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RP Tutorial/guidelines(read First!)


Twilit wildcat: Aerofelis
Roleplaying, RPing for short, is popular on the interwebs. Dungeon Gaming Network is no exception, but until I wrote this, we had no guidelines in our RP forum. Special thanks to the uber mod Vanessa28 for stickying this for me. These aren't rules, just guidelines, so you won't get in trouble if you have a different way of doing things.

RP terms
OoC: Out of character. When you want to say something directly to another RPer, and you don't want it to be confused as RPing, you do an OoC post. Most people put their OoC posts in double parenthesis (( )) then continue with the narrative.

IC: In character. RPing.

SU: Signup. Before you start the RP, you'll probably want to make a signup thread. See the signup thread guidelines section for more information.

Profile: A written reference for a character. You put this in the signup thread when joining an RP. See the profile guidelines section for more information.

God moding/power playing: Can mean multiple things, such as controlling someone else's character without their permission, making your character invincible, etc. Generally frowned upon.

Mary Sue/Gary Stu: A character that is perfect in every way, and therefore just plain annoying to other RPers. Avoid these like the plague. There are mary sue tests out there that can help you determine whether or not you've created one of these monstrosities. Google is your friend.

Signup thread guidelines
Here are some tips for what to include in signup threads.

Rules. Do you want people to post like they're writing a novel, or are you okay with simpler formatted posts? How many characters can each person have? How many RPers will you accept? Etc.

Profile template. You'll want stuff like name and gender...and appearance, history, personality, maybe even species and age. You can add or omit fields as needed. For example, say you're running a dragon RP. You don't need species, everybody's a dragon. You can let people say things like "hatchling" or "teen" for age. You can add a field for breath elements, and make a list of them. So for this hypothetical RP, the signup form would look like this:

Appearance(scale color, eye color, etc)
Age(hatchling, teen, adult, senior)
Breath Element(fire, ice, electricity, earth, wind)

Plot summary. Your plot doesn't have to be set in stone, and it doesn't have to be long and complex. People can help you brainstorm. For the dragon RP example, you might put something like: "The dragons are being pushed out of their home by humans. The dragon council can't decide whether to fight back or leave peacefully." That's a basic plot that can be builded upon.

It's a good idea to edit the first post in the signup thread from time to time. You can copy the participants' profiles into it if you like. When you've reached your limit, a simple "signups closed" at the top of the post will be helpful. Also, you might want to add a link to the actual RP thread once you've started. And while we're on the subject of the RP thread, your signup thread doesn't have to be gone and forgotten. Use it as an OoC thread! Brainstorm in it! Link to it on the first post of the RP thread as well.

Profile guidelines
Here are some tips for profiles. I only covered the profile fields that tend to be the most complicated. I try to have a minimum of five sentences for these fields. More is always better, but please DO NOT write a book. Nobody wants to read a profile that's pages long.

Appearance: While hair and eye color is important, that's not all this field is. Pretend you're describing your character to a blind person, or an artist who you've commissioned to draw them. Some RPs might allow pictures for this field, but don't rely on them completely. How tall are they? Is their hair short, long, spikey, wavy, etc? What does their outfit look like? Do they have any scars or markings?
Of course, you probably won't be describing hair or clothes for all RPs, like my dragon example. In that case you would use the parts of a dragon to paint a mental picture. Does your dragon have horns? Straight horns? Curved horns? Big or small horns? Do they have spikes going down their neck, back, and tail? Do they have an arrowhead shaped tail spike? Blade shaped? Leaf shaped? What colors are all these parts?

Personality: How does your character interact with others? Do they sulk and not talk to anybody? Are they so smart that they get called a living encyclopedia? How do they react to being insulted? Etc. You can use examples here. Instead of just saying they're nice, for example, you can say that they once stood up for a blind kid who was being bullied. You can even go further and say that the blind kid became their best friend. The same concept applies to evil villains. If you say they burnt down the king's castle and killed a bunch of innocent civilians, that would be a lot better than just saying they're cruel and mean. Just don't include too much backstory in this field. You only need instances that explain their personality traits.

