ADVANCED ROLEPLAYING TECHNIQUE



These are not rules, nor will they ever be enforced! These are suggestions to help new Furcadians learn how to post RP paragraphs in Furcadia, create better flow in scenes, and attract other players to your own characters for more RP. These suggestions will also help avoid arguments, confusion, and accidental OOC insults! What's not to love about it?!


These are useful tips and tools if you want to better yourself as an RPer, and become a popular RPer to such an extent that other players always seem to want to RP with!


If you decide to not use these recommendations, do not come crying to my staff if you don’t want to learn or grow!! The staff here are willing to help guide, teach, and show others how to RP, but we will not be blamed for lack of integration when a player has not read through these guidelines with an open mind to attempt and apply them. And before you even attempt to better your actual character and plot development, check your grammar! Use grammar and punctuation. ((There's free boxes of commas, periods, and quotation marks on the table by the free dictionaries and thesauruses. They're right behind the cookies… but use them in moderation so there are plenty for everyone else!))


Your grammar doesn't have to be perfect, however it is very distracting when another player has to stop and decipher what you're saying because they can't see where the sentences begin or end or what is and isn't dialogue. This keeps the game from flowing and pulls other players out of the scene, making it a lot harder for them to keep their initial reactions, emotions, and responses!


To start, the basics: These are the best things to post about if you're looking for more to write:



Your entry post (especially with those you haven't RP'd with before) should include some description about your character's appearance. This should especially include things that are not listed in your 'desc' because your character has changed appearance somehow since writing your permanent description. For example, they might be wearing a fur cloak because it’s snowing outside today, or a hat because it is sunny. Also include anything they might be carrying that is obvious and/or otherwise not in their description, such as a bucket from the stables or the entire turkey stolen from the kitchen.


Adding momentary additions helps build color and interesting aspects for other players. It gives them things to wonder and ask about, as well as displays your character as diverse. Stagnant characters are boring! Keep other players interested by showing your ability to immerse yourself into the world and scenario!



With posts after your initial entry, include movement. Did your character move, walk, change positions, or change where they're looking? The physical world is the first and foremost aspect of description. How are they sitting, how are they moving, and what are their hands, feet, tail, ears, eyes and facial expression doing? How are they interacting with their environment? Run through a list of their limbs if it helps you determine how to better describe your character's attitude, position, and disposition. Attempt to use descriptive words to display emotions and intent, rather than outright speaking emotions. Examples as follows:


It’s obvious to everyone around her that she really wants the candy in the dish!


----- could be better displayed like this -----


She bounced on her heels four times, with her hands clasped at her chest. Bright eyes eagerly looked upon the dish of candies, while her ears swiveled upright to catch the moment of permission!


The difference is the ability to paint a picture or an emotion while giving your fellow RPer’s a chance to decipher and be fully immersed into the scene. This gives them something to grasp onto and engages them thoughtfully in the scene so they can decide how to feel and interpret what they see, instead of being told what to think and feel. Bad guys shouldn’t state ‘I’m evil’. They should display their evil characteristics through actions, and probably proclaim how ‘good’ they are! This approach keeps things interesting and engaging, and shows your fellow players you have faith in their intelligence. They like that!

Post emotional cues, such as eyebrows raising, brows furrowing, frowns, smiles, twinkling in eyes... how their ears are positioned, and how their tail is, or isn't, moving. Foxes and felines have that awesome purring function, too! You can also describe your character's tone of voice, such as gruff, soft, strained, flat, eager, stoic, and many other ways. This shows depth in your character, and helps others to develop emotional attachments and relationships (both good and bad) with your character.



Of course, you want to post your verbal responses to people! While sometimes it's difficult to avoid in a large group because you don't want people to feel left out, it is not always a good idea to post several responses to, and maintain, several conversations in one post (and continue this behavior through the RP). People do not typically hold multiple conversations at one time IRL, and this can be considered just as rude as ignoring people altogether. Besides, timeliness is also important and it takes that much longer to make a post to each of those around you. Lastly, attempting to hold multiple conversations makes a scene a lot more mentally taxing -- Less fun, really!


Instead, try having one-on-one conversations, without distraction, that can be in depth and more worthwhile to the advancement of the game. Giving people your full attention makes them feel worthwhile, instead of feeling like they are getting obligated responses out of sheer presence. In large groups, try keeping your conversation directed by acknowledging others in the area with actions like looking at them or gesturing, without speaking to them, and disclaim yourself that your character is holding a single conversation.


