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RPR Archive Tips/Advice Articles: General Role Playing

Discussion in 'Role Playing Resource Archive' started by NaboosPrincess, Mar 12, 2006.

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  1. NaboosPrincess

    NaboosPrincess Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    May 14, 2001
    Please use this thread to post general Role Playing tips and advice. This is for GENERAL topics ONLY (things that relate to almost all games, regardless of theme or content.) It is NOT for topics that do not fit anywhere else. If you would like to post something on a specific topic that doesn't fit in an existing thread, please PM the moderators to look into getting a dedicated thread for that topic. :)
  2. NaboosPrincess

    NaboosPrincess Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    May 14, 2001
    Here are some tips from the old "Training Grounds and Informational Thread" to start us off!
    [ul][li]General Guide to Improving Your Role Playing Experience[/li]
    [li]Participation in RPGs[/li]
    [li]Basic Gaming Information[/li]
    [li]Basic RPing Tips[/li]
    [li]Answers to Some Misc. Questions[/li][/ul]
    [b][i][color=dodgerblue]General Guide to improving your Role Playing experience, by LightSide-Apprentice[/i][/color][/b]

    Firstly and most importantly, it might be wise to outline some suggested methods as to how you may be able to increase the quality of your posts, your Role Playing experience and the quality of your interaction with other players and/or characters.

    Before I continue, I'd like to make a note that these are my own personal opinions. As such they might not be shared or widely accepted by our fellow members at the RPF. My intention is to provide advice. Whether or not that advice is adopted is another matter entirely. The choice is ultimately yours. It is my sincere hope that posts such as this will not be ignored, but rather taken to heart and used as a reference to growing as a Role Player.

    If you're just starting off and you're unsure as to how to Role Play, don't be afraid to ask some of your fellow players for advice and/or tips. I'm sure that most, if not all, would be willing to take some time out to help someone in need.

    Good Role Players are made, not born. Just because someone else might be better than you at Role Playing, it doesn't mean you can't do the same thing. With time and effort becoming a Veteran Role Player is quite an easy task.

    Don't be intimidated by your fellow Role Players. Watch and learn from them. They can often teach you more than you'd be able to learn if you were alone.

    Never give up. While in some cases there might not seem to be solutions, facing defeat is something you'll deal with sooner or later. It's how you deal with that which is important. You always have the option to make a new character, join a new thread, a new faction and/or learn from the mistakes you've made in the past.

    One of the most important pieces of all, is to remember it is an RPG. You are there to have fun and to interact with other characters and players. Don't take things too seriously and remember to always enjoy yourself.

    [i][b][color=dodgerblue]Participation in RPGs, by LightSide-Apprentice[/i][/b][/color]

    NOTE: This post is designed to provide an opinion on the differences between 'smaller' RPGs and 'larger' ones, in general, and is intended to be of particular use for newcomers to the RPF and/or more inexperienced players. I hope you find it of use.

    Participating in smaller RPGs:

    It's not uncommon for player to prefer participation in smaller RPGs. This is often a wise choice for beginners as the game tends to be easier to follow and is often, yet not always, a little slower-paced to allow for all players a chance to keep up with events.

    While playing in such RPGs it's important to get to know your fellow players (characters) in order to allow you to interact with them. The purpose of the RPF is to provide a community for Role Players. It's no fun being alone. By knowing some of the other players and characters in your RPG you can better learn from them and play with them.

    Smaller threads have the advantage, generally, of a lower player count. This leads to less trouble learning who is who and what exactly is going on. It often reduces confusion and allows for bonding between all players.

    Keep an eye on as many posts as you can. If you are unable to read them all, be sure to read those that are directed to you and/or characters that you are interested in or wish to keep an eye on. This is made especially easy if the game's players use 'tags'.

    Participating in larger RPGs:

    Larger RPGs are often difficult to find acceptance into. They are generally filled with large amounts of players and tend to have many posts that are often difficult to keep up with. To avoid getting lost, it helps>
  3. LightWarden

    LightWarden Jedi Master star 4

    Oct 11, 2001
    Down with Omniscience

    Well, I've got more to say about this, but I've got class. This is just a filler.
  4. LightWarden

    LightWarden Jedi Master star 4

    Oct 11, 2001
    And apparently I ran out of time on the edit. New post then.

