.

"It has been said that man is a rational animal. All my life I have been looking for evidence which could support this." - Bertrand Russell
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Introduction

Postby Gellert Grindelwald » Mon, 2009.06.01 16:22

Introduction

If this is your first time participating in a Role-Playing Game Online or you have been in them over the years I urge you to read this. Playing a game online in one of the different communication means (Chatrooms, Forums, E-mails, etc) is a real different experience than the board versions.

A game in one of these forms can be the most pleasant or the most dreadful thing you can imagine. It depends mostly on a group effort for anything to work. By a "group", I mean you, me, as well as everyone. We must be involved in the game, to be prepared to work and make characters, settings, scenes, and a game for others and ourselves to play in.

This game must be fun, or it wouldn't be considered a game. Now, I've come up with three main parts of this game; the Player vs. the Pawn, Character Development, and The Game. It is important to keep the following suggestions in mind to make the game continue, grow, and make a better RP experience for you.

NOTE: By no means do I imply that these are rules and have to be followed by everyone. They are mere suggestions that have been commonly written up as part of the N.E.W.B.I.E.S. (New Experience Welcomes Better Interactive Enjoyment for Stories) information site to help players in online communities.
Quidquid latine dictum sil altum viditur.

"It has been said that man is a rational animal. All my life I have been looking for evidence which could support this." - Bertrand Russell
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I. The Player vs. The Pawn

Postby Gellert Grindelwald » Mon, 2009.06.01 16:23

I. The Player vs. The Pawn

The player is you, the person behind the character, the individual typing up the scenes and actions. The player is a real life person who has come to be one individual among many. The Pawn on the other hand, is a made-up character, a piece in the game, a fantasy person that comes from the mind of the player. A character is not real and can be anything the player dreams up within reason.

Generally, the player and the pawn are referred differently when in the middle or out of a game session. When the player is not actually playing the character or wants to make a comment that is not relevant to the character it is referred to as OOC, which can mean Out of Character or Out of Context. When the player is role-playing out their pawn, they are IC, which means In Character or In Context.

It is very important to keep the Player and the Pawn separate in the area of knowledge, time, and emotions & feelings.

Knowledge

Two different types of knowledge are used in the game. The first type is player knowledge that includes everything you see written on the chat screen, posted on a message forum, or even displayed on a website. The second type of knowledge is Pawn knowledge what your character actual knows because they were told the information; they were given the information; the found out the information in a legitimate way.

At no time should a player use player knowledge as pawn knowledge. This means, because you as a player can read the alias on a chatscreen it doesn't mean your pawn can. Thus, all your pawn can see is the person performing the acts and would not know the name.

Time spent in the game

The game is fun, and can be addictive but it is very important that the player doesn't allow the game to over rule their real lives. At the same time, it should be remembered at times during the game you may be responsible for playing a character that will be relied upon by others. Do not take a role in the game that you honestly don't have the time to put forth to keep the game moving. It is not fair for people to have to pause a game for months before you can get back to it.

Emotions & Feelings

This part will be a very touchy subject in relation to the player and the pawn. Every player is a person, they are living, breathing, and thinking creatures. We all have feelings and emotions, but if we display them or not, it doesn't matter. Your pawn's emotions and feelings should be kept separate from your own. Your pawn may fall in love with another pawn, but that does not mean that the other pawn will fall in love with you.
Quidquid latine dictum sil altum viditur.

"It has been said that man is a rational animal. All my life I have been looking for evidence which could support this." - Bertrand Russell
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II. Pawn Development

Postby Gellert Grindelwald » Mon, 2009.06.01 16:24

II. Pawn Development

The development of the pawn is part of the major reason you are actually role-playing, if its not, then you may need to reconsider what you want out of a role-playing game. If you were to play a character at a tabletop game, your main goal may be to reach level 200th by the end of the year. Online role-playing games may not all have a storyteller, game master, dungeon master, etc to lead you on your character development for that is what you are. Everyone controls his or her character.

Your pawn may grow old or die young, or have many lovers and friends. Your pawn may even settle down and form a family or become part of a clan or kingdom. As you play the game, it is important to moderate how your character changes. The pawn may even become a great fighter of renowned power, but remember to keep it reasonable.

The history is simple, whatever you want it to be, but the relationships, skills, and powers will affect others so you should keep the other players in mind when you add them into the game. Listed below are some simple tips to make it easier for you.

History

The pawn's background is very important to have, but not exactly necessary to have in complete detail of every single day since the character was "born". The pawn may have a history of what happened before he/she got to where they are in the game, and this history may influence how they behave in the game. Keep in mind, as you play your character this history will grow, but not at alarming rates.

