8th May 2010, 01:18 PM #1
He Sees You...
Into Your Character's Skin
Into Your Character’s Skin
A Role Playing Guide by Neo Pikachu
*All credit for this guide goes to Neo Pikachu*
**Some things were changed/removed, as they don't apply to this board**
I’d like to welcome you to “Into Your Character’s Skin,” a guide for role-playing that I created to help people develop their role-playing skills, both for creating role plays as well as taking part in them. Hopefully, after reading this, you’ll get a better idea of how a really good role player creates role plays and how they go about taking part in them. Also, I’ve written and have taken part in all kinds of role plays for many years, and a lot of people have enjoyed the style and format that I tend to use time and time again, and continue to improve.
A year ago, I had written “Taking Your Writing to the Next Level,” a guide to help anyone and everyone with their fan fiction writing, as well as any other future stories they decide to write. Many forums have a similar guide, but this will be the first time I’ve heard of a guide being created for role playing. Like fan fiction writing, role playing is a league of its own but still involves similar thought and planning. And while you make think it’s more of a thing for fun, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve engaged in role playing exercises when dealing with my past jobs. Plus, in any future endeavor, it may help you think “outside the box,” when dealing with people and other situations.
But for the most part, it’s meant to be fun. So read on and I hope that this will help make your future role playing activities more fun and interesting.
Formatting And Making It Look Right
Like when writing a fan fiction, Role Play posts need to be formatted as well so they look right and presentable. A role play post that is hard to read and understand can make the difference between someone else being able to understand and act upon your character’s actions and decisions, and them having to work out what you were trying to say and make a possible mistake.
Type your RP Posts in Microsoft Word or a similar word processing program, even though I know you’re probably thinking you can do without it. A Role Player who takes their role playing serious usually does this to help catch spelling mistakes, change words to more effective synonyms and reduce word redundancy, as well as see their entire post while typing it out as opposed to only seeing a tiny bit of it in the message box. Also, in case you don’t finish, you can always save what you’ve done and continue later.
Tabbing – Unfortunately, tabbing doesn’t work in most forums, and it doesn’t work at Bulbagarden. Instead, press the Enter or Return key twice to break your paragraphs into easy to read blocks of text.
Caps Lock – Only use this in the case where your character is shouting. But even then, try to avoid using it. Exclamation points at the end of a sentence never hurt anyone when creating shouts or warnings.
BB Code (Forum Code) – This is used to make your words italic, bold, or underlined, as well as many other uses. While RPing, you probably won’t use this all too much but it will come in handy when creating a sign-up form. Also, it’s best to include code while you’re typing your RP post in MS Word so you don’t forget to use the necessary code while you’re copying and pasting your text into the message box.
Character Limit – The character limit for a single post on the Bulbagarden forum is 80,000 (or 250,000, so I've been told; if this is wrong please let me know). However, as a role player, if you’re going over this limit, you might want to consider cutting it down a bit. The good thing about role plays is that if you didn’t get around to describing everything in your first post, it doesn’t hurt to bring it up in your second or third. But don’t lay down an enormous amount of information in multiple posts for others to read when they really want to get into their own part of the story. The best kinds of RP Posts go from 2,500 to 7,500 characters.
Copying and Pasting
To take the text you typed in your word processing program into the message box on the forum, first highlight all the text you typed in word processing program and then use the macro CTRL+C to copy all the text onto your clipboard. Then, go back to the forum message box, make sure your cursor is flashing in the message box, and then press CTRL+V to paste your text into the box.
Using the Preview Button
I recommend using the preview post button to look your work over to make sure it looks right and to make sure your BB Code is working the way you want it. If something looks incorrect, you can always change it before you post it, rather than having someone else look it over and realize you’ve made the mistake.
Also, using the Preview Button processes any BB Code you’re using. Trust me, I’ve had BB Code screw up on me before from one little mistake, and thanks to the Preview Button, I’ve saved myself from the embarrassment by correcting it there and then without anyone else ever seeing it.
8th May 2010, 01:21 PM #2
He Sees You...