    Players, Characters, and Knowledge

    For the sake of being specific, "omniscience" refers to the capability to know everything. Narrators and players are omniscient, at least by the standards of the game. Characters aren't. It's a difficult line to walk, seperating player and character knowledge.

    As a player, you know a lot of things, such as what's going in other posts, what's the other characters are thinking and doing. It makes for good reading for those who aren't playing, because it's not fun to be left sitting and scratching your head as you watch stuff go on. But sometimes knowledge from your end seeps into your character's actions, and that's not quite as much fun. In fact, there's a word for it, and it's called metagaming, using information for your character that he's not automatically privy to. It's a part of the game, almost inextricable, but it can be minimized.

    As a character, odds are you won't always know what's going on, what sort of things you're facing, or what dangers lurk ahead, even if (and especially if) you as a player do. There are going to be things in the multiverse that you just can't place, and traps you're going to walk right into. And the hardest part of it is actually doing so, letting yourself take your character and think "okay, he bungled" without someone forcing you to do it. It can be very hard to act decieved, surprised, or ignorant unless you're genuinely decieved, surprised, or ignorant. You can come up with a reason for why your character does something just as easily as you can come up with an action based on reason. But then there's a problem with that. Ignorance is bliss, duplicity is hell. For example, there's a character build I really like who is an illusionist, specializing in tricking the senses with abilities. Problem is, if I wanted to play him in an RPG and actually be effective, I'd have to resort to decieving the players themselves, unless I could be certain that the players wouldn't actually have all their characters say "oh, that's an illusion, ignore it." And while decieving others might be fun, having people move in secret against you all the time certainly isn't. At the extreme, it can even lead to paranoia, which isn't fun if you're the one who's paranoid. An occasional feint is great, as is having a trick or two up your sleeve, but do you really want to spend an entire game lying to people and worrying about if they're lying to you?

    The point is, let your characters blank on things, let them fail to comprehend at times. It's hard to do, but there's an upside too. Your character knows things that many of you don't know, like how to treat injuries or hot-wire vehicles, or hack supercomputers or ride horses. Having that knowledge helps, but it's not required. All you've got to do is post the occasional technobabble and hope no one calls your bluff. Maybe the GM might even tell you things that your character knows but you don't know, owing to their own skills. Honesty is a cleaner policy.
  5. Dark-Enigma

    Dark-Enigma Jedi Youngling star 3

    Feb 8, 2006
    I would like to add a contribution to the thread, if I may. :)

    [blockquote][b]~Character Reflections~[/b]

    One thing that I?ve noticed in my role-playing career is the rarity of character flashbacks. Hopefully this can promote this highly underrated area of role-playing art, and thus incorporate it into more role-players' agendas.

    Yes, we've all heard it. The character with the shaky past, the one who has been around the block a few times, and the one with the glorious history. And while this does affect the tone of the character, it remains a highly underused aspect of role-playing.

    A way of revealing the veritable events of a character's memory is the simple fashion of a flashback. Albeit most of you, I'm certain, are aware of the definition of the word, I shall refresh your memory.

    1. psychology painful memory: an intensely vivid memory of a traumatic experience that returns repeatedly
    2. cinema literature earlier event or scene: a scene or event from the past that appears in a narrative out of chronological order, to fill in information or explain something in the present
    Much of the film?s exposition is handled through flashbacks.

