Shifters RolePlaying Game


Online Rping is often freeform and generally more based on trust and co-operative storytelling than in the rules and rulings of a GM and system of a more traditional tabletop RPG scenario. Now while this often allows for more flexibility, it also requires more discipline and co-operation between the players, since there is generally no GM there to drive the story and keep players in line. Some people seem to be able to do this quite well and are very fun to play with. Other people don't and seem to feel the need to lord it up over other players destroying the fun and feel of the game was well as making a twink out of themselves. This page is to help you understand what is expected of you in terms of manners when you game online, at least in the Shifters RPG. Anyone else who happens to run and RP who wants to borrow this blurb may distribute it freely as long as it is unmodified and remains credited to me. Thanks.

Online Roleplaying Etiquette 101

While the medium can change, IRC, IMs, mucks, mu*, or webchats, the general rules of polite and good RP remain fairly consistent. There are several points that people consistently forget when they, in their zeal to RP, attempt to get involved in a given RP. This page is meant to help you avoid these extremely common mistakes so that you can avoid them before you start and make a better impression and hence get better RP online.

The first thing you should do, before you join any RP is to read all source material related to or recommended by the RP in question. Familiarize yourself with all the rules set down and TAKE THEM SERIOUSLY. Most people don't write rules for no reason. If they say 'no power gaming', or " no guns" , or " no jedi", they probably mean it. So don't be expecting to bring you favorite Jedi gunslinger combat monster into that game. Don't even ask. After reading the source and material, decide if you can live with the rules. Don't sit there and plot how you can bend, break, or kiss ass to get around them, honestly decide if you can live and abide by them. Do they fit your RP style? Do you think you could have fun within the rules? If you HONESTLY think the rules make the players and game sound really lame, then obviously that game isn't for you. Do yourself a favor and don't bother playing. If you do find the rules agreeable, then proceed to making yourself a character.

When making a character in online RP, let me give you some advice. Combat monsters, ie- Characters who are exclusively focused towards kicking the snot out of anything that moves, are NOT the most interesting nor best choice when considering a character. Why you ask? Well let me enlighten. In online RP, you can only really hurt someone if they let you hurt them, meaning it really doesn't matter how powerful you think/say your character is, the other players govern the actuality of it. Also, most players perfer story over combat, so if your character isn't interesting outside combat, its pretty much a waste of time. Also, making up random npcs just so you can kill them and show off how cool and powerful a killing machine you are is lame. Its like watching someone jackoff in public. Its just lame. Do yourself a favor and don't be a lamer. Let me give you some character BUILDING advice.

When you first start in an RP :
DO NOT try to bring in an existing long term, well loved character from another RPG as your first character. - Chances are they will be too 'powerful' or not fit the genre for your first character. Start with a new character designed to fit in the game. Even games that say 'anything goes' often prefer you start with something that isn't uberpowerful with lots of history. Unless given express permission by a moderator or the game organizer, assume you can't.
DO NOT try to use an existing character directly from a TV series, videogame, movie, etc. - Derivative characters are alright as long as they are not a direct canon. If you want to play a guy who's been cursed into the body of a woman with a trigger between the two, thats fine, just make sure its not recognizably Ranma and that it fits with the genre/tone of the game. Unless you are playing in a game that *specificially* alows 'canon' or main characters from popular fiction/literature/entertainment it is best to assume you cannot play them. Also as a note, most such games already have the main roles filled. Best to check before putting your best foot into your mouth.
DO take the time to flesh your character out. People have history and exprience that shape their lives and determine why they are a particular way. Make sure you determine how your character got from A to B. Although try to keep it to the point. Most people don't want to read a novel about your character.
DO ask the moderator/owners if you have any questions or want any tips about what to do or what not to do before making a character.
DO try to make the character have flaws and weaknesses that other people's characters can take advantage of to get involved with yours.

While you are working on your character, it is often good to simply sit and watch the RP. Read up on the other characters and get a feeling for how the RP works and the style of how everone is RPing. How are they indicating OOC actions? what tense are they posting in? How do they determine actions? What sort of play to they seem to be engaging in? what are the current storylines? This makes it easier to get involved once you finish you character. Chat with the other players ooc and get to know them a little. Ask them questions if you have them. It will save you problems later.




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