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           Roleplay Rules & Etiquette, A YHE Quick Guide
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 Posted: Oct 12 2016, 01:41 AM
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STARTING ROLEPLAY THREADS

Be Clear on the Roleplay’s Setting
When you start a thread, certain things are important. Where is the thread set? What time of day is it? What’s going on? It’s important to describe the scenery for the other player. It may be confusing if you set the thread at night, and the other player replies as if it is day.

Start RP Threads in a Sensible Place
Make sure this is a place the other character(s) can access, and a place where it makes sense for them to be. For example, in a boarding school forum roleplaying game, if your character is supposed to be meeting with a boy, don’t start the thread in the girl’s dormitory. This forces the other roleplayer to either write a boring post waiting for your character to arrive, or to break into the dormitory and risk getting in trouble. An interesting scenario, but realism may need to be kept in mind, too (e.g., how often the guards patrol, how likely the other girls are to keep their meeting secret, etc.). Good roleplay etiquette dictates you discuss these interesting (but possibly sticky) scenarios with the other roleplayer before jumping in.

REPLYING TO ROLEPLAY THREADS

Pacing and Reply Times
Pace in forum roleplaying is important. Too lax, and you may lose inspiration for your roleplay threads. Too strenuous, and you may find yourself overwhelmed. It’s very important to set a good pace for yourself, and keep it up. If you are feeling too pressured to reply to your threads, you can always drop a few.

Don’t feel pressured to reply to a thread quickly because the other roleplayer replied quickly; it is very important that you are comfortable replying at your own speed! Remember, roleplaying is supposed to be fun. It is normal in many forum roleplaying games to wait a few days to a week for a reply. In some games, threads take even longer — each thread has a different pace, and each player within a given forum roleplaying game has a different pace.

Asking for Replies
Some roleplayers consider being asked to reply to a specific thread rude. If your thread participants are too slow for your liking, please consider that they may have real life, other duties, or other threads to reply to, too. Your thread may be plot-centric to your character, but not so plot-centric to their character.

Some players find asking for a reply rude regardless of the situation; other players don’t mind being asked to reply ever.

Threads with Multiple Roleplayers
Group threads are awesome — it’s a chance for a lot of people to come together and work toward one end, and they’re often essential for larger, board-wide plots. However, a common problem in large threads is the tendency for each character to react to each thing that happens. It’s easier to summarize and breeze over non-essential interactions if you can, however; a larger amount of participants naturally means there is more to read throughout the course of the thread. It’s good roleplaying etiquette to keep replies short and succinct.

But it can be important to read through the thread, so you do not miss anything important, or maybe miss a character greeting you. There is also the importance of keeping to an order while all characters are there. This will also make it easier to make sure that no one character is ignored, gives everyone a chance to respond and interact.

These could cause IC and OOC hurt feelings.

GLORIFICATION OF TRAUMA, DISORDERS, (-ISMS, EC/)

A sensitive issue in roleplay is the use of certain plot devices or character “flaws.” Among them are rape, molestation, mentally challenged characters, characters affected with a particular mental disorder, characters affected with a particular disability, and various other sensitive issues.

If you want to roleplay a sensitive issue (e.g., a character who was raped, or a character who has Down’s Syndrome, or a character who is transgendered) treat these issues with respect. It is important to remember that these issues do not entirely shape that character and their perception. Your character with Down’s Syndrome is not just “a character with Down’s Syndrome” and you should explore aspects of their personality, history, and interactions, too. Don’t let the disorder/disability/past define the character.

Most importantly, remember that there are very real people who have the experience you’re trying to capture. They deserve your respect. Avoid cliches, tropes, and stereotypes — there’s more enough of that in real life. Be kind to your fellow humans, please! “It’s just a character” doesn’t cut it as an excuse.

