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 Post subject: - The Official RPG Help & Advice thread -
PostPosted: March 19th, 2011, 11:07 am 
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Did you always want to try and join a RPG? Never came to it or felt intimidated by experienced RPGers? Or do you want to want to improve your writting skills?

Then you're here in the right place!

Welcome to

The official RPG Help & Advice thread


This will be a thread were experienced RPGers and other people, who've been wanting to give RPing a try, can come together and talk, help and advice each other on writing skills, character creation and development, and RPG plots! Hopefully this will help everyone improving on RPG skills, and make the RPG board a more lively section than it was. :)

So, feel free come here and ask questions, make suggestions for the RPG board, or discuss various topics concerning RPGs. :)

How to improve your RPG skills?
Well first, I think you just need to go and choose a good RPG which interests you and for which you've created your character. My experience is that you should start with one character, so that you're able to concentrate on this character and develop his/her personality. Writing a bio can be very helpful for developing your character. By writing out the looks, personality and history of your character you'll see that your character will start to grow on you..

Posts - However hard it might seem at first, posts of a few paragraphs do improve the quality of your RPG. By making longer and descriptive posts, you do not only develop your character but also expand the world you created. Make sure that you use right spelling, and the use of synonyms can really boost the quality of your post.

Mary Sueing - the fear of every RPGer :teehee: . According to wiki Mary Sue:
Quote:
(sometimes just Sue), in fanfiction, is a fictional character with overly idealized and hackneyed mannerisms, lacking noteworthy flaws, and primarily functioning as a wish-fulfillment fantasy for the author or reader. Perhaps the single underlying feature of all characters described as "Mary Sues" is that they are too ostentatious for the audience's taste, or that the author seems to favor the character too highly. The author may seem to push how exceptional and wonderful the "Mary Sue" character is on his or her audience, sometimes leading the audience to dislike or even resent the character fairly quickly; such a character could be described as an "author's pet".


How to avoid creating a Mary Sue character? My personal experience is that you should try to take the point of view of your character and wonder whether you could have done the same thing like your character. Often (except in a super hero world :P) your character is just a person of flesh and blood as well. Would you be able to survive a fatal gunshot? Jump off a tower without getting hurt? Almost die accidentally thrice in a row? Not really. So probably your character wouldn't be able to do it as well.
Let your character have flaws! Nothing is better than a flawed character, who's selfish, quickly angered, or a coward.

What makes a good RPG and which RPGs would you like to see on AU?

This has been a frequent discussed topic in the past, but I think it's interesting to bring it up again. :)
I think that a good RPG should consist of many elements. An interesting, creative plot in which writers are able to improvise and which isn't planned out until the end.Writers should be dedicated to the RPG to make things work. Also the chemistry between the writers is a very important thing. You should read posts of one another, make posts with content and detail and have your characters interact with eachother. Too much romance, and especially planned romances can kill a RPG, so usually it's better not to have romance be the central theme of the RPG.


Well, those are only my personaly experiences and opinions, but I'm very interested in your thoughts. :)

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 Post subject: Re: - The Official RPG Help & Advice thread -
PostPosted: March 19th, 2011, 12:27 pm 
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Okay, so I definietely agree with Will's points.

I must say that OCs are some of the most intimating creatures out there but they are also the most rewarding. A good OC can be just as good (or perhaps even better ;)) than a canon character. But they take tons and tons of trial and error and work. Honestly, as Will pointed out, nothing is more fun than a flawed OC. I can almost guarantee that after you get used to it you will enjoy playing a original/creative OC much much better than you ever would have playing a typical Mary-Sue.

Will brought up romance. Here's my thoughts on the somewhat touchy matter. ;) Personally, mushy romance grosses me out. I hate it. Period. BUT a well developed pairing where the charries have chemistry is excellent and acceptable, I think. Especially if the pairing just... develops throughout the RP. That's always a lot of fun. My biggest warning here would be to keep it realistic. Have the couple get into arguments, have them have their differences, have them not talk for a while. Anything to keep them from always gushing over one another and being mushy. It's not realistic, IMO. Also, have the charries develop outside of the pairing. Meaning, don't let the pairing be who the characters are. First and foremost, they need to be themselves.

