The Last of the Snowmen
General Role Play Forum RulesRole Plays - or RPs for short - are interactive stories where every poster creates one or more characters and writes alongside other forum members. In theory they're merely stories with more than one author, but instead of pooling ideas (writing the story as one) each member continuously prompts the others to move forward one step at a time. The results can be interesting and often times amazing. It all depends on you guys.
This particular board is dedicated to RPs about ANYTHING - any fandom, any random world locked inside your head, tales based on the "real" world... whatever you like. A character who travels with Pokémon is fair game too - however, keep in mind that RPs focused on the Pokémon world belong in Pokémon Role Play. Note that the Pokémon Role Play board has its own rules - and while they have many similarities to these, they are a separate rule thread and should be read if you intend to post anything over there.
Remember: These rules and regulations are here to keep the RP board fun for everyone. So, please respect the rules and abide by them. If any of you spots a violation, let us know. We'll do our best to deal with them.
How we RPHere in Pokécharms, RPing is done in story format, as opposed to script format, "sign-up" format or other freeform formats common on other RP forums or, say, Tumblr. This entails certain requirements from the format of posts:
- Posts must be written in third person (There is no "I" in "Role Play") and in the past tense (because we most certainly can't have everything happening all at once) - this helps maintain a certain consistency and grammatical cohesion between the players.
- Posts should be at least a paragraph long. With the exception of interaction scenes where one character replies to another's question and quick progression is required, one line posts are extremely dull and annoying. God, so to speak, is in the details - and adding description (of the scene, your characters, or the interaction between them) goes a long way to breathe life into an otherwise bland scene. However, do not overdo it - when the bigger picture is lost in unnecessary over-detailing, the point of a post may be lost.
First and foremost, RPs are a written medium, and this means that it is absolutely preferred to use words to describe things. Sometimes adding images can help clarify things. But as with anything else on the site, we do not tolerate art theft - including that of character and Fanmade Pokémon designs - and people trying to pass on the hard work of others as their own.
As such, we have some rules in place for use of images. These apply to both the Role Play Forums and the Role Play Discussion Forums
- If a post contains images of ANY sort, they must be either the original creation of the person who made the post, or something created specifically for them, specifically, by means of request or commission.
- If the image is a request/commission from another artist, use of the image must be complete with proper credit and link to the actual artist - in a way that makes it possible to verify that the image was created for this specific person.
- As with the Creative Corner, use of free-to-use/edit bases is permissible, but requires a link to the original base and credit to the original artist. Unlike the Creative Corner, however, the use of generators/avatar makers etc. is also permitted - but, again, with a specific link to the generator used.
- If a character, location or concept is inspired by or intentionally resembles something from another setting, do not post images of the source of inspiration directly - instead, state the source of the inspiration so others may look it up, or provide a link. This also applies for use of canon characters, items or settings.
While music and videos may inspire you as you write or accompany scenes in your head - they have absolutely no place within the text of in-character RP posts - they disrupt the flow of the post, clutter up threads, and generally feature material that you appropriated rather than created. Use words to build up atmosphere, or allude to the music, or describe the scene you're trying to emulate - and allow your readers to picture the scene in their heads.
Of course, if you wish to share things that inspired you in writing a post and discuss them, you can do so in the discussion thread for a particular RP - that's one of the reasons they are there for. Please, however, do so in a matter that actually invites discussion, rather than, say, claim a piece of random video game music is your character's "theme song". Unless you specifically wrote it for your character, it is not.
Becoming Part of an RPThere are, naturally, two ways to become part of an RP: Joining an existing one or starting a new one.
When you browse the RP forums you may notice that threads have prefixes - small labels before the thread name, denoting them as "Open", "Ask to Join" or "Private/Closed". Those of you who attempted to start a thread may have also noticed that you must select a prefix. These prefixes are meant to relay in advance who can - or cannot - join the thread.
- Open threads, marked in green, are threads that generally anyone can join. You don't need to request permission to join the thread, and you can generally simply start RPing, right off the bat, with no need to submit a character bio for anyone's approval.
- Ask to Join threads, marked in yellow, are threads that require the approval of the thread creator to join, as per "Joining an existing RP" below.
- Private/Closed threads, marked in red, are threads that have been started by a specific group of users, exclusively for that specific group, and are NOT accepting new members.
Some RPs allow new people to join in while the RP is already in progress. Most, however, do not - many RPs are closed RPs limited to a certain group of users, while others may have simply progressed to the point that introducing a new character without warning would be disruptive to the story. Others still may have not seen activity for a long time and have been abandoned, thus attempting to continue them may be a futile endeavor (check the latest reply date - it's good practice anyway).