Re: Into Your Character’s Skin
Know What the Rules Are
Before even getting into the rules of role playing, you should definitely be familiar with the rules of the entire forum. However, for role playing, there are multiple rules that can easily be broken by anyone who isn’t aware of them.
God Modding is making your character into an unrealistically, unstoppable force. This is just one of the things that could occur in a role play that upsets a balance, makes the role play unrealistic, and could possibly pave the way for future God Modding when other role players want to do it to put themselves on the same level as the original poster who started the God Modding trend and got away with it.
And as bad as God Modding is, it comes it all sizes and shapes. These are just a few examples…
Teleporting – Exactly as it sounds, moving from one place to another automatically without any detail on the travel there itself. Moving from Kanto to Johto takes a long time, if not days without any form of vehicular transportation. A policy I usually use to avoid teleporting is:
If by vehicle – If the distance is between regions, one post for the embarking of the journey itself, then the next with the journey taking place, and finally, the third is the arrival if you’re using some kind of motorized transportation. If it’s simply from one town to another in the same region, the first post could be the embarking and journey in the first post, and the arrival in the second, just as long as they’re neighboring towns, such as moving from Celadon City to Saffron City.
If on foot – Region to region on foot takes a ridiculous amount of time, as much as walking across the United States on foot would be like. However, from city to city, use the same method for traveling by vehicle from region to region. One for embarking, one for the journey, and the third as the arrival is a good and fair amount.
Invincibility – God Modding also comes in the form of invincibility, meaning your character has no downfalls, seems to pull himself/herself out of the most ridiculous situations with very little effort all the time, and can take down armies of enemies without any injury or resistance. Needless to say, this can spoil an RP like a week-old slice of pizza. This makes other Role Players annoyed very quickly, especially if they’re playing against the violator.
Know your limits – It’s okay if your character has abilities and proficiencies that are above those of the common person or grunt. Indeed, it makes sense for your character to be special enough to play a significant role in the unfolding storyline. However, that doesn’t mean they should know everything. If your character has a knack for computers, whether it be programming, building, hacking, whatever, that’s fine as long as you make everyone else aware that this is their forte in your sign-up sheet. But if this is the case, let them have a downfall somewhere else. Maybe they’re not so great with piloting helicopters and planes. But in all cases, your character shouldn’t have god-like knowledge of how to do everything.
Everything has a weakness – Including your character, and whatever weapons, machines, bases, or whatever else they have/created. If another role player uses their wits and strategically uses it with the reality and physics of the situation to overcome one of your machines or your character, then like in a real conflict, there should be a downfall. Also, your character will have times of desperation like people do in real life. It’s okay if you manage to deal with it accordingly, but in reality, those events and occurrences should be there, whether created by the reality of the role play itself or by the actions of another role player.
Bending Reality – As wonderful and entertaining as The Matrix series is, bending the realty of a situation in a role play is as unrealistic as it gets. Nonetheless, a role play based in a science fiction or futuristic world is bound to run into this problem (War RP anyone?). Like with all situations, machines have purposes, but they also have limitations. Very, very few machines in today’s world do things instantly. And those that do are usually very complex and difficult to build, such as computers. Machines, weapons, or whatever that have bigger strengths have bigger weaknesses. Like a computer, all it takes is one little part to mess up for the whole thing to come crashing to an end or be seriously damaged. A massive machine also has a weak point, such as the engine. Don’t bend reality by creating some all powerful machine or weapon that can never be stopped. Watch Star Wars and please tell me what happens to the Death Star at the end of the movie and how the Rebellion goes about destroying the base. This is a perfect example.
Bending reality can also come from doing the impossible. Jumping incredibly long distances, flight without wings or some kind of propellant, causing skyscrapers to fall from just conventional little machines, or taking down hundreds of enemies at once without ever taking a hit are just a few examples of many possible and insane infractions. Your characters are human, not gods. Even an RP based on the Matrix would have characters with limitations. Heck, watch the movie yourself and you’ll find plenty of examples.
