General Roleplaying FAQ

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General Roleplaying FAQ

Post by Legacy on Wed Dec 30, 2009 8:06 am

General Roleplaying FAQ

Welcome to the show, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, people of all ages! Welcome! Welcome! We have a fabulous show tonight, in fact, we all have a fabulous show for you all! But it can only be pulled off with your help. That’s right! You! Despite what you think about a GM, despite the fact that GM does not, in fact mean Game Master, it means God Man, he (Or she!) still needs You to run the show!

I am Legacy, and I will be your humble host this good evening (Or morning, whenever you are reading this), and I will guide you through the first steps to help us, all of us, to make what could be a good roleplay, great. But first, there are some disclaimers while reading this faq.


1) This is FAQ was made possible by Legacy. Stealing this FAQ means I can steal your soul. I’m flattered that you think that this FAQ was good enough to steal, but I honestly have no problem with you sending people here for it, and I have no problem with you using it elsewhere with permission

2) Posting this FAQ here does not mean that I feel you are incompetent or incapable. For those of you who know this information, or have some questions feel free to expand! I’m not going to pretend I know everything. Because I don’t. But what information I do have is available for all to see.

And now that we’ve covered that, let’s get down to the basics.

The Basics

1) Follow the rules!
It’s pretty easy to do. Really, it is. Just read the topic on rules and abide by them. The thing that ruins roleplays the most is an idiot not following basic instructions! And remember that each GM has his or her own rules for his or her own roleplay. That brings us to the next rule:
2) Don’t, under any circumstances, piss off the GM!
Roleplays are collaborations. This means that while the GM does need to do his best to help you and work with you, that means you must do the same. It is best to meet in the middle, and if a little extra mileage is needed for the player to play, you need to take that extra mile. Remember that the GM is in control of your character’s fate.

3) The three absolutes of roleplay
Godmoding, Metagaming, and breaking the fourth wall.
These three things should never, ever happen. Ever.


The act of playing an overpowered, unkillable character. Never allowing your character be hit in a fight, he is always the best at everything, and can never lose. This is the biggest RP no-no you could make. This is the number one roleplaying absolute. The only person that should be able to even so much as think of doing this is the GM, as previously stated, GM also stands for God Man. Let’s take Superman as an example.

Yes, he’s big. He’s powerful. And he’ll kick your ass unless you’re made of kryptonite. That being said, if you are kryptonite, he will not magically have some form of device or magical immunity to the kryptonite. He will go down. And that will be that. When your character has a weakness you stick to it, no matter what.


The act of taking out of character information and putting it in character. No one likes a metagamer. If Lidda hides a dagger in her shoe totally out of your characters sight, you have no way of knowing that knife is there, so don’t put that information in your character’s head. It isn’t there.

The Walls of Roleplay
Surviving the World explains this far better than I ever could, and it’s funny!

Now, for the fourth wall. As it says there, Breaking the fourth wall means you are interacting with the audience in some way. The fourth wall is what separates the roleplay with the real world. Now, while playing background music for general theme and feel will not break it, singing “Under the Sea” from the little mermaid will. It is generally frowned upon, so don’t do it unless there is a very valid reason for doing so, and preferably with the permission of the GM.

4) The difference between a noob and a newb.

Yes, they sound the same, but there is a huge difference. Newbs are people that are new to the game, and admit it. They want to learn, they want to be better, and they grow. Newbs, while inexperienced, are those that we need to coddle and love, so they can good, seasoned roleplayers later. Noobs, on the otherhand, are like newbs in the stance that they are new. But Noobs won’t admit that. They will continue to type like they are on a messenger on a forum and claim that they have been playing for some number of time that is quite obviously not reflecting their actions. I know this will sound harsh, but noobs deserve nothing but to be kicked to the curb. It has been shown, multiple times, that these people will never grow and get better until they are broken. Break them, or kick them out. If they won’t listen to any sort of reason, then the best choice would be the latter.

The optional rule that will never be followed. Ever.

Don’t. Under any circumstances, give the GM ideas of any kind! Trust me! If it’s a really good idea, chances are that it will be used against you! We GM’s are ruthless and sadistic bastards. Have fun trying to keep those ideas to yourself. I know I can’t.

