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June 29, 2012


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*RP Rules and Etiquette

Fri Jun 29, 2012, 2:30 AM
  • Mood: Content

Where Worlds Collide and Galaxies Sing...

Well now, it seems that a lot of people on DA, and across the internet for that matter, have a huge misconception about what Role Playing actually is, let alone the fact that they have no idea how to do it properly.  Most of those who are clueless are children (under 18) who not only have no idea what they are doing, but also clearly had no proper instruction, or very bad instruction, on how to Role Play correctly, let alone proper Role Play etiquette.  The rest of the clueless ones that are actually adults are one of four things: generally ignorant and need proper instruction, received bad instruction on how to RP, are arrogant jerks who think they are the center of the RP, or are drama queens seeking attention and will throw a childish tantrum if they don't get their way.

Me, I usually like to give people the benefit of the doubt and try to give them proper instructions on how to RP correctly.  As a lifetime RPer, from Live Action ReCreationism Role Play, to COStume PLAY, to Live Action Role Play, Table Top Role Paying Games, and on line forum, list, and chat Role Playing, I have extensive experience on how to Role Play correctly.  To that end, I am posting this journal as a guideline for real and serious RPers, including RP Etiquette and Rules that true RPers follow.  These are not my personal rules, these are rules and etiquette established before I was born by the father of all Role Playing Games, Gary Gygax himself, used in every RPG ever made since his own game, Dungeons & Dragons, was released in 1974, the year I was born, and have adapted to what you see below as On Line Role Playing has developed from traditional Table Top RPGs.

Role Play Posting Etiquette
:bulletred: Spamming the RP is not acceptable.  Spamming an RP and posting more than once without waiting for anyone else to reply is liable to earn you nothing less than being shut out from the RP.
:bulletred: God-Modding is unacceptable.  Every character can take hits, every character can take damage, and every character can be killed.  Please conduct yourself accordingly and do not have your characters super powerful, have god-like abilities, or dodging every hit.  God Modding is liable to earn you nothing less than being shut out from the RP.
:bulletred: Power playing is not acceptable.  Playing another person's character without permission will not be allowed.  If necessary, confer with the other character's RPer to negotiate combined actions for posts, or imply your character's intention and follow up action if their intent succeeds.  Power Playing is liable to earn you nothing less than being shut out from the RP.
:bulletred: Character killing is not acceptable.  There will be absolutely no character killing permitted in the RP without prior negotiations with that character's RPer first!  There will be no exceptions!  Killing someone else's character without consent or permission is liable to earn you nothing less than being shut out from the RP.
:bulletred: No short one liner posts!  Be creative! Get into the spirit of things and let people read your character's thoughts and feelings, some inspiration and motivation for your character, anything, just make it interesting.  Typing a one word or short one sentence reply to a full and detailed RP post gets annoying fast.  While there is no word count minimum, the general rule of thumb is "try for at least 50-100 words."  If you end up typing a one thousand word post, that's perfectly okay too!
:bulletred: Be realistic with your posts.  If your character is hit, give them appropriate damage to the hit.  For example – In a Transformers based RP, if your character is human and Megatron shoots him with his fusion cannon, I'm sorry but your character is dead.  If a Transformer is hit with a blast from that same cannon, he is going to be hurting.  Be realistic and have fun with it.
:bulletred: There is something called spell check, please use it. Please use proper spelling and grammar with your posts, and proofread them!  It is very hard to read posts with spelling and grammar errors, misplaced words, or missing words, in an RP post.  Please be kind to the other RPers and at least type like you paid attention in English class at school.
:bulletred: Absolutely no 1337 Speak, Chat Speak, LOL Speak, Internet Slang, Text Speak, or Text Short Hand will be allowed in any RP posts!  We do not want to see it anywhere on the boards and repeated use of it in the RP is liable to earn you nothing less than being shut out from the RP.
:bulletred: One-Upmanship: Just don't do it. Pulling the "Yeah, and my character can do this" attitude and continually trying to One-Up other people's characters makes the rest of us want to either not RP with you or leave the site entirely. It is as immature as God Modding and refusing to let your characters be damaged by enemy fire. JUST DON'T DO IT!
:bulletred: Keep personal Drama out of the RP! If you have an issue between you and another RPer, take it to Private Chat. Drama Baiting and Drama Mongering in public view drives away established members of the RP as well as new or potential members. If you have Real Life issues that are preventing you from posting promptly, politely excuse yourself from the RP. If you are simply having a bad day/week/whatever, do not take it out on others. While many do offer sympathy to those who are having an especially hard time, airing one's dirty laundry continuously is rude and annoying. It is also considered drama queen attention seeking and is liable to earn you nothing less than being shut out from the RP and likely cause others to turn away and ignore you.

