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General Roleplay Rules and AdviceTopic%20Title
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In Justice We Trust

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Location: Southern California

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Joined: Wed Dec 12, 2007 6:31 pm

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So you want to make or participate in an RP? Well, you’ve come to the right place. This board and its subforum are dedicated to all RPs except trials. We have a system, though, and everyone is obligated to adhere to it. This thread is dedicated to explaining the rules and answering any questions about CR’s RP policy. For everyone’s convenience, I’ve divided this post into the relevant sections and contained those sections in convenient spoiler boxes so you don’t have to scroll past a wall of text to get to the area you want to learn more about.

General Rules

Unless explicitly stated otherwise, all of these rules must be followed in and by any and all RPs.

Spoiler: General Rules
  • All the rules on Court Records must be followed. If you don’t know where to find the rules, here is a link.
  • The GM is in charge. This is what is sometimes known as Rule Zero. The GM may do whatever he/she wants to do in his/her RP as long as it is not a violation of the forum’s rules. This includes taking over and/or killing your character(s). GMs are advised to observe restraint in exercising their absolute power, though, lest their tyrannical rule drive all the players away.
  • An RP must first be proposed in the RP Proposal Thread. This is purely to make sure any problems with the RP are taken care of before it is launched and also to see how many people are interested in participating. The RP Proposal Thread can be found here.
  • A launched RP must have an OOC thread for final preparations and any OOC posts related to the RP. We like to have our main threads nice and clean. It kind of kills immersion when a very heartwarming/dramatic/deep/whatever scene is interrupted by an OOC comment.
  • Posts in an RP’s main thread must be at least a paragraph in length. There’s some wiggle room with this one; I’m not going to take a ruler and measure the length of each and every post you make in an RP. This rule is here to avert overly short posts whenever possible. A post just containing something along the lines of “Are you okay?” or “Yeah” typically does next to nothing for the story. This also means you should try to avoid setting up situations in which the person expected to respond to your post can't say more than a few words without it seeming weird. That said, whenever there really is no way for you to make a post without it being short or full of filler text, I'm not going to give you a hard time for making a short post.
  • No spamming. In this context, spamming means posting in an RP with the intent to disrupt the flow of the story. Even if the RP is open to everyone, that doesn’t make it okay for you to introduce a new character by having him/her barge in drunk on two characters’ wedding and flash his/her private parts.
  • No god-moding. The GM is the only person not subject to this rule, and even then, such an exception should be used sparingly and cautiously. An RP tends to get boring for the other players if your character has no flaws, powers through any problem as though he/she could do it in his/her sleep, and/or pretty much forces everyone else to do what he/she wants. There is more information on god-moding and the forms it can take in the terminology section.

Terminology

Confused about what a GM or NPC is? Don’t know what OOC means? Well, that’s what this section is for. If there's a term you've seen in an RP that isn't covered here, please say so and I'll add it. For that matter, if you want more information on a term than this post provides, please say so.