Now, after all that, let’s get to the heart of the matter.


This is what we are all here in this forum for. To roleplay. So, let’s get to what you should be looking for when you read the first post of a roleplay.

Quality – The quality of a roleplay, should you choose to accept it or not, is probably the most important thing to pay attention to in a RP. Now when I say quality, I mean everything. Pay attention.

English: Your number one priority in looking at a roleplay is this. How is the person’s grammar? Do they spell their words right? Why is this important? Because you don’t want to play under the influence of an unintelligent GM that doesn’t know how to put pieces together. Despite what most think, your grammar and spelling says a lot about how intelligent you are. I know that I judge people on how they carry themselves on a forum. We all do it. A roleplay that is well typed out is a roleplay that can succeed.

Environment: Do you like this environment? You aren’t fond of Steampunk scenery, but this is a steampunk RP. Why the hell are you thinking of joining this roleplay? Is it because a friend made it and you don’t want to hurt their feelings? Don’t let this influence you. If they are your friend, they will understand. Another thing is that in addition to the English bit, you want a world that is well designed and been thought out. If they have a map, great, that works, but if not, are they articulate enough to tell you how the world is put together. It doesn’t need to go into everything about the world, but if the story is about the religious or political struggles of two nations, why should you, the player, be left out?

Interest: Not as important as the other ones, but who wants to play in a roleplay by themselves? If no one is joining the roleplay, it won’t start. But as said, it’s just as fun, if not more so, if you only have 3-4 players rather than 12. Once you have too many people in a story, it starts to get confusing, and bits and pieces will start to smudge and blur as the creator tries to make the story fit for everyone and it will feel less personal.

Now, let’s get to how you present yourself.

Character bios

Character bios are how you introduce your character ideas and concepts to the creator of the story, as well as help the other players understand how your character works.This is important, because without a character, how the hell do you plan on playing a game?

A typical template looks like this.


Most of these appear to be rather self explainatory, except for the other field, which should be there for extra little notes about the character you wish to reveal or say. Now, let’s get jiggy with this.

1) Broken characters are a no-no. While it is fun at times to play a character that can juggle just about anything around and never get hurt, it isn’t fun for the other guy. Don’t make an ability that is stupidly powerful and has no way around it. Don’t write in your appearance field that “no1 noez cuz if they c it yoo die!!!11! :OOOO” (See also: English)

See the difference between this:
Genetic alterations – Chthonius can take a plant and make major changes on its physical form and needs. It could be from something simple as to make a rose grow so it has no thorns, or as dangerous as making a venus fly trap feast on human flesh.

And this:
Genetic alterations – Chthonius can take a plant and make major changes on its physical form and needs. It could be from something simple as to make a rose grow so it has no thorns, or as dangerous as making a venus fly trap feast on human flesh. This takes time, patience, energy, and a lab to complete the magical experiments that are required to get everything just right. The main limitation is that he cannot alter the plant once it has started growing, it must start out as a seed, or the genetic alterations will simply get passed down onto the next generation.

Previously, the ability was too powerful. It said nothing about how it was done, as far as anyone knew, this Chthonius could simply take a random seed and grow what he wanted out of it. With the edited version, however, the ability says that it takes time, and a lab in order to do it. This isn’t some stupid on the fly thing. This requires being prepared. Another limitation makes it much more reasonable- the plant cannot have been grown previously. The changes do pass down to the next seed, but it does not appear to affect the already grown plant in any way. While the original wasn’t broken, persay, it was definitely overpowered. Which is bad ju ju.

Creativity: Be creative! It’s okay to base your character off an idea. It’s too much to ask for people to be ‘original’ since this –is- the internet after all, and we’ve been around for thousands of years. Most things have been created already. But being creative with an idea can end up being so much better, if only because now you have made it yours. So go ahead, use that awesome character on that one T.V. show as a base for your character or ability. But don’t make them just a copy of that character or ability, it will feel hollow.

Originality: I’ll never get it, but apparently Originality will always be worth more than creativity. But if you can present your idea as original as possible, it will feel like it is original.

English: Once again. Use proper grammar and correct spelling for the same reasons as before. You will look unintelligent and a GM will not want to trust you with his or her roleplay.
Granular Substance
Granular Substance

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