Another good tip for RPing is to read a lot. Read CLASSICS. Start with The Lord of the Rings, if you'd like. ;) That's an extremely well-written series of books. Good detail, good character descriptions, good sentence structures, etc. Another author I'd suggest would be Charles Dickens or even Jane Austen. Really you can't go wrong with whoever you pick. Just don't rely on, say, Twilight for your good writing example. ;)

And that about does it for PD's Helpful Hints for today. :P

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 Post subject: Re: - The Official RPG Help & Advice thread -
PostPosted: March 19th, 2011, 2:04 pm 
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My favorite way to get the Mary Sue Itchies out is in crappy fan fictions and what not. It's always satire and they just stay on my hard drive taking up space and collecting digital dust when I'm through with them, but dumping all those amazing (horrible) ideas on one unfortunate character and making an example of them in Microsoft Word is surprisingly therapeutic. Just another of those ridiculous things I do that I think help me work out better characters in the long run. I did this when fleshing out my most prized original fiction characters, a German SS officer and his wife, and it really helped me get them exactly where they needed to be in terms of characterization.

Both Will and Calloniel also touched on the subject of romance which is something I have no problem writing in general, but also a thing I usually avoid in RP. Yes, there are some instances where characters have chemistry as Calloniel said, and the romance just casually develops over the whole RPG. But going in with the intention of two characters falling in love almost never turns out well. There's also the fact that no one else really wants to read someone else's mushy, lovey dovey romance on the boards. I personally find overly romanticized relationships to be incredibly icky.

I also agree whole-heartedly with Calloniel's suggestion to read. Reading can do nothing but make a person better at anything they do, including RP. Classics were the most of the suggested reading pile, but I personally think anything above your current level of writing will do. You write on a fourth grade level? Read on a tenth and enjoy the fruits of your labors. As long as your reading remains at a level you would like to attain, you're good to go :)

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 Post subject: Re: - The Official RPG Help & Advice thread -
PostPosted: March 19th, 2011, 7:54 pm 
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PD - Hello! Long time no see! :hello:

Yes! I agree with PD on the OCs, they are absolutely great, especially to develop them and have them interact with all those other OCs that were somehow connected or related to one another. That was so much fun..
But on the other hand I do think that too much characters can be deadly for a RPG, since it's getting to comlex and hard to follow. :yes:

And yes, reading is very important, but sadly I don't have enough time to read as much as I would like. (There always seems so many more things to do. :teehee: ) But of course is Lord of the Rings a splendid example of a great book! I love all the descriptions of the scenery, especially in the TT. :)

So, do you both have a preference for a new RPG which can be started (LotR or Off topic themed) ?

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 Post subject: Re: - The Official RPG Help & Advice thread -
PostPosted: March 20th, 2011, 12:50 am 
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I personally don't have much of a preference for a new RPG. I'd take just about anything so long as it was new and I could get in on it. I would kind of like to pop in on a Pirates RP because I haven't done one in so inexplicably long and I would really like to create a new piratical OC with my usual level of over enthusiasm.

But like I said, I'd settle for anything as long as it was new :D We briefly discussed the prospect of a HP RP in the Barracks, which is something to which I'm always open. I'm not very good at LotR RP or other medieval styled RP simply because I'm not knowledgeable in the areas I need to be, so I come off as poser-ish or ignorant in my posts. I dunno, it's just never been this girl's
cup o' proverbial tea.

Edit: While reading through some old notes I had stashed away, I found a vague post-apocalyptic styled plot that I think could make for a very interesting RP. It involved a meteor hitting earth and throwing out the electrical grid world wide before leaking radiation that either killed or zombified over 90% of the world's populace. The story was about a group of high schoolers, community college students, and maybe an adventurous adult or two from Small Town, Georgia crossing the US.

They were on the move because there was supposed to be safety out in the mountains of placed like Colorado and a couple of characters are looking for some family members. There's plenty of room for the death and replacement of characters while on the journey and whatnot. And when the RP has run its course, we can just have the final survivors get eaten or something :D

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 Post subject: Re: - The Official RPG Help & Advice thread -
PostPosted: March 31st, 2011, 1:44 pm 
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Okay, so I've been meaning to post here for something like three or four days... faaaaaaaail. Whoops. :teehee:
First off, FS, welcome! :hug: [/nickname stolen]

Secondly, I like this thread. It's all cool and discussion-y. Those ones are the best. :P

- How to improve RPG skillz?
Practice. Seriously, even if it's just a bit over PM with someone you're friends with just to get you into thw swing of things, go for it. The more experience you have actually replying to someone, responding as someone other than yourself with the correct level of emotion/action etc the better. When I started out [way back when] it used to be difficult to find things to say or do that added to the plot when I wasn't actually interacting with anyone, or when it simply wasn't my turn to speak. Trying just to imagine a setting and then describe it completely with subtle details really brings everything to life - especially if you're rocking some funky metaphors and stuff. I'm guilty of describing pretty much everything that's red in Freedom that Adrianna sees as 'scarlet' because the small things make me happy. Any tiny details that just make everything link in together are awesome - especially if you're reading it.