Relationships

Your pawn will have friends, acquaintances, lovers and maybe even a family as the game expands. I don't believe I need to go in much detail about the friends and acquaintances, so I wont. However, the lovers and family is something that you should consider before playing them out.

If your character takes on a lover, husband, or wife you should consider you will need to RP with them a little more often than you would a common friend. The player has their own story they are making with their pawn, and by having the two pawns in a relationship you will be sharing a story as well. It is not fair to put your pawn into a situation you are not willing to put forth the time to RP out. I'm not saying you must RP things you do not wish to do, but as a couple, they should do things together.

Skills & Powers

Your pawn may have different skills and powers they are capable of performing. Keep in mind that the game is not meant to be the most powerful, to be the greatest swordsman, to be the badass magician. The purpose is to have a pawn, play it in the game, and have fun.

A skill is pretty much anything a pawn learnt how to do. A pawn may learn how to read and write, and it would be considered a skill. Another example would be if the pawn learnt how to release an arrow into a moving target.

Powers on the other hand, can be broken down into two categories. The first one is innate powers. They are things that are common from birth and are usually bonuses gifted by the race of the pawn. For example, a power for an elf may be the ability to see in the heat of objects in the dark. The other types, learnt powers, are exactly what the name implies. Any power that a character learns to perform that was not initially given to them from birth.
Quidquid latine dictum sil altum viditur.

"It has been said that man is a rational animal. All my life I have been looking for evidence which could support this." - Bertrand Russell
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III. The Online Game

Postby Gellert Grindelwald » Mon, 2009.06.01 16:25

III. The Online Game

The definition of an online game will vary depending on the type of game and the basics used within. Some games will have strict rules, others guidelines, and some may have nothing. Regardless of the type, there will be players and some general concept of what exists within the playing field.

Playing

Assuming anyone is capable of joining the game, then you more than likely are welcomed to jump in with your new pawn (that is, if its not required to be created by some standards and under supervision).

To actually play though, it may mean you must adapt a common system of typing so others understand what you are saying. This may mean people type certain actions in a certain manner to assist players in knowing what is spoken, thought, or actual done.

Some examples:

* Performing an action - a colon ( : = colon ) may be inserted before an action at the start of the action line to remove the "says, '' " part in cheetahchat (Cchat). However, people may use other symbols to highlight an action such as -. ~, *, etc around the words. Example: –Elf stands up and walks over to bar- .
* Talking - A parenthesis ( " " = parenthesis) may be placed around the spoken words between pawns. Sometimes, people are actually using actions around words for actions and leave the speech parts separated without the parenthesis. Example: -elf walks over to bar and speaks- Hello .
* Telepathic Messages - if a pawn is capable of sending a message to another individual its easier to use < > around the message so the players viewing the session knows that such information is not public domain of hearing. Yet again, this part is open to vary from player to player. Some may send telepathic thoughts through PM’s (Private Message) or highlight them in a different manner.
* Thinking - A person may state thinking "such and such" or use another clearly defined manner to display the thoughts a pawn may be thinking at the time. Do note though, the keycode /thinks is generally used for out of character talk but it may also be used for in character thoughts as well, be sure those who you play with understand what you are using them for.

(In this game, we prefer that you act in regular text, think in italics, and speak in "quotes".)

Altering The "Game"

Before you have your pawn dash off and destroy the local tavern, consider one thing:

The game has more than likely been taking place a lot longer than you have been there, and people have contributed to making it what it is, that it is not right to enter without any experience and destroy plots and settings that are in progress to some other goal that will continue on even after you leave the game.

Role-playing is not about killing other player's pawns. It is not about having power over destroying settings and becoming the most powerful god. The game is about having fun and working with other players in making storylines and plots that can include others to serve some function in the game.

You can alter the character around the game and the game around the character, but keep it in balance with your goals along with the other players.

Most of all do NOT ever perform an action that is so drastic it would affect all other pawns (or a large collection of pawns) in the game without any prior consent from the players about the action.

Other Players

As I said before, the players are human, and because of such we all will make mistakes.

All players have a different style of role-play. One player may prefer to type one paragraph while another player may type one line. Line length doesn't matter. Your pawn is not reading the actions, but the pawn may be seeing them. The amount of words used to express the pawn can vary depending on the situation and do not equal the power of such actions.

You should treat other players with the respect you want them to treat you with. You may just find yourself role-playing in a room by yourself if you fail to do so. We wouldn't want that, now would we?

You could build some lasting friendships from online RP. Why not give it a try?
Quidquid latine dictum sil altum viditur.

"It has been said that man is a rational animal. All my life I have been looking for evidence which could support this." - Bertrand Russell
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Gellert Grindelwald
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