A Role Playing Rulebook and Guide
WHAT IS ROLE PLAYING ON PE2K?
by Neo Pikachu
– Role playing is about taking on the position (role) of a character created by you. During the role play (often called RP for short), you control and describe the character’s actions and thoughts, as well as portray what they see, hear, feel, touch, and taste during the course of the role play. You can choose to write your RP posts out in either first or third person, but either way, your character’s viewpoint is the main focus during your role play posts.
The Role Play Itself
– Each role play typically has a storyline that has already progressed past the exposition stages. From here, the situation at hand is explained and drawn out so that it may be passed down to the characters that other members have created. From there on in, each of these characters approaches the storyline in their own way, often creating their own events and/or interacting with each other to progress the sequence of events. Through this, each role play becomes a story that reflects on each character’s actions and feelings with reflection to the unfolding storyline.
Who enjoys role plays the most?
– Typically, anyone who enjoys writing stories but would rather experience it alongside other people would enjoy role playing. Also, anyone who likes video games but would rather do it with more imagination and without all the stats, hit points, and all that other stuff would also enjoy them.
ROLE PLAYING DIRECTORY LINKS
Role Play: Sign Ups
Regardless of whether a Role Play features Pokémon or not, this is where ALL Role Plays need to start. New Role Plays are posted here to acquire members before beginning. Only once an RP has acquired the minimum number of members to begin should the main RP thread be posted in the corresponding board. This is also where discussion of particular role plays or discussion of role playing in general is done. Instead of flooding an RP with out of character discussion, use a role play’s discussion thread to work out problems and post chat.
Pokémon Role Plays
Once a Pokémon Role Play starts, the main thread gets posted here.
These are the basic rules of role plays. Try to follow these rules the best you can. The outcome of the RP can be greatly affected by these.
THE CHARACTER SIGN UP
- Follow the Forum Guide. This thread contains all of the basic rules of the forum, and they should be followed.
- Avoid God-modding. God-modding is the term used to describe someone that is being grossly unfair during a role play, such as giving themselves far too much power beyond the allowed scope of the role play, causing harm to another member’s character without giving them a chance to defend themselves, bending reality to give themselves an unfair leverage over other characters, or essentially doing things that would cheat everyone else out of a fair and enjoyable role play.
- Avoid Bunnying. Bunnying is the term used to describe when one member suddenly takes control of another person’s character, either by governing what they say, what actions they take, or allowing something to happen to that character that the other member did not consent to. If you’re going to interact with another member’s character, the only things they do and say in your post should be things they’ve already done and said in a previous post written by the member that owns those characters. The only time bunnying is allowed is when special permissions are given because one RPer is unable to RP at the current moment, and would like someone else to temporarily take over their character for the time being.
- Follow all internal rules of the role play. Very often, role plays have their own individual sets of rules that pertain to the situation and conditions that exist within that role play. These should also be followed closely.
Every role play needs one of these. This sign up form is used to create a character based toward certain criteria, and it will help your role players create a more drawn out character. Sign up forms will typically look like this:
<Name of the character>
<Male or female>
<How old the character is>
<How the character physically looks. Go into detail regarding skin color/tone, height, weight, hair color, eye color, body size, and possible scars and/or tattoos your character might have. Another paragraph could be used to describe the kinds of clothes they are wearing, and a possible third could go into their strengths and weaknesses, like if a character is perceptive and charismatic, but maybe they’re not physically strong.>
<How the character behaves and what their emotional intelligence is like. Description is a look into the physical side of the character, and this is the mental side of the character. Explain how they generally behave, what makes them angry, what gives them pleasure, how do they view others around them, and what their interests are. The more you flesh this out, the more believable of a personality you will have.>
<This is the character’s history of all the major events and/or generalized summaries of what happened over the many years of their life prior to the events in the role play’s storyline. How were they like as a child, what did they do, what was their immediate family like, and how did their personality affect them throughout the years of their life are just a few of the possible questions you can answer for your character. The more you write to this, the more believable and realistic your character will become.>
<Generally, this is considered a miscellaneous category that doesn’t always need to be filled out. Usually this might be used for weapons your character might be carrying, significant mementos or family heirlooms your character might have, or things of this nature.>
Depending on the situation of the RP, these rules may need to be followed as well.
– Generally, a closely followed rule pertaining travel states that moving from one location to another should take three posts. The first post should focus on the departure, the second on the trip itself (an “en route” post), while the third is the arrival. Also keep in mind the means for travel. For example, a person walking on foot would not be able to reach as many locations as quickly as someone using a motor vehicle.