- Avoiding Mary-Sue
As odd as it might sound, I think that the best place you can look for this kind of guidance is yourself. I'm not saying in any way that a character should be based entirely upon the RPer because I've seen instances in which this hass ruined characters and, incidentally, ruined friendships, because the person who acted as themself too someone another person said in-character personally. This character had expressed romantic interest in another and got rejected. It wasn't pretty.
I think that you should base it upon a part of yourself you rarely see - for instance, occasionally, I hear someone say something and my immediate response is something ridiculously callous and unfeeling. That doesn't really reflect my character, it's just something that crosses my mind - and these can be endlessly useful if you're trying to get into the mindset of someone else. A couple of other benefits is a) if you're basing a character on yourself like this you, as a human being, are flawed yourself, so some of that will automtically shine through and b) writing in this way can be an emotional outlet if you've something you want to express. I think that's one of the best things about reading - aside from all the plot/characterization, which I must admit I adore beyond belief.

- What makes a good RP/What would you like to see?
Ditto everything that's been said before me. Chemistry between writers, a good OC/Canon ration [if canon is applicable at all] quality[over quanitity, especially in my case] of posting, good, thoughtful content. Communication, as well, I think is a very large part of the success of a RPG. While it's good for one person to manage the main plot and create the fundamental idea, I don't think it's necessary to plan way in the future - think realistically, do you have an exact plan of where you'll be one year from now, to the minute? I don't think so. Characters won't either, particularly those who are centred in a fast-paced RPG. They're not going to have time to think about anything other than what's happening at their present.

I like a good bit of give and take, too. I like it when other people poke and say, I think it might be a good idea if we did this, even if they didn't start the RPG. I've never personally liked being a singular authority over a roleplay thread so that anyone participating has had to ask for expressed permission before they're allowed to add or modify bits of the plot; I think that when everyone feels that they have complete creative liscence to do what they want with their characters when they want with those characters, the writing part actually flows much more easily. RPG should be a communal thing - that's the point of it. :P

... What would I like to see? That's a complex question. I love sci-fi, fantasy, avything that's the least bit imaginitive - something that's deep with room for aggressive expansion, most notably character wise. I don't go looking for romance, because to be honest it's more of a turn-off for me. Pairings in general I have no problem with but romance isn't really my thing. If I wanted two characters to become a couple, I'd rather their relationship be filled with angst, arguments, rage, passion. Love/hate relations have many dimensions that I love to explore.

I'm also not a fan of slow moving ones. I'm not talking posting wise, I'm talking plotwise - if I can't see where the plot's supposed to be heading, I don't really see the point of trying to get there. It'd be a different matter if the plot was pacy and just the future was hazy, though, I don't mind not being able to predict the future, it's more like what I'm used to. :P

I can't think of anything else at the minute... so I think I'll leave it there. :P :teehee:

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 Post subject: Re: - The Official RPG Help & Advice thread -
PostPosted: April 5th, 2011, 5:25 pm 
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Hello Darky! :bye2:

I knew you couldn't stay away from here. ;) And I pretty much agree with what you said on the practising part. I know that I thought it to be hard to write extensive posts, but describing is the key, like you said. And yes, I think you're the queen of adjectives and description.. :p My posts do seem a little pathetic compared to yours at times. :teehee:
And I think everyone does have a character that is based on some characteristics of themselves. Although I must say that I also love playing characters who are exact opposites of myself, when it comes down to character. :yes:
What you said about the flexibility and creativity of players to change and add things to the plot is another crucial aspect, I think. It makes the story more unpredictable, exciting and realistic. Too much players will make a RPG chaotic though. I usually think that five is about enough players a roleplay should have. :)

@ FS:

There were quite a lot of Pirate RPGs before, at one point there were too many I think. But if you have a good idea, I'm sure that there are enough RPers willing to join. I would be for starters. ;)
The Sci-fi idea sounds pretty cool, but I do not like zombies so much. :P But I know that there are enough others hidden somewhere that do love post-apocalyptic. (Darky perhaps? :teehee: )

I had hoped that some more people would come and take a peek over here.. Perhaps I need to do some more advertising.. :P

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 Post subject: Re: - The Official RPG Help & Advice thread -
PostPosted: April 6th, 2011, 3:52 am 
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^ Rawr! :teehee: Of course, how could I stay away? :P
Queen of Adjectives/description? Thankyou. :blush: I just thought I rambled for a bit, but I appreciate the compliment all the same. :D You shouldn't feel pathetic at all though, 'cause you're definitely not. :no:

That's also a good point. Different characters are fun to play 'cause they're challenging, but I permanantly live in fear of roaming outside the limits of their character/personality... it's almost the same as playing canon characters, in some respect. Canon characters' personalities are based, for the most part, on the perspectve of the reader, so it's kinda difficult to judge them sometimes.

I'm not sure about number of players, because I think that even if you have many having a good system might go some way to making things easier for everyone. I don't know much about that though, considering that most RPGs I've joined/started have had only a few players... :P

Backing up what Will said about the Pirate RPs, I'd give it a go. :D
Also... did someone say post-apocalyptic? I'm there. :teehee:

I don't think many people visit the RPG section now, it's kinda gone quiet since the PotC RPs died down a bit. I think it's partly because there are fewer RPers around, and partly because there aren't many new, highly active RPs for the remaining RPers to get involved in. It might be an idea to a) as Will said, start some shameless advertising ( :P) and b) maybe start a miniature roleplay-revival scheme going to match the rest of the forum-wide revamp that's going on. :D :teehee:

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 Post subject: Re: - The Official RPG Help & Advice thread -
PostPosted: April 6th, 2011, 4:18 pm 
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I agree with everything that's been said about RPGs. If there are new members coming in because of The Hobbit, maybe they'll pick up the pace. Like me, cos I'm new. . .a bit. :) I had an idea for an RPG. . It has to do with Doctor Who. I don't see why there isn't a DW RPG around, maybe I could start one? I'm a bit new at this, so. . .

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 Post subject: Re: - The Official RPG Help & Advice thread -
PostPosted: April 6th, 2011, 5:42 pm 
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From what I understand, Harthad, Doctor Who is particularly popular around the forum. I've never seen it, just vaguely heart of it, so I'm afraid I have no idea how a Doctor Who RP would be received. Why not start a thread in Help & Ideas to test the water? :)

Hehehe, Darky, we may have to get it together and do some post-apocalyptic RP. I love the genre; there's so much room for experimentation and nothing is ever certain, which I feel makes it enjoyable.

As for the Pirate thing... I think I might just make a Pirates character for the Barracks and leave him there. I had this idea for a fella named Moses that I'd like to put into writing, but I don't really want to do an already run-dry RP. I think what the section needs, and my opinion isn't very weighty yet so take it as you will, is more variety. Variety is key, don'cha know :D

I'd also like to second the idea of a small scale RP revival. If the rest of the forum and main site can get a face lift, why not the RP section? Maybe a cataloging of the section for some spring cleaning is a good idea. There seem to be a lot of old, abandoned threads in there and provided no one has any sentimental value attached to them, perhaps it's time to say goodbye to some of the older more obsolete threads. A fresh faced section could attract more newbies :D

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 Post subject: Re: - The Official RPG Help & Advice thread -
PostPosted: April 7th, 2011, 2:49 pm 
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^ Doctor Who is the shiznit. Is there room for me? :teehee:
Also, I know that in the past Doctor Who/Torchwood ideas have been quite popular... but that was when these boards were a little more full of life. Methinks shameless advertising may be the key. Posting in the general forum revival threads might be a thought, as well as PMing anyone known to be fond of RPG generally.

