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RPG Forum Advice

Discussion in 'RPG Café' started by RaZoR LeAf, Jan 26, 2004.

  1. RaZoR LeAf

    RaZoR LeAf Night Terror

    RPG Forum Advice

    This first part is a slightly more advanced guide than in the rules.

    1. Building an RPG

    The first thing you'll want for your RPG is a good plot. Originality, Detail and Interest is the key.
    Originality: You'll want to draw people to your RPG, so make the story original. Don't make a plot about a group of trainers off to win the league, as it's been over done to death. Put in alternative motives, large twists that make it differ from the norm. It doesn't have to be a trainer RPG, or even a pokemon RPG, but it needs to be original, so it's not just a cheap clone of another RPG that someone else has.

    Thinking of an original plot isn't always easy, especially if you want to do a pokemon RPG. So consider a cross-over, between pokemon and something else you are interested in. The results are often very original, and good fun. If you're still a bt stuck, then find something you have an interest in. Read up about it, and try to base an RPG around events pertaining to your interest.

    Detail: Like fanfic, you can't write a story in a paragraph, a plot for an RPG has to be long enough for the audience you're aiming for to get an idea what it's about. It doesn't have to be an epic 500 word chapter, but it needs to be more than a few lines strung together in a few minutes.

    Make sure you run a spell check over the plot. Minor spelling errors aren't noticed by those of us who aren't eagle eyed, but speaking in the ever common txt speak (u instead of you) is just tacky and looks bad. Don't use lots of big words, not everybody will know what they mean. If you're basing your RPG on something other than pokemon, including information on the subject is very important. Don't assume that everyone will know what's happening in the fifth series of your favourite anime.

    Interest: You'll want people to join so make sure you're plot is interesting. Expand on small ideas, so you can appeal to everyone's tastes. Listen to other people's advice and criticism. Be sure to look at other RPGs, just to see what they're doing, compare how you're plot is against theirs so you can get a better feel for what you're writing.

    When you're writing your plot, make it in a Word Processing Document such as Microsoft Word, or even as a simple text file in Notepad. Anything to let you save it and go back to it later. Don't make up a plot in the reply box of the forum. It'll look rushed and amaturish. When you come up with a plot think about more than just the story idea. Think ahead to the middle, even as far as the end. Think about the characters you want to see, think about the characters that will just appear as non participants. Build up a file of minor and major details. Maps for new worlds, names of cities and organisations, important people and non-important people.

    Now that the Plot is done, you have Sign Up Forums. You'll need people to create the characters to star in the RPG, so you'll need details. These are the basic fields that are seen in practically all RPGs:

    Picking a characters name shouldn't be too hard. Many people use their own names, or that of a friend. Be sure to pick the right sort of name depending on what type of RPG it is. If it's one set predominantly in Japan, the last name you'll have is Bibby Bob. If it's set in the medievil times, use a more old fashioned name, or pick one from literature.

    Try not to use well known names, or names that are in the public eye. If it's a fantasy RPG with elves, don't pick Legolas as your characters name, as people will only think of Lord of The Rings when they see the name.

    Make sure when you pick the characters age, you are capable of role playing it correctly. A 14 year old generally isn't greatly mature and wouldn't be able to deal with heavy issues. While a 30 year old tends not to be as jokey and easy to mix with.

    As with age, be sure you can roleplay a gender properly. Roleplaying your own gender is usually the best, and that's what most people do. Some people are capable of doing the opposite gender too, but if you intend to, be sure to get their mannerisms right. Girls tend to be more caring and softer, while boys more tough. While this is very stereotypical, it's a good guideline to follow.

    Not only does your character have clothes, but they have a body and a presence beneath those clothes. Match clothing to the RPG, just like your name. A Medievil RPG, or one set in a fantasy realm will not feature Jeans and a Tshirt. Be as detailed as necessary with clothing. Don't go into the exact pattern and logos on shirts, or the treads on shoes, but be sure to gie a good description of what your character is wearing.

    Beneath that, what about how they look aside from clothes. I don't mean nakedness, but their hair colour, eye colour, facial hair, glasses, peircings, skin complextion and physical build. With that done too, how about their presence? If you saw your character in the street, would you feel intimidated by them or would you think 'there's someone who looks kind and caring'?

    Like many things I've mentioned so far, keeping the personality in line with the rest of the fields is paramount. Don't make a young female character who wears pink dresses, a hard nut into fighting. Be sure you can handle the personality you intend to role play under. Sometimes, basing it partially on your own is useful.

