Roleplay Beginners

KiarKiar ElsewherePosts: 14,370 ✭✭✭✭✭
edited February 2014 in Roleplaying

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.


General Etiquette

            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"


by Kiar
"A ship is always safer at the shore, but that is not what it is built for."
My writing project


  • KiarKiar Elsewhere Posts: 14,370 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited July 2015

    Catch-up - (also called "ketchup") is asking for other players to give you an overview of what has happened since you last posted. It is generally fine to ask for one of these if it's been at least 2 pages since your previous post. Don't feel obligated to have to read 30 pages of conversation when someone will (usually) be happy to summarize it for you. 

    New to the Site?

    Feel free to drop by the Off Topic thread to chat with us and introduce yourself! Or, if you have an idea for a roleplay, post it in the Roleplay Ideas thread so the rest of us can weigh in. Whether you're new to roleplaying or just new to this site, we'd love for you to chat with us before starting a game of your own. The style used here might be different than what you're used to, so don't be afraid to ask questions!

    The Style

            To elaborate, the roleplaying done on this site is interaction-based. For most posts a good rule of thumb is to write your character reacting to something another player did, or to write something that another player can react to (or both!) This can range from dialogue and actions to more subtle things, such as facial expressions or attitude. It's fine to write what your character is thinking, but other characters cannot react to that, so be careful before you write a paragraph of internal dialogue. Similarly, while your character can go off and do things on their own, try to keep these sequences limited as, again, other players will not be able to interact with you if you've isolated your character. The key is to play with other people and make it easy for other people to play with you.

            Generally posts on this site are between one sentence and once paragraph long. This can vary from roleplay to roleplay and situation to situation (back-and-forth dialogue, for instance, will generally be shorter in length than a description of a setting,) but as a rule try to match the length of the posts being made by other players within the roleplay. Reading a page-long post can be tiresome when such an elaborate description is not needed, just as a one-line response to a complex post can be frustrating. Once again, the goal of roleplaying is to interact with other players, and you want to make this as easy for them as possible.

            Finally, the writing style. Some of us use indentations and some of us don't; ultimately, this comes down to personal preference. Actions are not displayed in *asterisks* as they are on some sites, and instead written out as they would be in any narrative. Dialogue, as mentioned at the top of this post, goes in quotation marks, and should include who said it. (Though this seems obvious, it is frequently overlooked by new roleplayers as they know who is speaking. However, it is helpful for other players if you mention the name of your character at least once in your post, as it can be difficult to keep track of which player has which character if it is still early in the roleplay or if there are many characters to keep track of.)

    With that, I bid you welcome and hope you have fun! And remember, don't be afraid to ask questions - we want you to roleplay with us and we're here to help you learn!
    by Kiar
    "A ship is always safer at the shore, but that is not what it is built for."
    My writing project
  • LukeLuke Resident Spam Cleaner DublinPosts: 7,881 Admin
    Stickied as result of decision made on this thread. Any queries can be directed to me via private message or on that thread, which will be kept stickied for a short period.
  • KiarKiar Elsewhere Posts: 14,370 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 2015
    For mobile users, here are some html tags that work on this site so you can make your writing look fancy and formatted. (Read: here is a cheat sheet to make my life easier when I'm on mobile :b)
    Take out the spaces inside the brackets in order to use:

    <i > </ i>   - italics
    <b > </ b> - bold
    <u > </ u> - underline
    < font color="#ABCDEFG" > </ font>
    &nbsp ;  - inserts a space (you can stack five of these to indent)
    <div > <br > </div > - enters a line break. You can add more <br > inside of the div's in order to enter more blank lines. Having the div without the br enters only once, and these do not stack. The only way to enter more than once is to include the br's. (For example, <div > <br > <br > </div > would leave two blank lines between paragraphs, but <div ></div ><div ></div > would only enter once [with no lines between the paragraphs.] No matter how many more <div ></div > you add, it still will only have one divide.) 

    ...And probably more to come. 
    by Kiar
    "A ship is always safer at the shore, but that is not what it is built for."
    My writing project
  • NatsuNatsu Posts: 2,252 ✭✭✭
    With div tags, can I use in sheet style code to make my stuff pretty? 
    .test {
    <div class="test">
    Let's see!
  • NatsuNatsu Posts: 2,252 ✭✭✭
  • KiarKiar Elsewhere Posts: 14,370 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 2014
    Hey Natsu, please try not to double-post, as is requested in the top of this thread. You can just edit your previous post instead. 

    There are a few threads in the Rules and Support subforum that are good for testing out HTML. This thread is more to help new roleplayers, provide subforum etiquette, and answer any questions they may have about roleplaying. Thanks!
    by Kiar
    "A ship is always safer at the shore, but that is not what it is built for."
    My writing project
  • Maxx_ToronMaxx_Toron Baltimore, MDPosts: 120 ✭✭
    Dang. I didn't know there was roleplaying here. I'd love to try and start something up. 
  • KiarKiar Elsewhere Posts: 14,370 ✭✭✭✭✭
    We'd love to have you! If you're interested in joining something, you could see if @rydude17 is still taking people in Prehistoric (he probably is) or you could join either of my recent rp's, Invasion and Yuanfen. Send me a PM if you're interested. Otherwise, if you'd like to start something of your own, you can brainstorm ideas in Roleplay Ideas or chat with us in Off Topic. Cheers!
    "A ship is always safer at the shore, but that is not what it is built for."
    My writing project
  • Maxx_ToronMaxx_Toron Baltimore, MDPosts: 120 ✭✭
    Alright. I'll check them out! I suggested my idea in the ideas section. 
  • KiarKiar Elsewhere Posts: 14,370 ✭✭✭✭✭
    So since it's been a year and a half since this thread was originally posted, I thought it was past time to update and add to what we originally came up with. If you think I should add to or change anything that's been written, please let me know!
    "A ship is always safer at the shore, but that is not what it is built for."
    My writing project
  • PiterjanPiterjan Posts: 4
Sign In or Register to comment.