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 RPG guidelines - So how does this work anyway?

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RPG guidelines - So how does this work anyway? Empty
PostSubject: RPG guidelines - So how does this work anyway?   RPG guidelines - So how does this work anyway? Icon_minitimeSun Aug 16, 2009 1:38 am

Alright, so your curious about joining this wild, crazy RPG thing on the forums, but how does it work exactly?

Well, it's actually pretty basic. The basic premise is this: You make a character (in the character topic). If I think this is a good character, I'll approve it, and make a topic with that character's name as the title. I will then start the post with a basic introduction and possibly a conflict. Then you answer with a post. Then I answer your answer. And voila - we are on to something! cheers

-Wait, wait, wait! That did NOT make any sense!

Alright, let's try to elaborate a bit for all your newcomers who have never RPG'ed before. And what better way to do that then with examples? I'll give you guys a general idea here:
So let's say we have this guy Nils (I know it's not exatly a heroic name, but it's still pretty cool). Nils is a classical example of the sci-fi hero; dashing, heroic, valiant, nationalistic - the works. Remember that this is just an example - please refrain from making such a boring hero. Anyway, Nils was created by Arne, a player who wants action and adventure as the main focus of his endearing adventures. The RPG-master (me, in this case) will be the one creating these adventures for Nils, and he's going to act out all the things that happen to Nils during these times (the people he meets, for example)

The RPG-master creates a topic called "Nils" for Arne, a post where only he and Arne can post. Let's say Nils' story is entirely classical down to the point of nauseating; he is a former pilot for the United Human Alliance who betrayed him - he now seeks revenge for his dead daughter/lover/bear/[insert significant individual here]. Now, the RPG-master would not start with the beginning of Nils' life - like how his childhood was, and stuff like that. The story usually starts with what is known as a Kicker; an impactful character-driven happening that is relevant to the character. Let's say for example that Nils has been hunting down the responsible for the death of his [insert significant individual here] for years, finding new traces each day. When the story starts off, this is the day he finds a vital clue, or even, the person he was looking for. We dive right into the action, so to speak, to get things going right away. To be more specific, let's say the RPG-master begins the topic by describing how Nils walks into his usual bar in a small, rich district on Eperoch. When he is about to order his favorite drink (Commodore 64) he is astonished and taken completely by surprise as he sees a former friend of his in the military - and one of the guys who stabbed him in the back - sitting on one of the barstools down the isle. The RPG-master does not write anymore, as the next move is entirely up to the player.

Should he confront him? Should he watch him silently, and follow him as he leaves? Should he take up the closest chair and smash his head open? These are all actions that the player could choose to do - and virtually anything else that is possible in the given situation. The player chooses what to do, then try to do it. Whether or not Nils was successful in his attempt is up to the RPG-master, who responds to the player wish in the next post. Let's look at some possibilities.

Let's say Arne wants Nils to confront the bastard verbally, going up to him and shout out to everyone what his former friend did to him. Alright, thinks the RPG-master, this is possible. After all, when Arne made Nils he wanted the character to be a bit outspoken, impulsive and emotional, yet not volatile. It makes sense that Nils would handle the situation in such a way.
However, if Arne had wanted Nils to just sit still and pretend nothing had happened, this would have been weirder - not only would this not correspond with Nils' nature and seem out of place, it also would really just waste the Kicker - the character needs something to care about. If not, he's just an empty, boring shell that would not make very interesting stories.

Again, if Arne would have wanted Nils to pick up a chair and cause havoc, this would also be strange, as Nils is not reckless and stupid - guards would have appeared and probably ruined everything for him. Also, it would make no sense whatsoever if Arne wanted Nils to feed his pet hamster, Mills, in this situation, or go bowling. Why would he? It does not make any sense in the context.

Therefore, as a short summary, it is important that the player thinks about two things when responding to the events happening around him:
1. That he is not himself, but instead plays another character. This might seem obvious, but is actually very important to point out. If you play as a sexy, manipulative politician, you should act as one in the game. There is a natural difference in how someone from the mafia and someone from the police-force act in a dangerous situation. Do not think about what you would you do, but instead focus on what your character would have done.

2. Think within reason. Also obvious, but important to point out. Don't act as if you know everything. Remember, you can't dictate events as a player. Let's say Arne wants Nils' former friend to be scared. He can't just write "Nils goes to his former fiend, who recognizes him and then becomes scared..." You only control your character, and Arne canít possibly know how Nilsí former friend thinks and feels. He can guess, but thatís as far as that goes, just like in real life. What he can do however, is make Nils an intimidating character, maybe by taking his former friendís drink and toss it to the floor dramatically. Maybe this will scare him, maybe not. That is up to the RPG-master, who controls the other characters and the events that unfold around the character.

If there are instances where the player does not understand what is going on, which probably will happen at some point, or he simply wonders about something in context with what is happening, he can write in yellow color. What this means is that anything written in this color is considered out-of-character, or OOC for short - in other words a comment or a question addressed to the RPG-master from the player himself, and not the character he plays. The RPG-master will use the same color for the same purposes, that is, addressing the player.

As a finishing note, do not feel restricted to make long, integrate posts with lots of details if you don't want to. Simply posting a yellow post with a question, or a single line of dialog is accepted if you can't or don't want to think ahead, or if you have to have to have a response in order to proceed. But also remember that the longer and more thourough the post, the faster the story evoves. Jus using one-liners can make the story sluggish and outpaced.

Alright, I think I've covered all the basics at this point. Questions, people? king
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