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    Role-Playing Guidebook

    Role-Playing Guidebook

    Welcome to the Role-Playing Corner! Is this your first time attempting a role play? Confused about what the heck happens and why someone would ever want to sink into the skin of a flamingo?! Are you an experienced role player who wants to meme at this guide? Welcome on in!

    Firstly, this guide was written by me for the enjoyment of members at Otaku Plaza. Though I've been role playing for years and find it to be an immense and incredible empathizing and growing experience, I'm still developing my own sense of style too! I hope that this guide can be a starting point for many, and that people can contribute to this guide along the way! Let's celebrate the spirit of collaboration for this genre ♥️ Anyway, I'd also like to draw attention to this enormous tome of beautiful written words and structures, written by Neo Emolga of our sister site, The Pokémon Crossroads!

    Neo Emolga's PXR Guide to Role-Playing

    Now, let's dive right on in!

    Participating in RP's

    Firstly, writers with any level of experience should feel comfortable role playing! Don't be shy about mechanics such as grammar and punctuation; while maintaining a certain level of basic control over the language that you're role playing in is expected as to not distract your co role-players, no one should freak out about a misplaced comma or parenthesis. Role-playing is a collaborative experience where the content should be celebrated, no matter the little mistakes - mistakes we all make, too! For those who do want to extent their technical capabilities, for the English language, I highly recommend Purdue Owl's online guide as well as the Dummies Cheat Sheet Guide!

    However, there are certain expectations when it comes to participating in role plays. Ask yourself: how available am I to contribute to our joint project? Replies in active role plays may be expected, at minimum, every few days, and for more active role plays, every few hours. Role plays are often turn-based as well, wherein if there are three role players and they post in a Player 1, Player 2, and Player 3 fashion, it's expected that turn order will be followed. So if you're Player 2, it might be considered jumping the gun to post again before Player 1 has their chance to respond to both of the posts before. If you know you may not be able to keep up with the pace of the role play for a short duration, it's highly recommended that you let you role-player peers (RPP's!) know in an "out of character" note at the top or bottom of your post! Communication is highly recommended always in role playing!

    As for the content of your post itself, there are a few basic guidelines. Firstly, RPP's are in control of their own character's body and mind; that is, controlling somebody else's character via god-modding is a big no-no! When it comes to post length, there is no set amount of words you might want to maintain in general. The two keys to look at are the posting lengths of others and the content you want to provide in your post in order for others to reply in a fruitful way. The former concept is known as matching; if somebody writes a 400-word post, it would be considered in ceremony to reply with a post that's in the same ballgame of words. The latter concept is especially important when thinking about the perception of other characters; for example, if your post only details internal musings of the character's mind, that's very tough for other characters to work with and respond to, as they're not in that character's mind. It's helpful to always consider the behaviors, attitudes, and quotations characters bring to the table - and remember that sometimes subtle words and actions can pack a powerful punch!

    Lastly, creativity is something to be cherished! Role-playing may be a collaborative story, but it can also be a visual story as well; and your font styling and any included image makes a big impact on the post too! Feel free to get as creative as you want when it comes to role-playing templates and images, as long as the text is still legible and proper credit is given to any image artists!

    Leading RP's

    Leading role plays is such a charming and exciting endeavor! If you ever feel the pressure, just remember that the role play is what you all make it - you may have a seed of an idea, but it's the RPP's that help it bloom and blossom. There are a few basic expectations for someone leading the role play, however. Firstly, they must provide a foundation of a universe and a plot idea that has just enough room for others to find themselves in, yet still feel constrained. In thinking about this, it may be helpful to consider the scope of the RP world, the kind of roles that need to be played in the role play, and the tone of the role play itself. Many of these factors can be incorporated into the role play application, with the type of questions asked of RPP's to think about when creating a character! For example, should characters have weapons? Should they have a history that aligns with a particular plot? Keeping all this in mind, the role play should be rated so RPP's know what to expect in terms of graphic content.

    Once the application and idea are out, phenomenal! You may want to leave that open for a week or so, providing a set date for the role play to begin. Players may have questions at this point, which is fantastic! Once the closing date is set, the role play should begin with your post! There are two trains of thought here; some people may prefer to have a game master leading the role play while others prefer to simply lead subtly with their own character. A game master provides the opportunities to god-mod when necessary from a seemingly detached position within the role play; the game master is ideal for advancing the plot forward in an acceptable and blunt manner. The latter option is nice for generating a feeling of complete cohesion within the world and universe, and allows ample opportunities for all character to lead with new discoveries along the adventure's way. I'm of the belief that, if a role-player commands the game master, then they cannot also have a secondary character present, just because they now are aware of what'll happen and that can create character bias; however, it is your world and ultimately you do what you want!