    History is one of those things you're either good at or very good at. Anyone can write a brief history, but writing one that explains more into the description and personality of the character is a great help. By writing a good background, other PRGers can base their own posts around those events and build up a better relationship between characters.

    Many people use this as cannon fodder, but it should be put to a proper use. Use it to mention things that you wouldn't have put into any other sections, or to explain the reasoning or events behind something else you've mentioned.


    More to come as I feel like it


    All people feel free to add you're own advice.
  2. Ket Shi

    Ket Shi Guest

    I have another suggestion.

    Don't do favoritism!

    In an RPG I was in a long time ago, there were two different teams that coexisted. The creator of the RPG led one of the teams. His team defeated the Normal type Gym Leader, who gave out the winners eggs, supposedly containing Normal type Pokémon.
    Meanwhile, the group I was in met and defeated the same Gym Leader? What was our prize? Each of our team members got just a elemental stone of our choice.
    Shortly after, the teams reunited. And, strangely enough, the leader of the RPG's egg suddenly began hatching! And out popped...a Bagon.

    Don't give yourself or your allies rediculous favors like this. Doing this will cheapen the RPG and make the other players resent you.
  3. I have a bit to add in on the topic of origanality. the topic of the RPG should realte to the plot, or at least be interesting. Something called 'Poke RPG' (no offense to any RPs out there) wouldn't draw too many people. Something more creative, like Lady Myuu's 'Clones' is more interesting, therefore it would draw more people, right?
  4. RaZoR LeAf

    RaZoR LeAf Night Terror

    Don't set your expectations to high. Sometimes having a set number of people for an RPG is fine, but don't set it too high. Consider how many people will join your RPG. between 15-20 is far too high. Most RPGs get 8-10 players max on average, a few more if they are really interesting. So remember not to set your aims to too much.
  5. RaZoR LeAf

    RaZoR LeAf Night Terror

    If a mod or or someone else tells you to EDIT more information into your plot, whatever you do, don't just add minor details onto the end. It makes it look as though you just pasted them on with no real thought. Integrate them into your Plot so that information flows together. If you've been told to give a reason behind something, don't add the reason 5 lines after you've spoken about it. That's just disorganised.

    And on the same note, when you are told to add things to a sign up form, EDIT your original form, don't add it in your next post half way down the topic away from your original. People will look to your post for inspiration and what to do, having half of it in another post is pointless.
  6. RaZoR LeAf

    RaZoR LeAf Night Terror

    Use of the Keyboard and Punctuation

    You'll have noticed that your keyboard has lots of different keys on it. You'll be using most of them when you write, some more than others, but you should learn how to use certain keys properly to keep proper grammar.

    The Enter Key
    Also known as Return, you'll be using this to start a new line. It should always be used when a new person begins to speak. It should also be used in order to separate large blocks of text into paragraphs. It's a lot easier for people to understand what's going when text is split into paragraphs.

    The Space Bar
    Used to separate words, it should be used once after a comma (,) and twice after a full stop (.)

    The Shift Key
    An important key. Hold it down and you can write in upper case and use the top shelf symbols on the number and punctuation keys. Use it especially for the single 'I' in a scentence instead of the lower case i.

    The Caps Lock Key
    A useful but often misused key. While it works in a similar fashion to the Shift Key, it should not be used in the same way. Many people substitute the Caps Lock for the Shift, tapping it on and off when required. Learn not to do this, it is very easy to accidently leave it on and find half your typing in upper case.

    Also on your keyboard, you'll find symbols. Not the actual letters of the alphabet or numbers, but odd symbols that may seem familiar to you. They are punctuation keys, and those used in speech and writing will be explained here.

    The Full Stop - .
    A Full Stop is used at the end of a sentence. It is also used to separate the individual letters of an abbreviation, though this is not also necessary.

    Ash picked up the Pokeball.

    B.B.C. (British Broadcasting Corporation)

    The Comma - ,
    A comma is used to separate phrases in a sentence or when a list is being written. If you are unsure as to the location of a comma, read your sentences out loud. If you pause, a comma belongs there.

    Ash, please fetch my bag.

    In the bag was a Pokedex, a map, three Pokeballs and and sandwich.

    The Semi Colon - ;
    A semi-colon is used to join two sentences ?????????

    The Colon - :
    A colon is used before a list.

    There were many things: books, magazines, videos and CD's.

    The Exclamation Mark - !
    The Exclamation mark is used at the end of a sentence or after single words that indicate surprise, amazement, shock or delight.

    That's amazing!

