Magpie's Guide to Roleplaying
#1
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Magpie's Guide to Roleplay
Feeling bored one day, your local hipster bird decided to put together this little guide to roleplay. I've been roleplaying for a few years now, and I decided I might as well share some stuff I've learned over time. The aim of this guide is to help any newcomers to roleplaying understand how it works, how to roleplay well, and how to do it. It's a bit of reading, but if you're inexperienced with roleplaying, I suggest you give it a read. So without further ado:

Common Roleplaying Terms

RP - an abbreviation for 'roleplay.' Simple enough.

RPers - an abbreviation of 'roleplayers.' These are the members that are participating in a roleplay.

GM - a GM, game master. This is the admin of the RP. The creator. There can be multiple GMs. Whatever the GM says goes. They direct the flow of the RP.

Linear roleplay - A linear roleplay is a roleplay in which the GM directs the story and has a set plot in mind. The characters are meant to interact with one another. While the GM controls NPCs and possibly their own character, their main goal is to push the plot in certain directions. An example is my roleplay, The Flocks. In it, members create their own character that I, the GM, fit into the story. Linear RPs are where the characters react to the GM's decisions. They go on until the GM closes them. These can go on for any amount of time, and on this site we have quite a few long-running ones such as When Worlds Collide and Welcome to Gravity Falls.

Freeform roleplay - A freeform roleplay is a roleplay that involves less story and more NPC interaction. Player characters may interact with one another, but they direct the flow of their own stories. The GM may or may not have a plot to push the characters together. These RPs are more focused on a character's personal story. The GM interacts with them with NPCs. Freeform RPs are where the GM reacts to member's decisions. They generally go on for a long time. In short, freeform roleplays are ones without a set plot.

1 on 1 - A closed roleplay between two people. These can take the form of both linear or freeform.

Private roleplay - The same thing as a 1 on 1 (see above.)

NPC - Non-player character. Controlled by the GM. Can either be pivotal to the story or just a random guy.

Godmodding - Taking control of someone else's character. This is extremely frowned upon and you will usually be reprimanded. Godmodding is basically on the list of Unforgivable Roleplay Sins.

OOC/IC - Out-of-character or In-character, respectively. OOC posts should take place in the discussion thread, while IC posts should be in the RP itself. That being said, if you need to make a note of something in the RP post, make sure you distinguish between the two. For example:

**roleplay post goes here**
OOC: *out of character notes go here*

PC - Player Character. That is, your character.

OP - the opening post, or original post made by the GM

Mary Sue - A 'perfect' character with no flaws, who's good at everything and is super kind/pretty/smart/everything. Everyone hates a Mary Sue - try not to create a character that is one! This is also up there on the Unforgivable Roleplay Sins list.

Gary Stu - The male equivalent of a Mary Sue.

Redshirt Character - Not something very common, but it happens when someone signs up as multiple characters just to kill one of them off. Not a very good decision. Don't make these, unless the character dies after having some character to them. However, they can be useful in darker RPs, when you don't want to sacrifice a major character but need someone to die.
Suggested by TanookiNick and The Seer of Dreams


Roleplaying Tips


- A good character has an actual personality. "Nice but mean sometimes" is not a personality. If you can't answer a questionnaire as your character, chances are either they need a lot of developing or they just aren't good.

- A personality is not a single trait that is focused on. A character should not be the embodiment of aggression or compassion; they can be very aggressive or very compassionate, but they shouldn't personify these traits. They must be a collection of things; three dimensional characters are important if you're going to be roleplaying them.

- Mary Sue and Gary Stu got married and traveled to the tropical island planet of Neptune where they live together, ruling their kingdom of alien rainbow unicorns. Their children have been systematically executed by the U.S. government. If you resurrect one of them as your characters, nobody's going to like it.

- Don't take someone else's idea. If they have a Harry Potter roleplay going on, don't make one at the same time. This is just a general courtesy rule.

- Don't make the anti-Sue either. This is a Sue that focuses on defying societal norms; whereas the typical Mary Sue is a beautiful half elven princess that talks to animals and is lusted after by every male, an anti-Sue is either: A) the goffick purson dat haets preps. They're "ebulz" and display sociopathic tendencies for no reason other than it is gofficks. They're the antagonist of other characters but considered "coolnes" by their roleplayer. Or, B) the plain average small breasted quirky weirdo girl that likes anime and no one else likes her because run-on sentences but she is secretly pretty when she takes her glasses off but the others just don't know it okay? Her mommy is secretly Queen Crystallia the Beautiful and rules a unicorn kingdom in another realm and her best friend is a more extroverted version of herself that often is the target of prepz. While I call them anti-Sues, they fall under "Mary Sue" as well.

- These are a few things hated by virtually every roleplayer in existence: God-modding, Sues (covered above).

- YOU MAY BE SPECIAL BUT YOU'RE NOT SPESHUL. The universe is not going to defy its rules for you. Don't make idiotic things happen for no reason; everyone hates this, especially the GM.