Psychic Powers – The action of knowing exactly what’s going to happen from reading the posts of other role players, such as a possible incoming attack. It’s okay to be prepared for an attack or to use tools and other realistic devices to detect an oncoming threat, such as a radar scanner or scouts. It’s not okay when you unrealistically know that an intruder has entered your base when they’ve done everything they’ve could do avoid detection and under normal realistic circumstances, have still avoided detection.
Due to the existence of psychics and Psychic Pokémon in the Pokémon universe, this makes things a little tougher and the line between what’s right and wrong is a very thin one. And I’ll be honest, I’ve never been psychic before myself, but I think a fair policy to employ would be:
Things that can be detected by psychic powers – The fact that an oncoming threat exists, as well as the size. However, the threat should only be oncoming and the detection itself should only be limited to an entire region. An army that is gathering in a totally different region can’t be detected as a threat because there’s no clear indication that they are hostile, and the proximity is very distant.
Things that can’t be detected by psychic powers – The exact nature of the threat itself, whether it be Pokémon, troops, or vehicles such as tanks or airplanes, as well as the tactics they intend to use and the objectives they intend to complete. This makes it far too easy for the defender to ruin every possible strategy that the attacker has taken the time out to create and employ.
There is always a possible threat. I can tell you right now, an RP where everyone is a god would seriously suck… a lot. There may be some exceptions considering the style and situation of the role play itself, but there should never be an instance where there is a major violation of these rules. And to say the least, any form of God-modding should be avoided at all possible costs.
8th May 2010, 01:22 PM #3
He Sees You...
Re: Into Your Character’s Skin
Bunnying is the notion of taking over someone else’s character and/or making them do something that they didn’t agree to or never did in the first place. It’s actually a whole lot worse than it sounds. Imagine having a competing role player forcing you into making a negligent action that would cost you dearly so they could get the upper hand. Their role play entry may be perfectly realistic if read all by itself as a part of a story, yet in a role play, it becomes incredibly unfair. Unless someone gives you consent to bunny them for a limited time, do not say what other role players do unless they have already performed those actions in the posts before yours.
Giving Consent to Someone to Bunny You – There may be instances where you may be unable to participate in the RP due to outside circumstances, whether it be for a short limited time or for the rest of the duration of the RP. In this case, you may request for someone to bunny your character for the duration of time that you’re gone. Make sure you know what you’re doing before you do this, though. If you’re only going to be away for less than three days, let your character enter a semi-passive state, don’t be quick to let someone else bunny your character unless it’s totally necessary to keep the RP moving at a steady pace. Also, giving someone the privilege to bunny your character should only take place when the role play has already started and has developed considerably since the release date. If you’re giving bunny rights to another person very early in the RP, you probably should have thought twice before joining the RP in the first place…
Give the rights to someone you can trust – If you have an ally in the RP, give them the bunny rights before anyone else. Make sure you can trust them with your character. Also, make sure you give the rights to one person only. If given to multiple people, your character is going to be pulled in multiple directions, damaging the character’s personality and sense of reasoning. Unless you really don’t plan on coming back to the role play, make sure a trusted role player is in charge of your character until you come back to continue.
Being Given Consent to Bunny Someone Else’s Character – If someone else requests that you be the one to bunny their character while they are away, there are a few things you should remember. The best way to bunny someone else’s character is to read their sign-up form carefully, read the past entries of the person who the character belonged to, and role play the character as if it was your own. Be sure to keep the personality of the character consistent, and don’t make them do things that they definitely wouldn’t have agreed to before. Also, bunnied characters should only have a supporting role in the role play. Even if they were leaders before the switch, let someone else take charge and have the bunnied character provide support and not continue to serve as a major character.
And most of all, ask yourself if what you’re doing with someone’s character is something you’d like to see done with yours.
8th May 2010, 01:23 PM #4
He Sees You...
Re: Into Your Character’s Skin
Getting Into The Heart of It
Before you get started with making your own role plays, you’ve got to know yourself how to role play very well if you even want to get started with that. And there’s quite a few things you need to know before you should jump right into the thick of it.