    The Question Mark - ?
    The Question Mark is used at the end of a sentence whenever something is being asked.

    Are you OK?
    Can I help you?

    The Inverted Commas - " "
    These symbols appear at the start and end of a string of words and are used to indicate actual words being spoken by a character.

    "I don't know what you mean." said Ash.

    The Hyphen - -
    A hyphen, also known as a dash is used to link two or more small words together.


    The Brackets - ( )
    Brackets are used to surround additional words which are not essential to the main part of the sentence but may offer additional information.

    Ash approached the edge, but kept well back (he was afraid of heights).

    The Apostrophe - '
    The apostrophe is used for two very different purposes. To show something belongs to someone or to show that a letter or letters are missing from a word.

    A boy's shoes
    the dog's dinner

    Exceptions: its, ours, yours, their, hers, his

    The boys' shoes
    the dogs' dinner

    When a word ends in an s, only an apostrophe after it is enough to indicate belonging. s's is not used.

    Missing Letters
    I have - I've
    You have - you've
    Does not - doesn't
    Who would - who'd
    will not - won't

    Words and Proper Grammar

    This section is somewhat more detailed than you'd expect, because it goes into details that you'll not have considered. Nouns, Verbs, Adjectives and the like. It may seem long and pointless, but it is a useful thing to know the differences, and will help improve your posts vastly.

    A Noun is a naming word. It refers to a person, a place, a thing or a title. There are two types of nouns: common nouns and proper nouns. Common nouns do not have a capital letter, unless they begin a sentence. Proper nouns always have a capital letter.

    Common Nouns
    man, woman, child, house

    Proper Nouns
    Ash, Misty, Saffron City, Lavender Town

    It is also useful to remember that brand names such as Pepsi or MacDonalds are proper nouns and begin with a capital letter.

    A Pronoun is used in place of a noun to avoid repetition. here are three groups.
    Personal, Possessive and Relative.

    A: I, you, he, she, it, we, you, they
    B: me, you, him, her, it, us, you, them

    A: my, your, his, her, its, our, your, their
    B: mine, yours, his, hers, its, ours, yours theirs

    which, what, who, that, whom, whose

    When the person is doing the action - the subject of the sentence - use a pronoun from column A:
    Personal - You and I will go together
    Possessive - Column A plus the noun. Her hair is very long

    When the action is being done to the person - the object of the sentence - use a pronoun from column B:
    Personal - The teacher shouted at him and me
    Possessive - Instead of the noun use a word from column B. The book is hers.

    Relative pronouns refer back to an earlier noun or pronoun.
    Ash gave me a book which I had not read

    A preposition is used before a noun or pronoun to indicate place (e.g. above, behind), position (e.g. on, among) or time (e.g. since, until)

    into, across, against, at, through, over, under, past

    Conjunctions join together two words, two phrases or two parts of a sentence.

    and, but, because, that, or, if, before, since, yet

    An Adjective is used to tell more about a noun or pronoun so that it adds something to the meaning. Adjectives fall into three groups.

    beautiful, lazy, skinny, dull, happy, sunny, comfortable, all colours

    both, many, some, several, all, double, half, much, all numbers

    this, that, those, these, ever, neither, either, which?, what?, whose?

    When an Adjective is used to compare two or more things, it changes form.

    The tall girl came into the room
    (One girl.. use the positive form)
    High, Dull,
    Good, Bad

    The girl is taller than that one
    (Two girls.. use the comparative form)
    Higher, Duller,
    Better, Worse

    That girl is the tallest in the room
    (More than two girls.. use the superlative form)
    Highest, Dullest
    Best, Worst

    When an adjective has two or more syllables, more and most are used when in the positive form.
    More handsome
    Most handsome

    A Verb is the most important word in a sentence; it is the action or doing word. Without it we are unable to make a sentence. The person doing the action is the subject of the sentence.
    Some verbs always need an object to work, they are Transitive verbs. Those which do not need an object are Intransitive.

    need an object
    to give
    to do
    to make
    to find
    to catch

    do not need an object
    to speak
    to laugh
    to ride
    to walk
    to listen

    An Adverb tells more about a verb, and adjective or another adverb. It is placed immediately before or after the word it is describing. There are three basic groups which tell [b[how[/b], when or where something happened.

    softly, quickly, quietly, noisily

    soon, often, yesterday, always

    here, there, everywhere, beside

    Adverbs, like adjectives, also have comparative and superlative forms. These are formed by using more and most or less and least with an adverb.


    More when it's written

  7. Bu†cH

    Bu†cH Braaiiiiiinss......

