I know from personal experience just how daunting it can be when you first enter the RPG forum and try and work out what's going on, where you're meant to post, characters, stories, rules, so on and so forth.
So here's a little bit of advice from the moderator of the RPG forum (me
) to help out. Total newbies to RPGing should read this if you need to, and also anyone RPing in Oddworld Forums for the first time might find this helpful.
RPG? What the...
An RPG (Role Playing Game) is a text-based game that we play by constructing a story through individual posts.
Players must pick an RPG they wish to join, create one or more characters (see below for more info) and then take it in turns with the other people in the RPG to post the actions your character carries out, moving around the area, interacting with other characters and the envirmonment and so on.
You might find it useful to read a few pages of an existing RPG to get you in the mood of things.
Making and posting a character
Obviously the characters you make are going to be very important for you and for the RPG you join. It annoys people a lot and can mess up an RPG story if you create a character and then kill it off quickly or just leave it standing without ever doing anything with it if you change your mind about the character you want. Also making lots of characters very quickly is a bad idea, especially if you're RPing for the first time. My reccomendation would be a maximum of three characters or less when you join. Wait until you're settled in to start making more. Think about your character carefully before you make it so you know you'll be happy once you start.
To make a character, fill in a character profile. Most RPGs should give the frame for the profile in the first post. Alternatively use one like this:
(Your character's name)
(Slig, mudokon, glukkon, fuzzle and so on)
(How old you character is, some people do it in comparison to a human. You don't have to be precise)
(Male or female, or something else)
(What the character looks like)
(What the character carries)
(likes, dislikes, quirks, what makes the character interesting)
(Your character's past)
You don't have to include all of these, but the more there is, the more we know of the character. Equipment and History are probably the least important two, as these can be developed during the RPG. Also, you don't have to confine yourself just to the things I've listed. If you have any other ideas you can add them.
The profile can be short, but it's good to take the opportunity to describe your character well here. It might help to read the profiles of other existing characters to give you an idea.
If you do want to get rid of one of your characters after a while, make sure it fits in with the story and make a good reason for him/her to leave. Sometimes there are times when it makes sense for a character to leave the RPG.
Some advice for choosing a first character
Picking a first character isn't always as easy as it sounds, so here's some advice to help you avoid common mistakes.
Remember your aim as an RPGer is to interact with other people's characters
. For this reason, playing as a character or creature that naturally doesn't interact well with others is a bad idea
. Playing an animal such as a scrab or even worse, a meech, really limits the people you can interact with; most sligs or mudokons upon seeing a wild animal will either try and kill it or run away! This is especially true for a meech, so think before playing an animal character; I strongly recommend new players to NOT pick an animal as their first character
. Also, avoid characters that would naturally be out of place
, such as an outright mudokon terrorist in an industrial facility; people won't want to interact with you, as a slig's first reaction to seeing a native would be to try and shoot it, and most players won't want their mudokon characters 'rescued' because this would remove them from the game!
Secondly, try to avoid characters that would naturally be all-powerful or all-important
in game, such as important glukkons, as this may lead you to power-playing or god-modding (see the RPG rules) which will not make you popular. Again, I don't want to cut off your chance to be creative but I would advise against making a glukkon your first character
You do not need to make your character ultra-special or ultra-unique
. Vykker experiments are all well and good, but some of the best RPG characters are just sligs who like sleeping, drinking brew and being rude to mudokons, or mudokons who just like to keep their heads down and get on and work.
Finally, don't make characters who are hyper-aggressive or hyper-violent
. With characters such as these you may again find yourself unintentionally power-playing, and this won't make you popular with other players. Sligs can be aggressive or bad-tempered without beating up everyone they pass and smashing anything that gets in there way. Generally if your character is the sort of person who would rather smash a door than open it, you might want to give it a re-think. Remember characters that are going to try and kill everyone are not going to work, because other players won't want their characters killed!
You might be able to make characters that imbue some of these characteristics later on, but for beginners, they're generally good to avoid.
The first thing you should do is check the RPG rules thread
. Then check the first post of the RPG you want to join
as this may include additional rules and information. If you're joining a longer RPG its a good idea to read the past two or three pages
so you can get the idea of what is going on. Make sure you understand the story of the RPG you are joining
Once you start, be aware of others and stay open to the advice of other players. One of the most important things to do is be patient. Many members can't get on every day so don't expect a reply to your posts straight away. If you start to find almost every second post is one of yours, slow down a little. Also avoid having a series of short posts between yourself and another member when you can include a longer, more detailed post. It's easier for other players and makes the RPG appear more friendly for players who join later. More information can be found in the rules.
Remember, RPGing is about interacting with other people and their characters. Avoid making a string of posts where you don't interact with other characters. There might be times when your posts are based around your characters alone, but try to interact with others, or give others the opportunity to interact with you.
How do I set out my posts?
If you want to speak with the other players begin with
'ooc:' (out of character)
Once you start with the game, type
'IC:' (in character)
There are two main ways of laying out a post. First is the script format
which goes something like this.
Character: "Character says something"
Character: (Character does something)
Character's thoughts: 'Character thinks something'
So for example:
Garth: (Raises gun and begins beating mudokon) "This is what you get for slacking off, slave!"
Garth's thoughts: 'I love beatin mudokons!'
The second way of laying out a post is the story format where you lay out the post like you would a story. Example:
Garth raised his gun and began beating the helpless mudokon. "This is what you get for slacking off, slave!" He continued to beat him.
'Odd, I love beating muds,'
He thought cheerfully.
You can experiment with them, most find script better at first. Some people use a combination of them both. By reading existing posts
you can get a better idea of how RPGing works.
How do I start my own RPG?
Check the 'New rules about creating RPGs'
thread for more information.
If you have any other questions or problems, post them here and I'll try and get back to you. Any thoughts posted in this thread should be moved into this post.
Q. "Can I join more than one RPG?"
A. Yes, you may join as many as you wish.