Sign Up Sheets Mean More Than You Think – Indeed, this is the life of your character, the path they’ve walked on from the beginning until now. This is who they are and how they have become the person you see now. A person who takes a sign-up sheet seriously, writes excellent and intricate details when it comes to description and history, and makes a believable character and life-like will already be contributing a lot once they start getting into the role play. Already they’re making the role play that much more realistic by contributing a believable and realistic character into the storyline. A person that thinks that a sign up form is merely just to get into the role play and writes only the minimal amount will be taking away from the role play, submitting a two-dimensional character in a world that should be rich with possibility. Think about that carefully the next time you fill out a sign up sheet. Take your time with them and don’t be so hasty about getting in the role play.
Take sign up sheets seriously – Think thoroughly when it comes to selecting what you would like to put for your character’s description. Give them a face, think about the clothes they wear, their height and weight, and their personality as well as their attributes and skills. Make them unique, don’t make them a cookie cutter replica of someone else’s character or of another character from a TV or movie series that people are going to already know about. Also, think of a strong and unique history for your character. People’s attitudes are greatly shaped by how they were raised, and this is a very good lead to making other people aware of events that happened to your character earlier in their life lead up to now and what they’ve become today.
A first sign up sheet – If you’ve only started role playing and you have trouble thinking of a good character to create, why not try modeling one after yourself? Sure, not everything is the same, but if you keep their personality consistent with yours, it makes it very easy for a beginning role player to imagine themselves in the role play itself and make decisions and choices based on the choices they would make if it really happened to them. Once you get enough practice, then move on to characters that have different personalities than your own and imagine what you would do in their place given their conditional attitude. This will help train you into taking on different roles. But be careful what kind of personality to decide to select. Don’t make a character’s personality change quickly on a whim or it will quickly degrade your character’s realism and quality.
Get Descriptive! – The more you describe the world around you, the more believable it begins to become. Creating and describing the environment around you makes it easier for other role players to imagine and interact with the scene and environment you’ve just created. Take these two examples and tell me which one you think is better:
”James and I were sitting down at a table and suddenly the window broke. Zombies, everywhere. I got up and pulled James from his seat before the zombies could grab him. I then ran to the back of the room to get away from them.
‘Zombies, help!’ I shouted.”
And now this one…
“James and I had been having dinner at the Blue Moon Diner that night. Just before I bit the tail off one of my fried shrimp, suddenly the window had burst open and the both of us were suddenly bathed with a million shards of glass. I winced and shielded my face from the blast before turning back and seeing what had been the cause of it. Then, my worst fears were confirmed. Zombies, almost a hundred of them out in the streets and surrounding the diner, and now only a few feet away from my face. Frantically, I pulled James away from the wooden table while he was completely paralyzed with horror, only moments before a pair of shriveled and tattered arms came within inches of grabbing him. While James kept a safe distance away from them, I looked back to the rest of the diner’s patrons, totally in disbelief.
“Somebody help me!” I shouted to them all, hoping at least one of them would stand up to support us.”
Now, even with this kind of fictional setting, which of the two seems more believable? What kind of RP would you rather be in, one that is crammed with posts like the first one, or another, where every role player contributes to the best of their ability to make the setting as real and enjoyable as possible?
It’s easy to decide. You just need to contribute and do your part. Arm your role play posts with more description, more powerful vocabulary words, and more actions, emotions, and a carefully and thoughtfully planned sequence of events. Pretend that the role play is a movie and you’re one of the characters. If this is a movie, what should it look like to be the most entertaining to the viewer? How can I create a realistic environment for other people to interact with, and how can I interact in a realistic manner with the settings that other role players have created and described? Believe it or not, the key to a great role play is teamwork. Even a role play that has a basic and unimaginative storyline can turn into something excellent if the role players involved compromise for the RP’s lack of story with their own imagination and involvement. However, the best role plays start off well and continue well and role players shouldn’t need to improvise greatly on what the creator left out. Be an active contributor, and don’t just hang around for the ride.
Contribute As Much As You Can – I’m not saying to go hyperactive and constantly hit the refresh button waiting for someone else to post, but the more you take part and get yourself involved with the role play, the more important your character will become in the developing storyline. Contribute to build your character’s experience with their surroundings, their leadership and involvement with the other characters, and their personality, but don’t post again and again only to bring attention to yourself without actually driving the storyline.
