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Welcome to Your Pants Role Playing! This is a friendly thread meant to inform any new roleplayers on the basic etiquette practiced on Vanilla Forums. If you have any questions on anything listed below, don't hesitate to ask.
1. Punctuation, Grammar, and Spelling
Unless otherwise specified by the game master, please post in past-tense third-person. I cannot stress enough the importance of using proper grammar and spelling. If you do not know how something is spelled, a simple Google-search will usually point you in the right direction. Dialogue goes in "quotation marks," and thoughts are usually italicized. I would consider this the most important rule of role playing; nothing pulls you out of a story faster than having to read over a post several times just to understand it.
2. No Godmoding
Godmoding can basically be whittled down to giving your character an unfair advantage over other characters in the roleplay. This is usually done by making your character practically invincible, or by controlling the actions of other characters without the players' permission.
3. Mary Sues and Gary Stus
These titles refer to characters that are unrealistically idealistic, or clichés for their genre. Quite simply, try to avoid making characters like this, as they frequently come off as uninteresting or annoying. Some examples of Mary Sues / Gary Stus may:
- Be the youngest person ever to achieve X
- Be the smartest / strongest out of group X
- Be incredibly good looking
- Be a lone-wolf or very shy, but can fend for themself and is really a kind person once you get to know them!
- Have unnatural hair and/or eye color
Although these traits by themselves are generally acceptable, it is usually the combination of at least two of these traits that makes the character a Gary or Mary. There are several genre specific examples of these characters, and you can look into them here if you wish. However, I wouldn't overly worry about accidentally making your character one of these, as other players will likely point it out to you if your character is leaning that way.
4. Joining a Role Play
If you're unsure where to start, a good place to look for a recently begun game is in the Roleplay Ideas thread. Usually if a game is less than 5 pages in, it's safe to join; however always ask permission from the game master before posting your character sheet. Alternately, some games are always open for new characters no matter how far along they are into the game; again, message or ask the game master before you start. If you're confused or have any questions, don't hesitate to drop by the Off Topic thread as well.
When joining a roleplay, you will (almost) always post a Character Sheet. This is simply a description of your character to help other players picture and interact with your character better. A skeleton of the character sheet you need to fill out will usually be posted on the first page of whatever game you are joining.
1. Please, no out of character fighting. It's understandable that not everyone will agree on everything, but real-life squabbles tend to leak into the characters and games, which decreases the fun-factor for everyone.
2. Double posting: don't do it. If you need to add something and no one has posted since your previous post, simply edit what you last wrote. (The exception to this rule is when you are trying to bump a thread that has become inactive – or "dead" – for a while.)
3. EDIT: if you're editing a previous post, it is common practice to note that you have done so. Edits are very useful when two people have posted close to the same time, and potentially contradict or ignore the action of whichever comment was posted first. In this case, the person who posted second is expected to change their post to fit with the person before them.
NOTE: Vanilla Forums has a function where you can select "Save Draft" before submitting your post. It is always a good idea to save your draft, refresh the page, and see if anything has been posted in the time you were writing your response. This can help prevent the necessary edit I mentioned above.
RP – roleplay
RPer – roleplayer
GM – game master
OOC – out of character [this is when you want to communicate with the other players, not their characters. It can also be stylized with ((double parenthesis)).]
PM – private message
OP – over powered; may also refer to the forum, "Our Pants"