An Introduction Have you ever found yourself harboring a burgeoning desire to create something, with no avenue to harness that desire? Wishing you could take that pesky idea that won't leave you alone and materialize it in an environment for others to enjoy and take part? The good news is you've come to the right place. The Role Playing Forum is home to a myriad of unique, collaborative stories where anyone can create characters and interact with creations from others in distinct environments and situations. Where one person can take an idea and turn it into a playground, inviting others to enter and and take part in crafting stories together, limited only by their imaginations. From the bustling cityscapes of Coruscant, to the homely corridors of Hogwarts; from an Earth dominated by Mutants and superhuman beings, to a distant island where ordinary people fight to survive. Many adventures have taken place, many adventures are taking place right now, and many more will take place in the future. Now, another question. Have you ever had the aforementioned desire to create, but found yourself lacking the time to do anything about it? Let's face it, Role Playing Games are big commitments either way you slice it. If you are a prospective GM seeking to create a game, there are many challenges you'll face along the way. What kind of player base are you seeking? How many people are interested in the story you want to tell, if any at all? How often will you be able to post updates, and how long will those updates take to write? These are all daunting questions to ask, and potentially discouraging enough to keep you from taking that leap at all. On the other side of the coin, simply participating in an RPG is no small task in itself. Not only do you have to create a compelling character, but throughout the game you will be interacting with other writers who anxiously await your responses to their posts. Sometimes you have to comb through many replies from others, and read through countless lines of text to determine what your responsiblity is and how your character(s) should respond. It can be time consuming and, frankly, exhausting. Make no mistake, running and/or participating in an RPG is an exhilerating, rewarding experience. There's nothing quite like the rush of launching a new game out into the wild, or taking part in a fascinating story with friends with a character you created. But the fact of the matter is sometimes life happens, and we don't have the time to make the required commitment to others. Because of this simple truth, countless stories are left on the table, cast into oblivion and never to be told. I know I've given up on many ideas because I either a) didn't have enough time to commit to one, or b) didn't think enough people would be interested in participating. For a very long time I've been casually brainstorming ideas that would help alleviate the burden of responsibility that comes with participating in a Role Playing Game, but still allow the consistent freedom of expression and storytelling that makes us all so fond of the medium. A place where writers can come and go as they please and participate in ongoing storylines with other players, or spontaneously create new ones of their own, without the trying process of typing up a lengthy opening post and facing the pressure of finding participants and responding to incessant tags. I've launched many new Role Playing Games over the years, and with it always comes a nervous excitement over how successful it will be and how many players will want to join me. Today, I'm launching something unlike anything I've ever done before, but I'm as excited as ever to share it with the Role Playing Forum, and I'm confident that we'll see some special stories created here. Welcome to The Darkroom. Overview In The Darkroom, you won't find a small novella detailing events of the plot you're to participate in, because there is no plot. You won't find a character sheet for you to fill out and submit to the GM for approval, because there is no GM. You won't find a list of rules outlining how many characters you're allowed to play or how often you're expected to respond to tags, because there are no rules (aside from general forum-wide rules and the TOS, of course). This is a place where you create stories of your own on the fly. If you have an idea and want to explore it through Role Playing, but aren't really sure if it's conventional enough to warrant a game of its own, this is the place to try it! But if you have a specific story in mind and don't want to deviate from it in any major way, be warned: anyone can come in and interact with your story at any point. After all, that's what Role Playing is all about! Interaction with others to create interesting, unexpected stories. If I write a post about a man down on his luck taking a seat at a bar and ordering a drink, another player may come in and write a post from the perspective of the bartender, or another patron, or a sentient jukebox that communicates with others through the songs it plays. Or someone could write a vignette centered on a space marine in the middle of a heated battle thinking back to her time on Earth with her loving husband, and I could come in and write a post about how the husband is coping back on Earth with the absence of his wife. And then a third participant can enter the fray, writing a post from the perspective of one of the aliens doing battle with the first player's space marine. Or a bunch of players could reenact the Battle of Geonosis from the different perspectives of various Jedi and Separatists. The possibilities for unique collaborations are endless in The Darkroom, where any story can be told from any perspective. And who knows, maybe a small story that begins here could grow into a full fledged RPG of its own! Also, it's worth repeating that there is no pressure to respond quickly in The Darkroom. If you have an ongoing story with someone and feel like you're being waited on, do not feel pressured to respond as quickly as possible. I envision this as an evergreen thread, where even if there are no new posts for months, anyone can come in and breathe new life into it with an entirely new story or a response to an old one. So it will not live and die based on, say, if you had a long week of work or not. Guidelines Now, while this is a free flowing thread without a lot of structure, there are still some basic things to be expected from your fellow players. It's probably going to be frowned upon to take a previously established character from another player and control them yourself without permission. Also, if you see an ongoing story with an established tone and direction, and you have a mischievous idea to derail it, please refrain from doing so. One, it just wouldn't be a cool thing to do, and two, players have free reign to ignore your attempt at chaos and continue on as if nothing happened anyway. I'm sure the mods would be happy to wipe any blatantly disruptive posts from existence. In general, don't be an ass. Also, in a thread that could potentially be home to multiple ongoing, independent storylines, I would suggest highlighting where and when your reply takes place at the beginning of your post, to make things easier for those reading. For example: New York City, New YorkThe Tipsy TurtleAugust 6th, 2017The man with an oversized coat and rainslicked hair entered the bar as quiet as a mouse... You could even begin with a title of your story, and anyone who responds could also put that title at the beginning of their replies to make differentiating between threads even easier. And of course, if you're expecting a reply from another specific player, the standard method of tagging them at the end of your post will suffice. But as The Darkroom is more experimental than most RPGs, we're probably not going to have the optimal way of doing things figured out right at the beginning, so we'll see where it all goes and cross any bridges we need to as they come. There is a separate thread here in the Resource Forum for OOC discussion, so that will be the home for any suggestions on formatting or discussions on storylines. ConclusionI created the Darkroom for any and every potential role player to be able to enter and experiment freely without fear of failure or rejection, and I can't wait to see what kind of unique stories will find their start here. If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to stop by the Resource thread to voice them, or you can always drop a line in my inbox as well. And without further ado, The Darkroom is now open for use! Stay hungry, and keep creating!