With all that in place, understand it's difficult to have group conversations in general, and if others aren't responding to your character, it is completely fine for your character to ICly complain about being ignored. This can be done with words or a gesture, such as impatiently tapping their foot. If it seems inappropriate for your character to do one of these actions in pursuit of attention, then perhaps your character should do something that others will take interest in, both IC and OOC. There's a fine line between being interesting vs obnoxious, and a finer one still between OOC feelings and IC feelings.



Want more people to want RP with you?


The less perfect your character is, the more likely they will desire to RP further with you! (As long as your character is not straight up obnoxious.) Faults help put others at ease and show that you and your character are interested in good stories, rather than ‘being the best’. It’s appreciated! -- On the flip side, you can go too far onto the other end of this spectrum. Perfect is boring, yes, but characters that are so faulted it’s difficult to understand, communicate, or follow linear plots with them are not any better than a perfect character. ‘Crazy’ isn’t fun to deal with, as plots can hardly move forward with overly ‘insane’ characters who demand all the attention in every scene just to function. Find somewhere in the middle to balance your character on the give-and-take spectrum, if you hope to attract other RPer’s!


Ask questions! Your character should ask about the character they are interacting with (dreams, goals, past, fears, current events), and ask for gossip about ‘other’ characters! Take interest in ‘other’ storylines. If everyone practiced this technique, RP would be great! Everyone would get turns being at the center-of-attention, and everyone’s plots would move forward! Taking interest in others makes you more enjoyable as both a player and a character!


Definitely try to post greetings to people! Playing a brooding character may seem awesome from a movie-perspective, but this isn’t the movies. This will likely isolate your character, and others have to work much harder just to be involved with your character. A gruff greeting spurs plot far more than no greeting! It shows others you are interested in conducting a scene with them. Consider alternative ways to be dark-and-brooding that still allow interactions initiated from your own character.


Take interest in what’s going on around your character. They should care if the castle is crumbling or if there’s a thief in the town. They should also have goals and ambitions, which keeps both your plot arcs and characters dimensional. Each thing that influences your character gives them a little more flesh and depth. It’s very obvious when a character has their own drive, compared to a character that’s standing around waiting for someone else to give them something awesome. Be awesome all on your own, and others will flock to you!



Post as much or as little as you want!


~ ~ ~ However, I will recommend being timely in your posts. Three to five minutes is average timing for a post. Folks have busy lives, these days. Purple prose feels like a waste of time to write and to read, leaving the reader to decipher what information is actually valuable while the writer only wants to pretend they’re a thesaurus. Keep it moderate: enough information to work with but not so long as to be boring.


If you prefer to post novels, save time by pre-writing as much of your post as possible. Start responding to others in the group on another window (Personally, I prefer to use a gmail draft, it spell checks!) while waiting for your turn if you are posting turn-style.


On the opposite end of the spectrum, for you fast-typing-one-line posters, turn-style is not always enforced when not in some kind of combat RP, so please avoid posting so fast that you drown out others' turns. Also, give those who post larger posts some time to type and respond before you, yourself, post again. Rapid-fire one-line posts are frowned upon by most, because they give little information and less to work with. Body language and context is important for properly interpreting dialogue, and players want to have a fair chance to respond to things!



* Posting orders: The only time a posting order is strictly enforced is during a 'time stop'.


A time stop is a point at which no new characters can enter a scene due to the extreme detail needed to post, thus time 'slows down' to account for the posting that takes place. They are used for fight scenes, typically.


Outside of a time stop, posting orders are not enforced. It is useful to have them when there are up to four alts/characters/players in an area, but once you get five or more it is usually a better idea to disregard the posting orders and respond only to those you are directly interacting with, or whomever draws your attention, simply to save time and sanity. This does not mean start posting rapidly and 'eating others' posts', just that waiting thirty minutes to post again is beyond most players' patience.



In general, if you are gaming in a public area, expect others to enter. Part of the joy and interest in free-form RPing is the effect others have on your game. You never know when something else is going to happen, or someone else is going to show up and put a new spin on the game. With the exception of a time-stop, which should be announced immediately if others show up, expect others to want to join in. If you prefer for your conversation or activities to remain secretive and uninterrupted - get a room or hide in a ‘secret area’ that is not findable to the FindRP script!