Spoiler: Terminology
  • RP—RP stands for “roleplay.” An RP is a thread in which the people posting assume the guise of a particular character. It can be thought of as a story that multiple authors work together to write in which every author except one usually controls the actions of a particular character in the story.
  • GM—GM stands for “Game Master.” The GM is the person in charge of the RP. He/she sets the rules, controls the NPCs, decides who may participate, manages all the extra bits of information, and much more.
  • Player—A player is someone other than the GM who is participating in the RP.
  • PC—PC stands for “Player Character.” A PC is a character controlled by a player, though the GM sometimes also assumes control of one or more PCs for any of a number of reasons. A PC controlled by the GM is sometimes called a GMPC.
  • OC—OC stands for “Original Character.” An OC is someone designed by a player or the GM rather than an existing character from the setting in which the RP takes place.
  • NPC—NPC stands for “Non-Player Character.” An NPC is usually a minor character controlled by the GM when the situation calls for it. On occasion, an NPC might be controlled by a player, though this is only done with the GM’s permission.
  • Railroading—Railroading is what happens when the GM attempts to make the players take a particular course of action. This can vary in strength from something relatively small and nonintrusive, such as dropping a hint about what should be done to reach the next plot point, to effectively denying the players any control, such as locking every door except the one the GM wants the players to go through.
  • OOC—OOC stands for “out of character.” OOC posts are things said by the players rather than their characters and are not intended to be part of the actual RP. The reason for an OOC statement can vary. It might be one player trying to clear up some confusion about a particular character’s actions, for example.
  • God-moding—God-moding is the act of attempting to force everything to work out in your [character’s] favor, usually either by preventing anything bad from happening to your character or by preventing other characters from reacting to your character’s actions. Having your character kill someone else’s character is an example of god-moding unless the other character’s player has explicitly allowed you to do that.
  • TPK—TPK stands for "total party kill." This is what happens when every player character is dead (or whatever the RP's closest equivalent is). In many RPGs, such as the Final Fantasy games, a TPK is the standard "game over" scenario. How much of a setback a TPK is for the players depends on how harshly failure is punished in the RP.

Advice

This section contains general advice for players and GMs. If anyone wants to add something, just post what you want added, and it’ll be added if it’s good advice and hasn’t already been addressed.

Spoiler: Advice
  • Commit to the RP or leave it. People participate in RPs for fun, so it’s understandable that you might lose interest, but if that is the case, you should let the other participants know. If you just suddenly disappear without telling anyone, you’ll hold up the RP until you either return or get kicked out. An inactive participant is a very common cause of death for RPs, so it is advisable for everyone involved to agree on a system for dealing with inactivity. If you’re going to be unable to participate for a while (for example, you have real life obligations eating up more of your time than usual), you should let the others know. Otherwise, you might be in for an unpleasant surprise once you’re back.
  • Share the spotlight. This bit of advice holds true for GMs and players alike. Even if your character is an enemy to other people's characters, you're all working together to make a fun story for everyone to enjoy. This is in line with the whole "no god-moding" rule. There are uncontrollable elements in every RP. Those uncontrollable elements are the other players. Even the person running the RP has to be flexible lest his/her players leave. If a player isn't having fun, he/she will probably stop posting, which can kill the RP if his/her decision to leave is never announced to the others. To that end, it's important to avoid making the story revolve exclusively around you.
  • Work and communicate with everyone else. The GM has the authority to kick you out of the RP for any reason. If you’re causing problems for too many people, you’ll probably be kicked out. If the other players tell you do stop doing something, you should probably listen to them. Ignore their complaints at your own risk. For that matter, if something's bugging you, bring it up in the OOC thread. Maybe someone hasn't been very active lately. Maybe there's a disagreement over where the plot should go. Maybe one of the other players is doing something that's getting on your nerves. The OOC thread is there for a reason, so if something's bugging you, bring it up so the problem can be taken care of. A simple "Could you please post?" or "Could you please not do X?" can go a long way. Don't keep these things to yourself. Talk out your problems with the other players so they can be solved before things can get ugly.
  • Plan ahead, GMs. You can’t always trust the players to do what you want them to do unless you plan on railroading them at every opportunity. It’s a good idea to have plans for what to do if the players decide to do something you didn’t want them to do. Every detail you include is something the players might take an interest in, so be prepared to expand on those details whenever the need arises. It's also a good idea to know what you're going to do if the players fail at something. The more serious the failure, the more important it is for you to have a plan for how to keep the RP running.
  • It's not a sin to be a rookie. We've got some veteran roleplayers here, so if you're new to the business, their eloquent posts might make you feel as though you're in over your head. Relax. It's not a "best post" competition. You don't need to be the next Shakespeare or Pushkin to be a good player. Just do your thing and get along with the other players. Unless you're extremely stubborn, no one's going to give you any lip over your lack of experience.

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