Know when to act – There are three kinds of people, those who make things happen, those that watch things happen, and then those that wondered what happened. Undoubtedly, don’t be the kind that falls into the third category no matter what. You’ll just humiliate yourself and make your character useless. But also, don’t become too much of a watcher either. Don’t be a spectator too often, get into storyline and be a hero among your peers, but avoid trying to make your character a showoff. On a scale from 1 to 10, 1 being severely inactive and 10 being hyperactive, your best place to be is around a 7.
Creating Conflicts – An RP without challenges, threats, and obstacles becomes boring super-quickly. Most of the obvious threats should trace their roots back to the original storyline of the RP. However, throwing in new threats and challenges adds spice to the situation and gets the action more interesting.
Know what you’re getting into – You’re about to take a step that may alter the storyline a little, or take a step that could turn the entire story around. You should be timely when coming up with new challenges for your character and his companions to overcome, and don’t be surprised if the outcome of the situation is different than what you expected. This is just one of the major things that makes a role play very different from a fan fiction when it comes to crafting a storyline.
Against other role players – This can simply be achieved by taking an offensive measure against another role player, something that is very common in the War RP, when one team plots and attacks another. The attack should be unique, not a standard brute force assault on the enemy headquarters. Prepare something that the defender shouldn’t expect.
Against the entire group – In times when all the role players are working together as a team, throwing in a third party threat against the entire group can be beneficial for the action to heat up and get people more involved. Just don’t over abuse it, keep the threat and the conflict realistic and situational to the RP, and don’t be too quick to kill off your own created threat before other role players can act upon it.
8th May 2010, 01:24 PM #5
He Sees You...
Re: Into Your Character’s Skin
Actions And Sequences
Sometimes, it a little difficult to keep a clear and concise time frame during particular events of the role play. There are periods when time should be sped up a little to encourage contribution of events to happen in the role play. There are also periods when time should be slowed down because something important or significant is happening. However, there shouldn’t be too drastic of a difference between these two.
In times of peace, traveling, sleeping, or engaging in other day to day activities, time should be sped up. In long RPs where days and weeks go by, it is already assumed that your character takes care of themselves such as bathing and eating. In this situation, most of these activities can be skipped since they’re not very interesting to read and they don’t contribute anything to the developing storyline, hence the reason why most experienced role players speed up time a bit.
During situations where time is against the players, such as fights, natural disasters, or any other situation that’s a matter of life and death, time should definitely be slowed down because so many critical and important events are happening in a very short amount of time. These are times when your character is put to the test, using their abilities under pressure, thinking critically, and using whatever resources they can get their hands on to overcome the conflict. Typically, these are the best parts of the role play, and where most of the action is. The faster you rush though these kinds of conflicts, the less significant and threatening they appear to be.
Also, situations that may not be life-threatening but are still important should also have time slowed down for them. Some examples are planning and preparing for an attack, meeting with another character to discuss something important, or going into the creation and description of an important device or something similar are just a few examples. Don’t be too hasty to fly through these kinds of things because they could play a major role in the storyline later on if employed well.
Conflicts And Assaults
Sooner or later, your character and any of his or her possible allies are going to get into trouble. It’s what makes the RP very different from everyday life. Conflicts can either be expected, and both engaging parties are prepared to fight, or be by surprise, and only one side is prepared while the other takes the full brunt of the attack by not expecting it. But nonetheless, there are many, many types of hazards that could affect the decisions and well being of your character.
Realism – A battle or conflict that takes away from the realism of the story is probably one of the worst things that can happen in an RP, since it can totally ruin the storyline. Conflicts need to be logical, and the consequences and threats of them need to be realistic. Fires need oxygen, fuel, and an ignition source in order to arise. Water conducts electricity. Buildings that take significant damage in their main support beams will come crashing down. These are just a few of many examples that can happen in real life, and they should be considered when dealing with an RP. And even in the Pokémon world, most of these same threats remain consistent. Ask yourself, what would happen if that actually took place in real life? And when an answer comes to you, be honest about it and don’t bend reality to favor yourself or others.