Ratings – Keep the posts and storylines to PG-13 rating!  This means you do not go into graphic detail of your characters sexual escapades.  Use common sense and "Fade to Black" if such things do occur in the RP.  As for battle scenes, while it is okay to describe injuries and damage, try to not be too grotesquely graphic.  Going into morbid detail about internal organs hanging out and how much blood is gushing from a wound is unnecessary.

Abusive Language and Sexual Harassment – Abuse and harassment of other RPers will not be tolerated.  If you are found to be committing such acts, you will be subject to nothing less than being shut out from the RP, and possibly being reported to the authorities, especially with regard to any sexual harassment.

Theft – Do not copy or steal another person's work! Meaning writing, poems, songs, art, anything someone else made and you claim as your own is considered theft. The exceptions to this are things like using official character images for Icons and Signature images for canon characters, as well as canon information for character bios. While it looks cool or may be well written, always credit your sources! You may have created the compiled images and bio for the character, but the pictures and information you used were not created by you. If the bio is for a canon character, do the research and write it yourself, do not steal one written by someone else. If the character is an OC, do not steal someone else's character, images, or information.

Creating Your Character – When bringing in a character (canon or original) into an established RP, go by the character bio template provided when making your PC (Permanent Character) and follow how it is to be filled out.  Often on RP sites and forums, character bios are required to be posted with that character's account. The ONLY character bios posted on such sites and forums are for the RP.  DO NOT post character bios for fan fics or from other RPs off site as it causes confusion and misunderstandings they would rather avoid.

Member and Character Account Names – To avoid confusion and potential issues with other RPers, especially on an RP site or forum, DO NOT use Character names for your Member Account, especially Canon Character names. This creates confusion and can potentially create hard feelings where none were intended when people start using Canon Character names for their Member Account names and someone is already playing that character. Also, do not use names for Member or Character Accounts that are offensive to others, especially derogatory terms. If you are unsure if a name is offensive or derogatory, it's best not to use it.  Such offensive and abusive names will only earn you the label of "Troll" and cause you to be banned from the RP in question.

I have taught quite a few people how to properly conduct themselves in various Role Playing venues (note that Cosplay is not actually Role Play, it is strictly playing dress-up in costumes like Halloween, thus its name – Costume Play or Cosplay).  I have run campaigns and built campaign worlds, as well as created quite a few detailed and well fleshed out characters for various Worlds, Universes, and Fandoms, including Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, Gamma World, Marvel Universe, Battle Tech, Vampire the Masquerade, Werewolf the Apocalypse, Rifts, Society for Creative Anachronism, Star Trek, Star Wars, Transformers, and others.  I am also a natural researcher and innate organizer, much to the delight and occasional dismay of some of my friends.  **smirks and winks at Catalyst**  So I have quite a lot of knowledge and experience in this sort of thing.

Now, do note that this account is my Personal Art Account, not an RP account.  I RP on established RP sites, forums, and lists, not willy nilly random on an ART site.  Some would argue that Role Playing is an art form, and normally I would agree with that.  However, this particular "Art Form" does not belong on DA; though the posting of RP character bios on Deviant Art and posting stories that result from RPs (in story form, not in RP posting form, and only with permission and full credit to all involved in the writing of said RP story) on Deviant Art is perfectly reasonable and I would not argue against such postings.  But actual RPing in chat and comments on Deviant Art is tedious, lawless, uncontainable, uncontrollable, and frankly pointless.  The reason I say this is because with trying to have an RP on DA, you can't establish set rules, timeline, or storyline and plots for the RP to follow, you can't limit who sees the RP, you can't keep random people from coming in and crashing the RP, and you can't keep someone from trying to take over the RP.  This is why RPing simply does not belong on DA, though doing so is not strictly against DA rules.  RPing belongs on closed and controlled sites and forums set up for that very purpose so established staff members can oversee and maintain the RP, set up rules and protocol, storyline, plot lines, and story timeline for the RP, control membership and board access, and remove troublemakers from the boards.