Attacking Other Role Players
– In a situation where the characters created by role players are on opposite sides or have disagreements with each other, it may be possible that these characters will fight each other. When your character fights another role play player’s character, you should follow these guidelines to ensure fair competitiveness and realism.
- Never say your attack hits.
Give the other role player a chance to defend themselves and compensate for your assault. Saying your attack hits and harms the other person is Bunnying and is not allowed.
- Never god-mod your character into avoiding everything.
Its common sense that your character will attempt to avoid harm coming to them. However, while it’s true that some of these defensive attempts will be successful, not all of them should be. Realistically, your character should take damage from time to time, especially against well-thought out and premeditated attacks.
- Character assassinations (One-hit kills) are a definite no.
You wouldn’t want people doing this to you.
NPCs (Non-Playable Characters)
– These are supporting characters that exist in the role play’s storyline, but aren’t under the direct ownership of another role player and can be controlled by anyone. These characters may be major characters with names and roles in the storyline, or they can be minor characters without names that only appear for very brief periods of time. NPCs can be civilians, soldiers, creatures, and the like. These characters can either be there to help the characters, be there as enemies, or are neutral parties that are simply interacting with the characters or are in the same place that the character is in. Keep in mind that NPCs still have their own personalities, motives, and characteristics like what normal characters have. A formal description of these personalities is not necessarily. Instead, use their actions and words to portray their character.
Generally, the rules for attacking NPCs are looser than the ones for attacking other characters. NPCs can be wounded in opening strikes, but the rules of fairness and realism must still be respected. Like characters, NPCs will realistically try to fight for their life, will try to avoid injury, and will try to be resourceful and strategic in their attacks and defense. Don’t treat NPCs like lambs to the slaughter or like lemmings.
Out of Character Chat (OOC Chat)
– This is used when role players need to communicate outside of the RP’s context. To make sure this isn’t confused with in character chat, you should put “OOC” before it. So it should be something like this:
OOC: Hey John, did you read my post? My character was talking to yours.
Generally, statements of a few sentences like this are okay within the RP itself. However, for questions or to settle debates within the RP itself, role players should take these kinds of disagreements or concerns to the role play’s discussion thread.
GENERAL ADVICE FOR ROLE PLAYERS
To ensure the maximum satisfaction from role playing, follow these guides. This will not only help you enjoy the RP more, but it will also make it more enjoyable for other role players involved with the RP.
Formatting & Proofreading
Tips for helping to keep an interesting and enjoyable RP going:
- Type your posts in Microsoft Word (or any other word processing program that has a spell/grammar checker). This will allow you to catch mistakes before they happen. It will also allow you to view much more of your RP post before you post it since the message box is very small to work with. When you’re done, simply highlight everything, and use copy and paste to put what you’ve written into the forum message box. A shortcut is CTRL+C to copy, and CTRL+V to paste.
- Use the Preview button before you post. This will allow you to see how the post will look before its submitted. With this, you can check to see if the post is clear and easy to read, and if you formatted your BB code correctly. Not to mention that you might pick up mistakes here that you didn’t see before if you proofread on your word processor.
- Check BB Coding before submitting. BB Code is what VBulletin uses to make words bold, italic, and underlined. Here is a guide to BB Code if you’re unfamiliar with it or need a refresher. Make sure there aren’t any breaks in the coding, because they do stand out when not formatted correctly.
GENERAL ADVICE FOR ROLE PLAY CREATORS
- Keep active. Inactivity is the #1 killer of role plays, so if you’re unsure that you’ll be able to keep up with the role play for some time, reconsider joining it. Role plays typically last for a month or two, so if you feel your free time and/or ability to role will be severely dampened. Also, try not to join more than two role plays at a time, unless you really feel you have the time and interest to handle being active in all of them.
- Contribute to the storyline. Its okay to go lone wolf for a while in an RP, but don’t do that for the entire RP unless you’re building up to something that will involve the other characters involved with the RP. And if you feel you’d rather enjoy things more by yourself, then I’d suggest fan fiction might be better for you.
- Challenge yourself to try new things. Sticking with a routine does get boring, even if you don’t think it will. If the role play you’re in seems to be a little on the slow side and things are not heating up to keep the activity alive, throw in a plot twist by putting the characters under a little more pressure, or by having something they thought was working for them suddenly turn against them. Believe it or not, the more desperate things seem to get, the more activity shoots up. Just don’t go too much over the edge, or else people start to feel helpless and think there’s no hope for the situation.
- Write interesting and descriptive posts. Generally, the best kinds of role play posts are well over two five-sentence paragraphs that are loaded with character reflections, actions, feelings, and use of the character’s senses and intuition. Doing this not only helps you become a better role player, but it helps you become a better writer overall. And yes, that does help with school.