Very grey areas:


Thoughts! Thoughts are not to be outlawed, but thoughts can be tricky. It is important that if you decide to post thoughts from your character, to make them very clear as perceptions and not OOC facts. It may require you to clearly define the thoughts with statements, brackets, italics, or otherwise. Examples are below.


- E.G. Bob was in a hurry. His ears were back as he stumbled through a doorway, bumping into John. What an idiot! he thought, shoving his way past. Why would you stand there? "Sorry, gotta run!"


-- The above post is the same concept as the post below, but the one above is written with clarity.


- E.G. Bob was in a hurry. His ears were back as he stumbled through a doorway, bumping into John. He's such an idiot. You aren't supposed to stand there. He shoved his way past. "Sorry, gotta run."


- While thoughts posted in either fashion are going to bring about the defensive mechanism in other players (which is going to make them ‘respond’ in the ooc portion of their post, creating a sort of OOC-fight-while-posting-IC banter...) .. the second post is going to come across far more abrasive than the first, and John may even consider it an attack on his character. With it being unspoken, John can't do very much about it without making the situation worse. Responding entirely OOC is considered argumentative, though he wants to defend his character. Responding as part of his post is also stressful, and sometimes becomes argumentative in a very passive-aggressive format.


- A last note on posting thoughts: part of the fun of RP is discovering things and growing as characters and groups. Posting your thoughts for all to see leaves little to ponder, explore, and ask for other players, and as well as leaving players feeling like they need to become defensive without entirely understanding why. RP is a lot like poker - Putting all your cards on the table for everyone to see makes it less interesting, so keep a few to yourself! Make the other players to work for their clues and information! It’s far more entertaining and engaging that way!



Posting anything about what other characters are doing can be touchy. If you must comment on others, try to stick to objective words without any kind of implications or emotional connotation attached, unless implication was very clear in their post, or what they are doing affects your character. If your words are your character's thoughts or perceptions, see above, and consider using our brackets for thoughts:

Thoughts: {“Thoughts here.”} Feel free to also italicize!

 



What not to post if you expect positive results:


The following are things to avoid if you wish to be addressed, included in RP, and generally considered a worthy gamer:



* Avoid lurking posts if you are expecting to be involved in the RP. If your character is skulking around, appearing not to want to be noticed, not greeting others, and more or less 'waiting for someone else to make the move' -- then don't expect to be drawn and welcomed into the RP. If you don't mind mostly posting to yourself while you skulk and lurk, then by all means, lurk! Do not complain about how no one will RP with you if you can’t be social enough IC to be RP’d with. OOC, everyone is very friendly at SilverSouls Castle. IC, don't expect others to make the first move for someone that doesn't seem to want it. --- On the contrary, if your character is skulking about and acting properly suspicious because they’re up to no good, now... that is a different story altogether!



* Ferals! If you wish to be addressed and included, it takes extra work on your part. Being unable to talk to most characters, you will have to find other ways to communicate and involve yourself. Again, lurking does not always work. Mere presence is not enough to give other players enough reason to post anything more than a glance towards you. Be proactive and do something interesting with your character! Communicate with body language!



* Avoid characters that need other characters spending their every ounce of attention on them. Characters that can’t speak or write, for instance, and want another character to spend every scene ‘teaching’ them. Your character may be the center of attention which is fun for you, but the other player is going to get annoyed and bored, quickly. It’s not really fair in the game of RP to force other characters to spend all their time healing, teaching, correcting, and fixing your own character’s problems. Sometimes you have to give back, as well, and make the relationship worthwhile!



* If you wish to 'make friends' IC, avoid cocky, arrogant mannerisms. Seems pretty self explanatory. This goes for all kinds of mannerisms people do. Now - again - these are all guidelines for successful integration while RPing. These are not rules. If your character is cocky, then by all means, be cocky! Simply understand that playing bad character traits means your character is not going to be ‘liked’. ...that can make for great plot arcs, but understand that IC actions have IC results. We’re happy to have colorful characters in SilverSouls Castle. The problem only arises when people expect to be adored and swamped with RP when they play a nuisance of a character. It doesn’t work that way.


 

 

SSC, RP gone wild!