Motives – Almost every battle that takes place has a motive behind it. Each one is caused by a conflict of interests, even if it doesn’t look so evident at first. Even those that are insane attack because there is something that they believe, even if it clearly isn’t true. A motive for a lion to attack a gazelle is food source. The conflicting interest is the lion needs nourishment, but the gazelle doesn’t want to be killed and eaten. Or, it could be between two countries. One country may attack another for resources or land. The conflicting interest is the attacking country wants to grow stronger, while the defending country doesn’t want to lose its precious resources to the attacker. The same should be with conflicts that happen between two parties in your RP. Don’t fall into the random battles hole that so many Final Fantasy games have fallen into. It easily becomes ridiculous.
NPCs are Non-Playable Characters. These are other characters in the RP that are there because while they’re not actually controlled by a role player, they’re either there as bystanders, enemies, or other entities involved with the storyline that can be harmful or beneficial to the actual role players. Despite the fact that no one is controlling them directly, they still shouldn’t be ignored.
Again, attacking hostile NPCs should be realistic. The more significant the NPC is to the storyline, the longer the conflict should be before its resolution. Civilians and grunts are basic entities that can be dealt with rather easily. Elites, such as trained police officers or soldiers, or experienced gang members are just a few examples of NPCs that can pose a problem for role players. If these are taken down far too quickly, it could be grounds for God-modding. And lastly are the leaders of operations, such as gang or military leaders themselves. These kinds of conflict should be much more prolonged due to the experience of the NPC.
Also, an NPC that plays a major role in the story shouldn’t be destroyed very easily. It’s not uncommon for a role player to design and plan a very intricate, developed, and planned out history, personality, and role for the NPC to fill. While these characters in the NPC are in fact able to be killed, the means by which they are killed and defeated should be as carefully described and intricately planned out as much as the character themselves are, if not greater. If an NPC has a massive background and is very active in the RP, then it should take at least three posts of concentrated combat with them or very careful planning before their death can be brought about. Sure, assassination attempts are feasible, situations where a character can be killed with as minimal combat as possile, but then careful planning and preparation is a must in order to achieve this. Plus, needless to say, it needs to be realistic, and it is very rare that everything goes totally perfectly. A role player that needs to improvise in certain situations because they know things don’t go 100% perfectly in real life is a person that is role playing their character well and is taking the situation as realistically as possible.
Attacking Other Role Players
Before you even think about outright attacking another active role player, consider the following, because it’s critical to avoid god-modding against another player. Outright ignoring these rules will likely get you immediately kicked from an RP, so listen well. Killing their followers, henchmen, and their NPCs is one thing, but actually turning on them is another.
Know that the characters that belong to other Role Players SHOULD NOT BE KILLED AND REMOVED FROM THE ROLE PLAY. However, they can be injured, or perhaps even have a fate worse than death. As long as those role players are still free to control their character, regardless of whatever befalls them, then it’s okay. However, do note that it is actually the role player themselves who plays the character that ultimately decides what happens to their character. I’ll go into this further…
You can always launch an attack against another role player, but by all means and circumstances, you can never, ever say that it hits them in the same post that you launched the attack. You also have to allow the person you’re attacking at least one post to respond. If they totally ignore your attack and post like it never happened, only then can you take action to damage their assets. Remember, you can’t kill the role player’s character. If they still ignore it, then bring it to their attention outside of the RP in an OCC (Out of character) message, because constantly ignoring other role player’s actions without valid reasoning is also against the rules.
Also, if you’re the one who’s being attacked, consider the situation realistically. While it’s wrong for your character to die, a well designed attack with good description to back it up should be considered. It’s a hard thing to let your character be hurt or totally altered from this point of the RP on, but who knows, maybe a major change in your character would make the RP more interesting for you to role play. Heck, never did I think the PHT Virus RP would become so popular enough to evolve into a four part series. But even there, role players are willing to accept major changes to their characters, and because of that, it builds the RP’s activity to new heights. And don’t ever role play your character like they can’t die. That’s also being unrealistic.
8th May 2010, 01:25 PM #6
He Sees You...