    Encarta ® World English Dictionary © & (P) 1998-2004 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.[/i]

    Now that you know what it is that I am speaking of, let us move on. Now, throughout the course of RPGs, I have seen various thoughts written into the story, such as the character's feeling of the current situation. Here's an example:

    [i]Kyle glanced at the spilled bottle of wine that now lay on the tile floor, the shattered remains of the glass spattered everywhere and the refreshing liquid now wasting away before his painful vision.[/i] Sithspit, [i]Kyle thought.[/i] Four hundred credits down the drain, and I only got a tiny sip. [i]He slapped his hand down on the arm of the wooden chair and continued to wait impatiently for the contact to arrive.[/i]

    This is an example of an insight to a character's thoughts or emotions. A flashback occurs the same way, often in italics. This can occur during a time where a character is reminded of something, a meditation, or whenever the role-player feels like giving his comrades a further look into the life of his/her character. Here is an example of a flashback:

    [i]The Veritable Illusion was in Hyperspace, en route to the Imperial Palace. Daal's eyes were closed, his hands behind his head serving as a comfortable pillow as his pilot's chair was reclined, providing him a luxurious rest. His tentacles swayed back and forth, slowly and calm. His stomach slowly rose and fell as he took deep and gratifying breaths, the oxygen entering his mouth like a stream into an ocean. He was dreaming of his earlier days as a young Nautolan. [/i]

    The small insect crawled along Daal Steeph's green outstretched hand, its eight legs scurrying, attempting to find a way off of the giant's palm. "It's a ferr," Daal told his friend, a young Twi'lek girl named Teria Moon.

    "Duh," Teria said, making a weary gesture. "Bet you don't know how many eyes ferrs have!"

    "That's easy," Daal said with a sly grin, his small tentacles moving with excitement of this newfound creature. "Two!"

    Teria shook her head as a pleasing expression crossed her face, her lekku draped over her shoulders as she crossed her arms. "Nope! Eight."

    Daal put his hands on his hips, the ferr falling out of his hand. He didn't notice, for the spirit of debate was his favorite thing in the galaxy. "And how do you know that?"

    "Read it in a datapad at the library," Teria said, her smile growing. Just then, an abrupt explosion rocked the surface of Daal's backyard, and the two children looked to find the source. Smoke emitted from the window of Daal's house as flames were formed inside.

    "Tyre!" Daal tried to run inside to get to his older brother, but Teria stopped him.

    "No!" she said. "My mommy always said that when there was a fire, don't get close to it. Wait for the fire people to show up."

    Tears began to fall from Daal's>
  6. Sith-I-5

    Sith-I-5 Force Ghost star 6

    Aug 14, 2002
    Though I realise you are quoting Encarta, I don't see why the flashback has to be a painful memory.

    They are certainly good for introducing your character's history, especially if it involves interaction with another character, plus on a selfish note, if you had a really wonderful post in the past, and you want to give it another airing, the flashback can be perfect. [gace_grin]

    Recommend using a different color font to that normally used in the game, to make the memories stand out, like on television, memories tend to look hazy to fifferentiate them for the viewer.
  7. Dark-Enigma

    Dark-Enigma Jedi Youngling star 3

    Feb 8, 2006
    I think the second definition suggests that a flashback doesn't have to be a necessarily painful memory. I agree with the different color font in a flashback. Something readable, but yet stands out.
  8. NaboosPrincess

    NaboosPrincess Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    May 14, 2001
    Upping for future reference!
  9. LightWarden

    LightWarden Jedi Master star 4

    Oct 11, 2001
    [link=]Metric[/link] ladies and gentlemen, do you speak it? When playing a Star Wars game, try to avoid any Imperial entanglements. Just because you live in the US (or Liberia or Myanmar), it doesn't mean you can just ignore the system. It breaks the atmosphere, like running into a Rodian named JohnBob or something.
  10. Penguinator

    Penguinator Jedi Grand Master star 6

    May 23, 2005
    You just reminded me of Dead Ringers, LW.


    Stay In Character!

    I can't stress this enough - your posts IC should reflect your character's way of life, beliefs, and experiences. Tough, huh?

    Nope. If you know your characters, then you know what they'll do. A fully fleshed-out character is easier to RP as than a a character with a three sentence bio. For example, in the brand-spankin'-new Graven Bay RPG, I play a detective, new to a small town, but cynical about most things in life. This doesn't mean I have to be angst-laden; it just means that's he more likely to be a pessimist about human nature and life in general.