- Use other experienced role players as examples. If you’re new to role playing, look to other role players that have been around for some time as a source of inspiration. Read their posts, follow their methods, and try to challenge yourself to become like them. We were all newbies once, but no one needs to stay that way.
In my years of creating role plays, I’ve tried many different things, some which worked, and some which didn’t. Regardless, if you want to read more about the formulas I use to create the kinds of role plays that I make for when you’re ready to make your own, read on.
- If you’re new to role playing, join a few RPs first. Allow yourself to become familiar with how role plays on PE2K work. Doing this will allow you to understand the process, and in the meantime, seeking advice or critique from other role players is another possibility that will help you get better and will allow you to see what you’re doing right and what can be improved upon.
- Originality is extremely critical. Role plays that feature the same overdone ideas like the fledgling trainers go collect badges, evil Team XYZ captures legendary so-and-so with a take-over-the-world plan, and the typical Pokémon Mystery Dungeon storyline that hasn’t been changed one bit from the games are really bad ideas. People have done these before not just in the games, but there’s been many RPs that have come and gone that have done this already, and to tell the truth, most of them have capsized because of unoriginal and uninspired creation. If you want your RP to succeed (and who wouldn’t?), then you need to get creative, make something original and fresh, avoid clichés, and whip out new ideas that will really wow people.
- Seek out your inspiration for a storyline. Once you feel you’re ready to try making your own role play for other people to join, brainstorm how you want to create it first. Video games, books, movies, music, and many other kinds of media are sources that can inspire you to make a storyline that can involve other people and characters using original ideas and opening plots. Borrow the concepts from multiple sources, combine them, alter them so they are uniquely yours, and use them to create an interesting storyline.
- Use music sources to help you keep to the mood. Surprisingly, I find this helps a lot. Are you writing a role play that will involve a lot of intense action and fighting? Pop in a soundtrack from an action movie or an action/adventure video game (Awesome source #1, Awesome source #2, Awesome source #3, if you’re looking for video game music) to help you bring your writing into the intense and action-oriented mood. Or, if you’re writing a role play that will have a more morbid horror theme to it, use music that reflects that like what you would hear from a horror movie or game like Resident Evil or Silent Hill. Figure out what kind of genre your role play will have, and listen to music from sources in the same genre. This will help you keep in the mood and it will allow you to stick to the theme as you write it out.
- Put your role players under pressure. Role players enjoy an RP more if they feel their characters are put under pressure and need to make quick actions, improvise, go into depth with character reflections and intuition, and feel they need to take actions or else they’re going to miss out on a true adventure. Meanwhile, the more sources of pressure and conflict involved, the better. If one obstacle is too easily overcome, your role players will probably give up the RP thinking they’re done and its over.
- Take part in your own RP. Most people do this anyway, but on occasion, some don’t. Know that when you RP in your own role play, your role players are looking up to you and are following your example. Meanwhile, they’re also using you for a sense of direction. If your role play sign up is a mess and is hastily made, you’re going to attract role players that take on that same kind of mentality in their role playing, and it will be looked down upon. Be a guide and role model for them, but don’t make them feel like they’re being dragged along.
- Keep up good expectations when writing your role plays and reading sign ups. Don’t be too eager to allow just anyone to walk through the gate, but don’t be too strict either. If a person’s character sign up looks like it was rushed, seems messy, and/or isn’t organized and is hard to follow, ask that they edit it and make it more clear, and try to point out what you would like improved. Don’t lower the bar of expectations for that person, because that invites other people to do the same as they have done.
- Only close your sign ups when its really necessary. If the role play you’re making strictly needs a particular number of role players and it would badly affect the storyline to have more, then lock sign ups once you’ve gotten the needed amount. Otherwise, there is really no reason to close them, and having role players join late in the game isn’t so bad if they can catch up on their own.
- Don’t wait too long to get started. The very maximum you should wait before opening up an RP is a week, but typically, 4-5 days is best. If you wait too long, the role players that have signed up will probably begin to lose interest and may get impatient.
- Keep things under control and manage what’s allowed and what’s not. You may find a situation where a role player is abusing a loophole you might have overlooked in the storyline, or they’re using a power, weapon, or tool to gain an unfair advantage. Keep in mind what both sides are thinking, and try to come to an amicable situation for both of them. Only when a person is deliberately abusing the rules and doesn’t care to listen to you after you’ve told them to change their act should you bar them from the RP. But at least give people a chance to negotiate and work out a solution before taking such actions.