Re: Into Your Character’s Skin
Creating Your Own Role Play
Before you really even think making your own role play, take the time out to consider and read Taking Your Writing To The Next Level, or at least the parts entitled “Putting the pieces together” and “Understanding Plot.” While this is a fan fiction guide, these sections will help you understand what’s going on when it comes to plot design and formatting.
Also, make sure you understand role playing and what goes behind it. Don’t hesitate to look for the old War RP threads and see how some of our best role players handle many different types of situations. Practice role playing yourself too, rather than just jumping in and creating your own role play.
When it comes to the plot of a role play, your RP should already be in the conflict stage when the RP actually begins or at least very close to it. In a fan fiction, exposition usually covers the setting and the characters. Now instead of that, your beginning description to the RP is the exposition, and the sign-up forms are what will tap in each role player’s character when it comes to revealing background. But, even then, there are other things to consider when making a new RP.
- Make the storyline background very detailed. The role players should have a good idea what the situation at hand is, and should be prepared to dive into the role play as their own characters, knowing who they are, where they are, and how they are involved. If the role players involved have no idea what’s going on, how can you even begin?
- Avoid clichés. This is the process of using a concept that is way overused. Try not to involve groups or teams already used countless of times, such as Team Rocket or Team Magma/Aqua. And try to stay away from the “new trainer journey” where role players choose their first Pokémon and start all over again trying to get badges. These have been done so many times that most people don’t find them fun or enjoyable anymore.
- Think outside the box. There is a lot of detail and imagination that has yet to even be considered when it comes to the Pokémon universe. Don’t be too quick to settle for the typical RP idea, because the only things you’ll get are typical role players with a typical storyline. Using other video games or movies to forge ideas is a great place to start, but don't make it look too obvious you got your ideas from there. The PHT Virus RP I created was in fact inspired by the Resident Evil series, as well as borrowing the concept of hybrids that I had seen used in other role plays. Put them together, and a new RP was born, one that stayed away from the typical and didn’t involve the already used Team Rocket or similar ideas done before like that. And in support of that, role players were not in control of determining when they were infected, a totally outside dice roll was used for it. Ideas like this are what create the best role plays. Never be afraid to try something new, no matter how strange or different it may seem.
Once you’re done thinking of your RP idea, move on to designing the sign up sheet. This too, is something that is easily overlooked. Make sure your sign up sheet includes all the needed details, as well as details that you think help add character support to all your participating role players. Name, description, and history are definitely things that should show up on the sign up sheet. Occupation, abilities, and proficiencies are supportive, but really aren’t necessary for some role plays. However, for others, they could be really helpful to include. Choose wisely before making a final decision regarding what supporting details should or shouldn’t be included.
As far as Pokémon number goes with regards to how many Pokémon a role player is allowed to have, I usually use three. It allows role players to choose Pokémon they really want to have and go the extra length of adding detail and history to their own Pokémon, which is even better. Making a role player have six Pokémon usually results in them just choosing Pokémon and leaving it at that. A role player who wrote histories for three Pokémon may not feel up to creating histories for six. Think about that too. Or perhaps, that number could be zero. Ever consider that a possible idea for a role play could be where the role players are Pokémon themselves?
In time, you’ll also get more experience from creating role plays and role playing in those created by other people. You may discover some ideas that work great and people really enjoy, and there will be times that you’ll find maybe some others just aren’t as good as you thought they would be. But as long as you’re willing to keep trying to discover new ideas, there are no limits when it comes to role playing.
And with that said, never be afraid to let other people dive into the realm of your own imagination, and don’t forget to take a dip into their own creative worlds. You will learn from the skills of others, and when the time comes, there will be someone out there who will learn from you and admire the work that you’ve created.
Also, I’m leaving this guide open for anyone to make recommendations. I’ll consider each post carefully, so that if you feel I’m missing something or something should be changed, don’t hesitate to let me know. I’ll give consideration to each person.
Take care, and good luck to you in all your future role playing!
- Neo Pikachu
Please respect the original creator’s work by not copying or stealing any part of this guide. If you want to use it or reference it, please contact me first.
Last edited by Dog of Hellsing; 8th May 2010 at 01:32 PM.