- Filler posts should be avoided when possible. These posts do nothing to move the plot forwards and just take up space. This is especially true in a free-form roleplay. Occasional filler posts are fine, but keep them to a minimum. They generally just state that the character is still waiting, and still doing exactly what they were doing in the last post.
And example of a filler post might be: "Mary waited for something to happen," or "Mary continued to sweep the floor." You get the gist.
Suggested by The Seer of Dreams

- When you're playing, you should pay attention to where you and other people are, especially in a larger RP with more than one group of people. It can get really confusing when you're on one side of town and you suddenly join in a conversation taking place a mile away.
Suggested by The Seer of Dreams


- For the GMs:
A) if no one is interested, don't feel bad. Wait a while, and if no one signs up, just close it. Don't feel discouraged.
B) Make use of the Discussion/OOC thread. Periodically update it or check for activity.
C) Try not to defy the universe's rules if you are making an RP set in a canon world. For example, if you're making a RP set in canon Gravity Falls universe with canon characters, don't make it so that everyone can freely communicate with Bill and also all monsters and Celestabellebethabelle. This rule can be somewhat discard when making roleplays set in AUs, but you should still use common sense.
E) Speaking of which: making your own universe is hard. You have to be very detailed.
F) Keep everything orderly and organized. It will be easier for you.
G) Don't be afraid to rule with an iron fist.

The Unforgivable Roleplay Sins

These are the things that you should avoid doing at all costs. They're generally hated by everyone and/or break the rules.

- Creating a Mary Sue/Gary Stu as a character (detailed above)
- Roleplay with nothing but filler/two word replies and do nothing to progress or contribute to the roleplay.
- Defy the rules of the universe, and make stupid things happen for no reason. This is just annoying and irritates everyone, especially the GM.
- Godmodding and power-playing. Seriously, just don't.
- Having a character that knows everything, can do everything, and essentially breaks the game, so to speak. This also fits into the Mary Sue and godmodding points above.
- Killing off somebody else's character without their permission. Not only does it disrespect the roleplayer, it'll accomplish nothing but pissing everyone off and disrupting the RP. This might seem obvious but you'd be surprised at how often it happens.

More tips and such will be added as I see fit. Feel free to suggest any ideas to be added.
I hope this helped someone!
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#2
when roleplaying, i personally think "filler" posts should be avoided when possible.
these are posts that do not move the plot or really do anything at all except take up space. they generally just state that the character is still waiting, and still doing exactly what they were doing in the last post.

"Mary waited around for someone to do something" "Mary continued to sweep the floor" "Mary watched the conversation happen"

every once in awhile when you are unsure what you're supposed to do, or are waiting for someone else to finish up before continuing, this is perfectly fine. but when everyone is just saying filler things, then the roleplay can get pretty sluggish, because we're just posting and posting but getting nowhere. (especially in a free-form RP)
I'm about as edgy as a ball of raw cookie dough 
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#3
Added into the main post, for easy reference :3
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#4
Redshirt Character - Not something very common, but it happens when someone signs up as multiple characters just to kill one of them off. Not a very good decision. Don't make these, unless the character dies after having some character to them.
If Romance Academy 7 and Fight Fighters are video games that means there are multiple copies with multiple Rumbles and Giffanies

[Image: giffany_button_by_sparrowag17-d9k3kov.png]

Memes:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VhD7rdK7rJA
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=njbsOLFL3vs
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FG_JV5gU1LY
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#5
^i would like to add that red shirts can be useful in darker RPs, when you don't want to sacrifice a major character but still need someone to die. (like in a horror story RP or something, when you need to show what the villain is capable of)
I'm about as edgy as a ball of raw cookie dough 
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#6
Added Nick's definition and Seer's add-on there :)
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#7
I think it'd be helpful to post the "Unforgivable Roleplay Sins" in there, BTW
If Romance Academy 7 and Fight Fighters are video games that means there are multiple copies with multiple Rumbles and Giffanies

[Image: giffany_button_by_sparrowag17-d9k3kov.png]

Memes:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VhD7rdK7rJA
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=njbsOLFL3vs
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FG_JV5gU1LY
Reply
#8
oh, thought of something else.
when you're playing, you should pay attention to where you and other people are. especially in a larger RP with more than one group of people. it can get really confusing when you're on one side of town and you suddenly join in a conversation taking place a mile away.
I'm about as edgy as a ball of raw cookie dough 
[Image: chocolate_by_cuppycakekitty-d9lkljt.png][Image: cat_puns_by_cuppycakekitty-d9kuqy6.png]
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#9
Added Seer's tip, and also the section detailing what exactly constitutes the Unforgivable Sins.
[Image: tumblr_msneb3uvKx1qe8ujwo8_500.gif]
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#10
Hey, peeps, how stable are all my current RP chars? I'm super new to this, if none of you have guessed.
If salty and bitter are flavors, why isn't spite?
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