BASIC ROLEPLAY DEFINITIONS

GOD MODDING
  • God modding is being immune to all types of influence or injury. You are almighty, nothing can hurt you or bring you down, you know ALL the answers ALL the time, you are perfect and as such you never lose an argument or confrontation. This is not acceptable roleplay behavior at YHE and is dealt with OOC consequences.
  • It is imperative that you get permission before deciding what someone else does to your character. You can set a scene however it is never acceptable to say what someone else does or how they react to a given situation, unless it is something previously discussed or agreed upon.

IC
  • Abbreviation for “In Character”. Anything that involves what happens while roleplaying is IC.

METAGAMING
  • Metagaming is simply taking knowledge that you gained OOC and bringing it IC. For instance, a friend tells you a plot that went on between a friend and someone else where you were not involved. Any knowledge not gained through RP is not knowledge you know IC.

NPCS
  • NPC is short for Non-player character, meaning that these are characters not played by actual players.
  • We know that every now and then it looks as though no Professors/Students are around. But please remember that the castle is always filled with NPCs. So please role play as such. Just because it looks empty does not mean it has to be. Unless a Professor/Student specifically roleplays or give you permission to believe they are not around, you are to act as if they are. You are also to act as if the castle is constantly filled with NPCs. Remember, Hogwarts has ~400 students at any one time, so just because there are 25 roleplayers on sim does not mean there are only 25 students at Hogwarts.
  • Every now and then it is possible that a player takes that role temporarily to fill in a gap or a scene, they might be mentioned in posts without being actually visible to your eye. For example using an NPC nurse within a post as you are role playing in the Hospital Wing. As long as you do not name a specific player character within that post, it can be a valid NPC.

OOC
  • Abbreviation for “Out of Character”. Anything that happens while in sim but NOT during roleplay is OOC.

POWERGAMING
  • A powergamer is a roleplay whose main interest revolves around going on a power trip. They often enjoy portraying characters such as, but not limited to: Powerful wizards, all knowing in every special ability, famous Wizards etc. Powergamers often never display any flaws or weaknesses in their characters.

RP
  • Abbreviation for “Roleplay”. This is when you act out your story through emotive messages.

STYLES OF ROLEPLAY

ONE-LINE EXAMPLE
Brenna Morrigan looks around as she walks up to the Hogwarts Express and spots her friend. “Hey Emma! How was your summer?”

SEMI-LINE EXAMPLE
Brenna Morrigan rubs her tummy as she hears the dinner bell chime in the Great Hall. Once arriving, she walks to her house table and sits down, leaning forward to grab a roll off the table. As Brenna sees her fellow housemates, she gives them a short wave. “Hey, how have your classes been so far?”

PARA EXAMPLE
Brenna Morrigan walks through the doors of the potions room, gathering all of her belongings and placing them at her feet before pulling out her parchment and quills. She was not ready for classes to begin again! Her head was still in the clouds from having such a wonderful summer. Yet, here she was, back in her robes, in class waiting for the Professor to begin with another boring lecture. Brenna sighs heavily as she rests her elbows on the table and starts to draw little drawings all over her parchment. Her attention was drawn to the door when she heard it pushed open and she spotted her best friend Hannah walking into the classroom. “About time you got here!” She said quietly as she grinned at her friend.

ROLEPLAY ETIQUETTE

BE LENIENT IN YOUR ROLEPLAY
It’s more fun to roleplay when you know those you’re engaging with aren’t researching every spell you cast to see its validity. Be realistic and true to Harry Potter canon, but be trusting.

RP SHORTER POSTS IN CLASS
Class roleplay is a different beast from standard one-on-one or group roleplay. For one, there’s often not an order. The professor will post at regular intervals, and it’s your job to get your roleplay in quickly enough to be relevant to the class. You do NOT need to roleplay after every professor post. Roleplay at a pace with which you are comfortable. It’s also courteous to post no larger than two solid paragraphs when roleplaying in class. It’s easier for the professor and your classmates to engage with and ensures you get your post out in time to be relevant.

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