How to Roleplay and Why It's Fun!

In a roleplay, two or more people get together and pretend to be fictional characters. It’s a great way to make new friends and escape from your real life for a little while. While anyone can join a roleplay, it’s important to follow a few guidelines for the roleplay experience to be successful.

Getting Started:
A roleplay (RP) generally starts with one person creating the setting and starting plot. This can be something as normal as a group of friends in a modern day high school or something as extraordinary as a band of humans in the middle of a zombie apocalypse.

Each roleplayer should let the others know who their character is and what they are like. This is typically done through “bios”, or short descriptions of a character. At the minimum, each bio should include a name, age, gender, and some description of appearance and/or personality traits. You will use this character throughout the RP, so make sure it’s a character that you will enjoy playing. If you are creating your own character, try not to make them a “Mary Sue”. A Mary Sue is any character that has little or no flaws, and creating such an overpowered character can make any roleplay unbalanced and less fun for everyone.

The Story:
Although there may be a starting plot or background plot to your RP, it’s up to the roleplayers to keep the story going. Once everyone has joined, the story can begin. Each person can add to the story and is encouraged to interact with other characters. Try to pay attention to what others have said so that you understand the plot and can make sense when adding to it. Detail and description is always a good thing, but sometimes, short additions to the story or quick responses to other characters are just as reasonable. Always use correct grammar, spelling, and punctuation to ensure that the other roleplayers can understand what you mean. If you are going to leave the roleplay either temporarily or permanently, make sure to let everyone else know. If you are present in the roleplay, try to respond in a timely manner. On the other hand, if someone is taking a while to respond, do your best to remain patient.

Some Symbols To Know:
When you want to describe an action that your character is doing, use asterisks (*) or hyphens (-). For example, if you want to say that your character falls out of a tree, write: *Falls out of tree* or -Falls out of tree-. If for some reason you need to say something outside of the roleplay, use double parentheses (( )). For example, if you are busy in real life and will be gone for a few hours, you can write: ((I have to go, I’ll be back in a few hours)).

In roleplay, god-modding is considered unfair and should be avoided. God-modding typically occurs during fighting scenes, but it can apply to any roleplay scenario. Fight scene god-modding can either be offensive or defensive. Offensive god-modding occurs when someone controls what happens to another roleplayer’s character. For example, writing, “Punches your nose and breaks it” would be god-modding. Instead, you should write something like, “Throws a strong punch towards your nose, attempting to break it”. This way, you give the other player a chance either block or take your hit instead of automatically giving them a broken nose. Defensive god-modding would be unrealistically dodging or blocking another player’s attack. Although you may not want to, sometimes it is necessary to take a hit if that is the most realistic outcome of another player’s attack.

It’s important to remember that the whole point of a roleplay is to have fun. It’s no fun when people are disrespectful or inappropriate, so make sure you are careful about what you say.

Now that you know the basics, get out there and start roleplaying. Be creative, be adventurous, and most importantly have fun.

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