Thus, before attempting to join an existing RP, please make sure that it is OK to do so by contacting the topic creator via a Private Message or other means (such as the discussion threads that many RPs have in the the General RP Discussion board) and asking them if there's an open spot in the RP for you. Please refrain from leaving a post in the actual RP thread itself asking if you can join. Private Messages exist for a reason. Use them.
To borrow a phrase from the world of tabletop role playing games, when you start an RP thread you take on the position of "Dungeon Master" - that is to say, it falls to you to describe the environment, the setting and your character's place in it in sufficient detail - and to create an opening for another player to come in. It is virtually impossible for people to join a new topic if they have absolutely nothing to go on - so, if you are not ready for that kind of a commitment due to lack of time/energy/effort or other reasons, do not start new RP threads.
Also, remember - we do our RPing in story format. Ergo, write a sufficiently long post that is at least a few paragraphs long. if a prospective player looks at your introduction and thinks "Is that all you've got?", you are clearly doing it wrong.
A note on "Sign-Up" Posts: It is general consensus that sign-up posts (that is brief blurbs describing a setting vaguely followed by a 'post your characters here!' type thing) are unnecessary wastes of space that serve no purpose but to hold an RP thread down - and do not count as valid introduction posts. Therefore, they are not to be posted on the Pokémon Role Play Forum. If you wish to discuss the manner of details usually dealt with in this manner, please use the General RP Discussion board or Private Messages. All character bios should be posted on the General RP Discussion board as well, either within a topic specifically created for your RP or the Mainstream RP Characters Bios topic. While concessions have been made if the post itself contains RP content and not just a bio, it is preferred that you use the RP forums for their intended purpose - RPing in story format and NOT character sheets. Posts that consist of bios and nothing else with no RP content WILL be removed and warnings will be issued to the people who posted such.
The Big "Do Not"s of RPingThese are the biggest, most important and most basic things that you must never, under any circumstance do in an RP - and will NOT be tolerated here.
Autoing (also known as "bunnying" in certain RP communities) is the act of controlling another RPer's character without their permission. This may take many different forms - from describing another player's character taking a certain action that their player did not make them take to forcing a hit on another player's character in a battle - all of which are equally annoying and none of which are considered acceptable behaviour.
Superplaying, Also known as "Godmoding", "Powergaming" or (less commonly) as "IT'S OVER NINE THOUSAAAAAAAAND!" is the act of breaching your character's limitations and doing something that should be entirely impossible for them to do even within this fictional universe. A special power or two are fine (as long as you can explain them properly) - but something to the line of destroying a planet with sheer thought is taking it too far.
Guidelines for Role PlayingThough these are described as 'guidelines', they will be enforced in the same way as any other rule here.
Mary Sues (or their male equivalent, Gary Stus/Marty Stus) are characters who are unbelievably perfect and 'special' to the point the laws of the universe seem to bend to accommodate for them. Note that a strong and talented character is NOT necessarily a Sue - you don't have to start your characters off as beginners or weaklings - but keep it believable. There is a difference between writing a character who is a seasoned trainer and a 17-year-old Rocket executive cat-girl with 200+ Pokémon, hyper-sharp senses and some dark, generic sob story past involving genetic engineering, magical amulets and signing a contract with the unholy lovechild of Espurr and Sylveon.
If you may have any concerns that your character may be a Sue or a Stu, here are a simple test or two.
When you write an RP post, you are writing a story in collaboration with several other people. As such it is extremely important to be mindful of your surroundings and of the actions of other characters to keep a solid, flowing continuity and avoid general confusion. Simply put: we don't want rooms spontaneously shifting into forests or characters randomly shifting appearance/locations because someone got too lazy to read other people's posts.
This should go without saying - but in story-format RPing, spelling and grammar matter a great deal. This means we expect you to go over your posts, format them properly (no one likes a wall of text), spell-check them and actually make them readable without other people having to bust out a Rosetta stone.
This thread is a good resource for all things grammar/spelling related in RP, and we strongly recommend you read it.
Most settings in which RPs may occur tend to involve fights, battles and other altercations. While there isn't an exact limit on the amount of horrible grotesque things that can happen in an RP - "on-screen" violence is not everyone's cup of tea. Therefore, we ask that:
- Exceedingly violent posts must be tagged - either in the thread title or the post itself. That way, people who do not wish to read exceedingly violent content (or who shouldn't) are not caught by surprise.
- No senseless bloodbaths - Violence must make sense within the setting. No eviscerating the entire population of a small village and feasting on their entrails in graphic detail simply for the sake of it, please.
That's it - have fun RPing - and if clarification of the rules is required, contact StellarWind Elsydeon.
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