@ FS: Methinks we're definitely going to have to set a play-date. :teehee: I quite agree. And all that's aside from the fact that an apocalypse can come about in any number of different ways... it's just a bit of subject matter that never gets boring. Oh, happy days. :D

I don't think you need an opinion that's considered weighty to be heard. I've been here since '07 but I'm only around sporadically... [I still have a tendency to drop off the face of the [Middle] Earth at the drop of a [wizard's] hat] and even then I don't post too much. I'm something of a forum recluse, actually. :P However, I wholeheartedly agree with you. Perhaps setting up a thread separate from this one [considering that this is for help rather than general scheming/plotting] with general ideas and then setting up a thread for each individual idea comes along and gains proper structure etc might be worthwhile. I'm not sure, I've never done anything quite like this before. Either way, we gotta get the ball rolling somehow. :teehee:

I think some of the older RPers who have, for lack of a better phrase, retired now, like to come back and re-read some of the old story lines, but the database is quite big and we don't have to delete much to give everything a spring clean. :) I believe there have been some discussions about ideas for RPGs that are in the making at the minute, so we have that to look forward to as well. :D

back onto the 'revival' side of stuff, I think our first priorities should be to a) drag people over here to get interested and b) actually find out what kind of RPGs these people would like to participate in, 'cause what's the use if all we're doing is setting up exactly that kind of things that bore them senseless. :P

Anyway, bad, bad AU is distracting me from coursework. :P I should be back later to stalk this thread uh, say hi to you guys. ;)

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 Post subject: Re: - The Official RPG Help & Advice thread -
PostPosted: April 7th, 2011, 3:07 pm 
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Ha ha, of course there's room! Check out the thread I made. Well, if you want to, I mean.....

Could there be a RPG Revival thread? Just an idea.

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 Post subject: Re: - The Official RPG Help & Advice thread -
PostPosted: April 7th, 2011, 4:20 pm 
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@Darky: That's a valid point that others may enjoy reading the old RPs. Maybe we could petition another subsection to the RP section for the use of archiving the old threads. I've seen it done on other forums before and it was a good way to keep the active RP section clutter-free. I think that a RP Revival thread is a great and necessary idea since our talk of revamp has kind of taken over the thread's intended purpose.

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 Post subject: Re: - The Official RPG Help & Advice thread -
PostPosted: April 7th, 2011, 5:02 pm 
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^ That sounds like a good plan! :) It will probably ask for a clean-up every month to remove old/dead RPGs to the other section, but it will make the active RPg section clear and clean. :P

Well, my original intention for this thread was to attract other members from the board and to interest them in RPing, because I know how much writing talent there is (just join the Hallowfest :P ). So a reviving thread should probably be located in the Green Dragon, a frequent stop for many active members. :yes:
Aside from that I also thought it could be a good idea to contact 'retired' RPers (like Meldawen, Sojourner, Rhavaniel) just to remind them of AU. Many have indeed retired, yet other have just disappeared and forgotten about AU.

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 Post subject: Re: - The Official RPG Help & Advice thread -
PostPosted: April 8th, 2011, 3:30 am 
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Greetings brave RPG'ers,
I'm not a RPG'er myself but I'm actively lurking on RP's and have been following this thread. :P
I think a special focus on the revival of this secion within the general revival is a great idea. You should post about it on the Revival board and also, like Will said, advertise in your sigs or post a thread in Your Life.. just to test the waters and possibly lure new people over here.

I had an idea that perhaps you could set up a mentor system or a help thread like this where experienced RP'ers would help newbies with character development, give tips and ideas on how to write descriptive posts or add to a plot if they dared to venture into the RP-world. Reading through the long, been-around-forever RP's here can be very intimidating at times. I mean they're great inspiration but if people feel they need to write like that to join a RPG.. :)
Or you might even do it among experienced writers too if you wanted to try a new genre or type of RP and needed feedback and comments, like quicker-paced RP's with more room to goof around and try out new stuff.
The RPG section has been attracting kinda the same crowd for a while (and thanks to them for keeping the forum alive!) but I'm sure there's a new generation ready to join if they knew what was going on here. :)

Regarding the spring cleaning.. isn't it an issue that would solve itself.. with the creation of new RP's the old, dusty ones would be pushed down to page 2, et voila! :teehee:

I don't know if I would have the time to join so perhaps I'm being a hypocrite to post here but I wish a long life and prosperity to the RPG-forum. :drunk:

~Eä

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 Post subject: Re: - The Official RPG Help & Advice thread -
PostPosted: April 8th, 2011, 11:26 am 
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Pretty much agree with what Ea said. And I'd like to add that the PotC rpgs are definitely intimidating, both in post length and complexity. Outsiders stand in awe.

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