    A third and final note about leading role play's is the awesome fact that you conquer time. You set the tone for pacing and for the natural flow of chronological time. With everyone's consent, you can easily make weeks or months pass in a role play! Exploring these temporal dynamics as the role play leader is a great way to get everyone thinking about their characters in a different way and to shine a light on different contexts. The passage of time, from one night to the next morning, can lead to completely different feelings in a character and motivations. Toying with time and setting context is an incredible way to broaden the scope of the role play and perhaps make it a tad bit more realistic as well! Have fun playing with these higher-order structures in your role play, and always feel free to run these ideas by your RPP's too! Thank them for the wondrous journey they've allowed you to carry them on~!

    Character Arc & Evolution

    When creating your own character, there are a few helpful guidelines to keep in mind. Firstly, all people are flawed in some way or shape or form; achieving accomplishment while suffering through these flaws is such a large and beautiful part of character development, and we should all strive away from mary sue's, or the perfect characters! Secondly, I personally find that when creating characters, it's fun and helpful to think about the realistic attributes about them. Perhaps they walk in a certain type of way or own some sort of mannerism that becomes more and more memorable over time. Incorporating the little details goes a really long way in developing that character alongside others! Thirdly, there are many people who seek to role play to understand an experience they themselves do not know or live through. Role playing can be a heartfelt way of genuinely appreciating and imagining the experiences of others, and I am in support of it; I just recommend that those seeking to do this educate themselves about those experiences (ex: blind people do not suddenly develop superhuman prowess in all other senses) and mostly important, do not claim ownership to those experiences - and as a reminder, that role playing does not serve to replace real life advocacy for those communities.

    Huzzah! You've made a character and they're quite spiffy! Moving along, it's crucial to imagine the motivations pushing that character along. What's their story? What's crawling under their skin more than anything else? Pinpointing what makes your character tick and what they're working for is an awesome way to fuel their internal drive. It's powerful to develop symbols too of a character - two or three themes that said character develops over a long-term. Perhaps a character's drive to be united with their family is symbolized by a scar mark carved into their chest or maybe they hold a book with a broken spine to symbolize lost knowledge they strive to gain. The possibilities are really endless! And the more you develop these motivations and symbols, the more nuanced they become; the more realistic the character themself becomes, and the more we root them on!

    I want to draw attention to imagining your character in different contexts. It's a fantastic experience to imagine, while dreaming of your character, what they may be like in a different genre or in a different world. This is personally very helpful to me in thinking about which aspects of my characters are fluid, and which aspects of them stick no matter what. In the same vein, I highly recommend thinking about your character at different ages, too - what stays the same? What changes? What does it take for you to get a holistic understanding of your character as a whole person and soul, and how do you capture the enduring qualities of them? These might seem like more existentialist questions, but they could be fun for thinking about developing your character beyond the current page! Many would also recommend talking to your character in your head to get a sense of how they reply to things, the little things they like, and the little headcanons that remain to be true. These little details go a long way in the big portrait!

    World-building Between You & Me

    Thinking about how relationships develop among your character and other characters is so yummy, the crust of the pie and the filling too. Are your character siblings, lovers, extended kin, rivals or friends? Some combination thereof? Considering these deeper relationships is a fantastic way to watch a constellation of relationships burst with meaning. Take on any opportunity to dip into these dynamics. It'll be an awesome way to develop a new side, or new role, to your character that you may not have been anticipating; secondly, it'll add another layer of world-building outside of the leader's present plot and your character's own motivational plot. These can happen organically as the role play progresses or can be deliberate, too; RPP's often reach out to each other via PM or Discord regarding the ways in which they want their characters to progress and change together. The experience, in my opinion, shines brighter and brighter the more you lean into it - reflecting upon it and being flexible to change! It's also wonderful to consider how these relationships change over time, what a break up might do to two characters and their friends, or what may happen if somebody discovers they're half siblings - the sky and so much higher's the limit!

    Anyway, this is a brief guide but I hope you enjoyed! This may always be added to as well - get on out there and explore vast new worlds!
    Last edited by Ghostie; 04-15-2018 at 04:17 PM.

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