    So. Make sense?
  11. NaboosPrincess

    NaboosPrincess Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    May 14, 2001
    Upping for future reference!
  12. LightWarden

    LightWarden Jedi Master star 4

    Oct 11, 2001
    Ok, fifth time in a row that I've seen this. We need to establish something:

    For crying out loud people, learn to use the word "literally" correctly! It means that you're not just using a figure of speech, but that the you're describing it word for word- the literal meaning of the phrase instead of just the figurative meaning. So if you've literally got someone's back, it means that you've buried your claws deep into someone's spine. If you're just providing back-up, then don't use the word! If I am literally head-desking, that means that I'm pounding my cranium into my table with all the force I can muster in order that I may drive the stupid out in a puddle of blood and brain matter! If I am not being literal, that means I am just overwhelmed with shock at stupidity. So don't use literally unless you literally mean it! It makes you sound like a complete moron when you use words without knowing the proper use!


  13. Reynar_Tedros

    Reynar_Tedros Jedi Master star 6

    Jul 3, 2006
    I agree.

  14. bowieslefteye

    bowieslefteye Jedi Master star 4

    Feb 11, 2003
    Getting in the mood:(and various other random things that pop into my head whilst I type.)

    I personally find that music can help you get into the mood. Or help with writing a type of scene, for example: When I am writing about say, a dark alley way, I tend to listen to dark atmospheric music.(IE: God Speed You! Black Emperor) Something that seems to match the mood of what you are writing about, and can help you in finding the mindset that your character would be in.

    This may not be the best thing for all people, but I find it to help loads. It also helps keep out distractions.

    Also if you can find a quite place to take your writing, if you use a notebook computer this is much easier than if you have a desktop beast. Take your writing away from distractions.

    If you find your self struck with an idea for anything, a character, Game, even just a few words that pop into your head, Write It DOWN. This is a great way to preserve your thoughts and make you look important.

    How does this make you look important you might ask. Well I can tell you, by carrying around a composition book you either makes you every one think that you have something important to write down, like government reports...or notes on how to break into a bank. Or Carrying said note book can make you look just down right creepy.


  15. Saintheart

    Saintheart Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Dec 16, 2000
    *Casts resurrection spell on thread*
  16. Saintheart

    Saintheart Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Dec 16, 2000
    I've bumped this thread specifically to advise the various contributors to this and other tips/advice threads in this forum that I have reworked and codified most of the advice in the thread into a sort of "New Player FAQ" which has been stickied to the SWRPF thread.

    I also say that because I would like to specifically acknowledge each and every one of you for participating in and contributing to this thread. Your knowledge and experience will hopefully assist us in keeping standards of roleplaying high.

    I have unashamedly edited some parts of some people's advice in the new FAQ, for which I apologise in advance. If you think your advice has been harshly treated, let me know and I shall offer many e-burnt offerings in atonement. :)

    But many thanks once again.
  17. darth_nemisis

    darth_nemisis Jedi Master star 6

    May 15, 2004
    Wow, very good idea, Saint! It is put together very us a new link to link new members to! :p

    I will re-read all these tip threads and try and add whatever I can to further aid anybody without being repetitive...may be a while though.

    Perhaps for the second post, you could make an index of sorts, linking to important threads over here...just a suggestion. :)
  18. DarthXan318

    DarthXan318 Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 12, 2002
    Ooh, my semi-rant on post lengths made it in! :D

    I especially like the "Players, Characters and Knowledge" section, because sadly it's completely true. I've played a illusionist character before (well, sort of - he specialized in mind control and suchlike) and it was exceedingly frustrating to have my mind tricks fail randomly because the other players knew they were tricks or simply because the other characters were "strong-willed" ... the only minds I got to muck around with were NPCs. (That said, I think such a character can work, I was just a noob and didn't really know how to pull it off. :p)

  19. Winged_Jedi

    Winged_Jedi Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Feb 28, 2003
    Great idea there, Saint. It was well needed. =D=
  20. Imperial_Hammer

    Imperial_Hammer Manager Emeritus: RPFs star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 25, 2004
    Time for the annual-ish bump!

    For the knowledge, interest, and opportunity for contribution of this new group of players.

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