While I can see having a personal art account and a professional art account on Deviant Art (to keep your private and professional works separated), any more than that is just ridiculous.  Having multiple RP accounts on DA is honestly pointless since Deviant Art is not an appropriate place for RPing.  Also, having multiple separate accounts for each hobby or whatever you're into on DA is beyond pointless when you can so much more easily make multiple folders in your gallery to post your varied interests and hobbies in.  Also, making accounts to pretend you're someone else or for trolling and harassing someone is just childish and stupid, as is lying and deceiving others for whatever reason.  There is nothing that will validate or excuse such idiotic behavior as far as I'm concerned.

And to those of you who believe this is a personal attack against certain individuals (including yourselves) who clearly have poor RP skills or who insist upon having multiple accounts on DA, it is not. This is a general resource and information journal for anyone to utilize to improve themselves, like any other such journal I have posted.  However, I do know there are those who will take this as a personal attack against them, and honestly, if they are so insecure, petty, and vain as to believe that, that's their problem and I frankly don't care.  I have better things to do with my time than to post personal attacks against people on the internet.  Openly laughing at someone's inept stupidity however, is another story.  **chuckles**

You can find further reading regarding characters and Role Playing in my What REALLY Defines a Mary Sue/Gary Stu Character journal.

~>End Transmission<~


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XxAngelicaAnarchyxX Featured By Owner Dec 14, 2014  Professional General Artist
I've never tired any *real* role-plays honestly, because I've always felt intimidated by other people who set rules and such. I love these guidelines, though. To me, these just seem like common sense; then again not everyone has been blessed with much of that. ;p 
Leathurkatt-TFTiggy Featured By Owner Dec 14, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
These are the general rules that I and those who RP with me follow, along with the RP mechanics rules for whatever we're RPing.  I figured they were pretty straight forward common sense, and yet getting on line I was astounded by just how many "RPers" literally either had no idea or just didn't care about the rules.  **shakes head**  You shouldn't feel intimidated by RP rules people set down unless they are overbearing and excessive (and yes, I have run into RPs like that - excessive emphasis on a high minimum word count (250+) per post and in every section of a character bio, for one).  I think RPing, like Acting, is about self confidence and imagination really.  For the RPer, it's also about bringing a character you created to life and giving them adventures to play in; but above all, the whole point of an RP should be to have fun.  If it's not fun, there's something wrong.  **smiles**
Gharanth Featured By Owner Oct 19, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
This is brilliant. For too long there have been rude RPers around. Thank you so much for this wonderful guide to etiquette which should be read by everyone prior to playing for the first time, or indeed at any time.

Kudos and a huge :hug: to you.
Leathurkatt-TFTiggy Featured By Owner Oct 19, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you very much. **hugs** And you're very welcome.
zypherion Featured By Owner Oct 12, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Being long time RPer myself, I generally agree with nearly all of what you put above except for the notation of putting the thoughts of a character in poses. I had a fellower RPer rather bluntly and nastily tell me point blank that such was inappropriate since he couldn't possibly respond to thoughts that he cannot hear. All he could go on was actions and actual spoken words. The guy was a douche, but he had a point. Unless someone is playing a mind reader character there really is no point putting thoughts into a pose. Just my humble 2 cents.
Leathurkatt-TFTiggy Featured By Owner Oct 13, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
The guy was a douche and he was also very wrong. Think of an RP the same way you would think about writing a novel, the only difference is that with a novel only one person (sometimes two) is writing the story, while in an RP several people are writing the story post by post, and each RP thread is a chapter or a scene within a chapter in the novel. The point of including character thoughts and character Point of View is to give greater depth to the characters and the story for the reader to see and understand the depths of both, including motives and plans within the setting.

Just because another RPer's character can't respond to it does not in any way mean that such should not be included in the post. What about closed coms or communications over Spark bonds (Transformers), telepathy, or soul bonds that only those connected can hear while everyone else is left out of the loop? Must those closed or otherwise private and inaccessible communications be left out of the RP posts because one self-righteous glory-hound douche-monkey gets his nickers in a twist because his character can't respond to it? I think not. **winks**

The fact that he was apparently extremely rude (based on your description) about enforcing his views and forcing others to do things his way tells me two things:
1. He's a control freak with severe entitlement issues who very childishly attacks others and throws temper tantrums when he doesn't get his way in everything at all times.
2. He has severe delusions of believing that he is the supreme authority over his chosen subject and no one is going to tell him otherwise no matter how laughably wrong he is.