History: This will probably be the longest field, but like I said before, don't write a book. Don't be lazy and say "you'll find out in the RP" either. You'll want to start from the beginning of their life, and make your way to the present, while being as short and concise as possible. Describe the most important events in their life. If their parents got killed by monsters when they were five, include that. Don't include the time they got depantsed in high school, that's not that big of an event. There's an exception to every rule though. If they were so embarrassed that they ran away and never came back, include it. Just use your better judgement and you should be fine.

RPing guidelines
Here are some tips for the RPing itself.

Novel vs Script: There are two formats I've seen for RP posts, both have their pros and cons. First, here's a sample in NOVEL format:

Bob chuckled. "Are you okay?" He walked over to the man on the ground. "That was quite a fall...do you need a first aid kit?"

Here's the same thing in SCRIPT format:

Are you okay? *Walks over to the man on the ground* That was quite a fall...do you need a first aid kit?

They're the same length here, but you can see that script posts will be shorter than novel posts like 80% of the time, meaning less work. However, novel posts tend to be easier to reply to, since there's more content there. Use whatever format you and/or the RP starter feel comfortable with.

Combat: Some RPs will have characters taking sides in a war or something. So there will have to be fights, and fights have their own rules. Remember that you NEVER control someone else's character, and this includes getting hit by an attack. So how are you supposed to fight? Just don't say they got hit. Something like: "Bob slashed at Roger", then end it there. If you instead say: "Bob slashed at Roger, cutting off his arm", that counts as god moding/power playing. Let Roger's RPer decide whether to get hit or dodge.

If you are attacked, remember that nobody can dodge all the time. Let yourself get hit sometimes, it gets VERY annoying when somebody acts invincible.

Grammar: We're not grammar nazis. But please...be at least semi literate. You're RPing, not texting. Please no "Bob said hi how are you Susie said fine you Bob said omg run there after us"

An Exception To The Rule: While controlling others characters is almost always bad, sometimes people like to give other RPers permission to do just that in their absence. This is fine.

Thank you for reading. Now go forth on your epic adventure!
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Smash is Life
Sep 23, 2012
Beijing, China
Thanks, Dragoncat. I think, though, that there should be some rules about grammar. I've seen some so bad that I can't understand anything their character is doing/saying...
I know there's a disliking towards god moding but what if someone happens to need to take a break from their comp(4+ days) and "wants" someone to take control of their character?wouldn't that person have to PM the group of that specific RP telling them that he/she is going to be away for a while as well as who they trust with their character?
Nov 24, 2012
Probably roleplaying
I know there's a disliking towards god moding but what if someone happens to need to take a break from their comp(4+ days) and "wants" someone to take control of their character?wouldn't that person have to PM the group of that specific RP telling them that he/she is going to be away for a while as well as who they trust with their character?

In some RPs I've been in, people have given control of their character to another in their absence. I have done so myself. It's not common, but it's there, and it is if a person has to leave for a little while. It's a lot easier to just post it OoC on the RP, which is what most do, and of course you'd want to specify who gets control. But yes, you can do that, there are no rules against it and it works well for its purpose.

Cucco's Revenge

Thanks for this guide. I am good at RPing elsewhere, but I needed to learn how it all works here, so this was very helpful.


You're meeting all of my standards!
May 24, 2015
The Underground
Okay, it would've definitely helped me to read this my first day on here but I'm an idiot so I ignored it. I read it, finally. Cool, thanks for doing this. Can I add a third way of RPing? It's like this:
She snickered as she ran into the bushes. "Haha! Sucker! I got your pizza!" she yelled at them as she ran.
It's actually part of one of my RP threads. I call it: "Gameplay RPing". In Gameplay RPing you have to put the name of your character at the top then press enter to go down one row and say what the character is saying or doing. It's kind of like novel RPing except it's easier to know who the character is that's speaking and you can say she or he instead of the actual name of the character.

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