thaz rules

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Post by zuko2001 on Sun Nov 01, 2009 7:23 pm

welcome to the handbook of RPG etiquette. better known as:

version 6

i've tried to put everything in a logical order based on importance

//there aren't really that many rules in RPG's. the ones there are are simple and as unbending as the very laws of physics.

1. no godmodding or ubering. PERIOD.
2. read the frigging posts!
3. never ever ignore the mod or original thread creator, or face the mighty slap-hand of smite.

//now comes the vastly bigger and slightly vague world of guidelines: not as unbending as the rules, but still things to respect.


1. read the thread... cannot stress this enough.
start by reading your last post. if this means reading the whole thread because you're new to it, then read the first page and try to read at least the last 5 pages. come on, it's not that hard, this is not vexxiang.

2. don't suddenly jump in.
ask to be included, instead of suddenly barging in on the story. post a bio/description of your character and ask if you got green light. a format for the description usually is given. doing this gives other people the chance to implement you into the story in a logic way or to deny you based on previous experiences

3. if you're interacting with somebody else's character or species, and you're doing something which has a big impact on said subject, say, you're negotiating moving the species to a different planet, (or turning the other blue, hmmm MT?) make sure that the other approves, either by posting an open outcome and waiting for the other to act, or PMing the other explaining what you want to do and asking if you can.

4. spelling and grammar. keep your posts readable.
think... what would you rather read... a book with perfect spelling and smooth grammar, or a book which just explodes because of the many errors and weird illogical sentences?

5. readability regarding post size.
if you've got large pieces of text, try to put breaks between distinctly different actions to make less of an eye-killing huge body of text.

6. keep the size of your posts in moderation.
try to refrain from making posts smaller than a few sentences or bigger than one complete page.
sometimes small posts are needed at the start of a thread to learn each other's style, or to prevent breaking guideline 3. not a big problem, but try to refrain from doing it too much, it uses up a lot of space and patience on the reader's part.

//now comes the part which you could totally ignore, but hey, there are some useful tips in there to make your writing even better!


1. try to find mistakes before somebody else stumbles over them!
read your post again before you finally click the 'post' button to find and fish out any unnecessary mistakes. it's sometimes also advisable to do this again after you posted it, bb-code can sometimes be messed up, and it's an extra security net.
oh, by the way, this one is applicable in forums in general too!

2. if you criticize somebody's post, do so in a constructive way.
EG: when somebody is very bad at spelling, don't say "hah, you suck", but point out where he makes the mistake. don't be blunt, rude or insulting. if you wanna see how NOT to do it, just read a random post from Ymgir from VX.

if you want to write a good RPG, create a good character, be original! go off the threaded paths, don't always follow the cliches (although sometimes it can be fun to break your own habit regarding cliches, see my redshirt jokes [1] [2]) and vary on your characters. you don't allways have to be an engineer or a fighter-pilot. be a barman for a change! for an example, in my older RPGs and the dreadnought RPGs (except the first RPG i ever did, since back then i was a centaur-like dinosaur of several tonnes close to ubering (see, everyone has commited a sin in the past) ) i used the character of 'the governor' and Delphi industries, but i like to reinvent myself from time to time. also an idea is to just simply change of sex! when you always play as a boy, play as a girl for once, or the other way round! (see the starfleet acedemy at VX...) the conclusion of this one: break conventions and traditions.

4.the character.
aight, important one when playing the really big and long RPGs. best not f...ed up. if you don't know immediately what your character is going to be, look at other's characters and posts in the specific RPG to define what character fits the style of it. characters should be granted considerable attention, since they determine the whole rest of your part the play. if need be, post an entire fanrace for your specific character when it's an non-canonical race, like terra. character descriptions don't need to be extensively large, but you should have an complete image somewhere, on paper, .doc or in your head. sometimes it fits best not to make the public description large, for an example when you're playing a random ensign (mallor!) or a mysterious baddy, then revealing things on the way.

5. another one on readability: *actions* "conversations" and -V-communications-V-...
- the *actions* between asterisks is totally yours to decide. if you write in a quite matter-of-factly way or your actions sometimes are hard to differ from your conversations sometimes hard to differ, it's wise to use them. but if you write in a clear prozaic way, it may disturb your style. be warned though, asterisks require a different writing style than prose...
- "conversations". please use them! because otherwise it will be completely impossible to differ action from conversation. it's a good trait to use them in every single language anyway, luckily.
- -V- communications -V-. sometimes also between -R- radio -R- to indicate pre-trek tech. when it's hard to differ conversations between two people in the same space and conversations over the radio or comm-badge this is highly recommended.

6. preview button!
when making a huge post and there's a chance that people have been posting before you, please click the preview button left of the post button first to check if you didn't get behind. it kinda looks awkward when you're one or two pages behind. unfortunately the 'warn me when someone else posts before me' thingy doesn't always work, so be warned.

7. subplots, sideplots and stuff. fleshing out the story a bit.
these are fun! writing stuff which doesn't have anything to do with the main plot at first hand, but which may or may not have a great impact on the story later on. ideas on this are:
- separation: personal revenge, abduction, a private moment
the simplest and easiest one. can deal a big impact.
- Relationships: love, friendship, hate, feuds...
fun! don't have a huge impact on the main story generally, but they can give a lot of fun between two people and have an impact on the character development and your writing style.
- family, relations with NPC's (including pets) and background history (possibly in flashbacks)
recommended only for experienced writers. can be good if done right, but can be very boring when not. they (should) always have the least impact on the main story, but a huge one on character and style.

8. readability, again!
- if you know you got trouble with spelling and stuff, it's recommended to get Firefox with spelling checker and dictionary (here! also for other languages) if you don't want to, cannot or are not allowed to get firefox, run your post through the MS office word spelling checker or through the Open Office equivalent.
- if your vocabulary isn't that great, use an (online) dictionary! a free one for English, French, German, Dutch, Swedish and Spanish can be found here. (personally recommended!)

-Thanks DW for the rules.
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