**chuckles** I don't know about you, but I frankly tend to completely disregard and ignore such overinflated egotestical morons when they start spouting their blubbery drivel at me in an attempt to force me to change my views or how I do things that I personally have found works very well, not only for me but for quite a few others as well. Take that as you will, but please note that my response is in no way a slight against you, merely correcting the erroneous line of thought so rudely rammed down your throat by the egotestical douche-monkey you had the misfortune of dealing with. **smiles** As well as to hopefully offer you a bit of a chuckle while reading my reply. **winks**
zypherion Featured By Owner Oct 13, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks for your reply. Since that particular incidence, I avoided this individual as much as I could. Unfortunately though there is a very popular location where many hang out on the grid, this individual tends to claim a particular spot with his family. Hard to avoid reading his type of RP when he comes into the location after I am there. Luckily though he's not been there in some months, or I've just had the good fortune of missing him. I find it amusing that he has posed at other characters of mine, not knowing that its me. I respond to be polite only. I suppose I could tell him to take a long walk off a short pier if I choose to be a douche myself. But to be honest with you I firmly believe in kharma. This individual has literally pigeon holed himself into RP with just his family and the few individuals who are willing to be polite to him because he's high up in one of the guilds.

At any rate, he shot me that page because I was pose thinking towards him in particular. I admit that the guy set off my passive aggressive tendencies and frankly I don't regret what I posed in return.

There will always be people like him, as well as line/grammar nazi types who get spazzed out the moment you misspell, get your grammar wrong, or *gasp* have the nerve to give them a perfectly good one liner in response to a multi-liner.

Personally I find reading a multi-liner that takes up the entire screen total gas-baggery. When you get another doing the same thing in a very busy room. Well forget having a nice conversation with someone because your lines just got pushed off the screen by the dueling screen long poses. Even a 50-100 word pose is pretty lengthy. I know you state its just a general guideline. But folks should know that it's okay to shoot out short poses too if they are stuck with how to describe the reaction of their character.

There is also limitations of individual players to take into account. I have run into an individual who literally was typing with one hand because he was hemiplegic (one side of his body didn't work). Then you have folks that suffer from tendonitis or other physically debilitating issues. A player reading limited liners really should take such things into account.
That's my next two cents. :)
Leathurkatt-TFTiggy Featured By Owner Oct 13, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Okay, in a chat room which is what it sounds like you're doing, yeah, kinda hard to post more than a line or two. What I'm talking about is on actual RP forums. Though I have pulled the Wall-O-Text in chat box RPs before though. XD

Honestly, I'd suggest going to an actual structured RP on forums rather than chat rooms for three reasons: One, there's more freedom that you have to be able to type up longer posts; two, it's not a free-for-all thing, it actually has a particular circle of members and troublemakers are quickly removed from the forum; and three, your RP is archived automatically and is easy to find so you can go back and read them again if you wish, or even turn them into stories. I think you might enjoy RPing there better. You can even create your own RP forum on ProBoards or InvisionFree and you n your RP friends on this chat thing you're on can set up your own RP without mister douche-monkey interfering with your RP, and you can add a Chatango chat box in the sidebar or at the top of one of the boards specifically for real time chat RPing as well. Nice thing about the chat boxes is that you can make them as big as you want so there's room for longer posts and having an RP chat and a chat chat will keep conversations from getting lost between RP posting. And those with limitations like you mention would be better able to not only read RP posts at their leisure, but also be able to take their time typing longer posts without being rushed and having to type fast because of the speed requirements of posting in chat rooms.

I find forum RP boards a lot more enjoyable and relaxing than open global chat rooms, and if everyone in the thread is on line, the posts come about as quick as in a chat and you just let the others know in the chat box you posted in the thread. Have a look around at some of the RP forums and you'll see what I mean. Then you wouldn't have to deal with that guy and people like him. It's your choice though.
zypherion Featured By Owner Oct 13, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I don't RP over chat or chat rooms, and I tried a RP board once and I felt like the third wheel trying to fit on a unicycle. Some people are just... well... elitist and enjoy their little clique of RP friends, making the newcomer feel out of the loop by not trying too hard to include them in RP. My RP is all MUSH related. A good deal of that RP isn't guided by a plot, though plots do happen. Anyway, thank you for the options but I doubt they'll work out for me. I guess I'm just too old and too marked for life by other RPers...
Leathurkatt-TFTiggy Featured By Owner Oct 14, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
MUSHs, MUDDs, and MUCKs are actually chat rooms/channels, you do realize... right? And like I said, you could create your own RP forum and take your friends there to RP with them away from the elitist nutjobs and douch-monkeys. But like I said, the choice is yours. **smiles**
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