    I have important advice for newbies here:

    To make a good RPG, an hour doesn't cut it.
    You need a lot more time than that....A LOT MORE TIME!
    It takes many days, weeks, probabily months to make a good RPG.

    If Nintendo created Zelda: Twilight Princess in three hours, it will SUCK!

    So you'll need patience and time, my friend, to make a masterpiece.

    "It takes time to crack a pearl. That's alright. That's what makes it more valuable."
    -Some tan-skinned nobody from Samurai Champloo
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2005
  8. Yami Ryu

    Yami Ryu Well-Known Member

    Butch ... RPs can be made up in less time then that. All of mine are thought up in a minute, usually when inspiration hits me, then depending how long/much there is to the plot, it can take 5 minutes to 3 days to write. And my current one took 5/15 minutes to write as I kept tweaking it. Time is not the question here.

    Effort is.

    And you don't need to post what is common sense, time is not the thing Mods want put into an Role Play sign up/Role Play itself. It's effort, attempt, actually trying to make an RP the best it can be/to your full abilities. Because I've seen people claim to have taken weeks to make something, and it still ends up like ****.
  9. not_awake

    not_awake Who flung poo?

    Two things I would advice:

    When creating a character don't make them too fantastic. Start with something simple, something normal. Let the extraordinary come from within the confines of the story; that's were your adventure will come from. If your history is too exciting anything that happens in the story will pale in comparison. For example, if you've seen legendary creatures before it won't amaze you as much if they show in the story.

    Secondly, let your post reflect the current situation. Briefly reflect on the environment or the actions of other RP'ers. You don't have to do this every time, but using it occasionally shows that you're following the story and allows to express your inner dialogue (your thoughts).
  10. Growlithe

    Growlithe Sakura's #1 Fan


    Excuse me, but I have a suggestion to make if you plan on creating or joining a roleplay.


    Seriously, I mean it. Of course, roleplaying and spending time on the internet is fun! Especially when your dealing with Pokemon! But if you don't have enough time to do it, then there's no point. If you decide to roleplay, your putting a responsibility on your hands if you think about it. You see, people will like your character and plot if you have all of these originality points that RaZoR LeAf so kindly pointed out. If your lucky, they're going to really love your roleplay. Your the leader of this roleplay, they depend on you to keep it alive for as long as possible. Trust me, I know this from personal experience.

    When my friend and I made a private Naruto roleplay, for six months all we did was roleplay our hearts out. And we loved it. She didn't understand how much I loved it, how much effort I put into it. It was the only thing I thought about every day, and I was always trying to help it in any way that I could. Of course I was shattered 18 days ago when my friend had to give up on it because she was starting high school. And i'm still recovering from it...

    I know that people have lives off the internet. But if people love your roleplay, it'll burrow it's way into their hearts, and they'll never forget it. They will be very, very upset when you decide you cannot handle it anymore. They rely on you to keep it alive, and they trust you not to let it die.

    If you join a roleplay instead of creating one, it can be just as worse.

    If you join a sucessful, active roleplay, your bound to make some friends. Your character is going to have to do something with the plotline. People will grow to love you and your characters in a roleplay. So you can imagine how they're going to feel when they read the post, "I'm sorry guys. I quit.". It WILL haunt them. So before joining a roleplay, think carefully.

    If your a person going into highschool, has a lot of homework, a lot of exams, or some family issues going on, ect. Then you might not want to roleplay for a while until you have a lot of free time on your hands.

  11. Rosalieart

    Rosalieart Fantasy Lover; rp?

    hey, if you need a starter or a name, this site makes random (insert whaty you want here) i just want to say because a rp i had got locked, someone thought it was another role play site! *complains*
  12. Mini Minun

    Mini Minun Twin Bolts of Light

    Another point: DON'T JOIN MORE THAN 4 RPGs AT A TIME.
    If you have more than those, you usually are unable to praticipate the way you should.
  13. RagTag

    RagTag Shroomin'

    I've heard a lot of people say they wanted to sign up for an RP but were too afraid of being rejected, Don't be afraid if you want to join then sign up, even if you are rejected whats the worst that could happen.
  14. Mini Minun

    Mini Minun Twin Bolts of Light

    And then, of course, read over the examples carefully and make sure you come at least close to the quality of the example.
  15. runka

    runka Charizard pwns it!

    Just a point I want to make.
    In some RPG's there are weapons which you can use. Make them similar with the plot. For example, you wouldn't want a.... horse as your only weapon in a Star Wars setting would you? And having a laser sword in a RPG of ancient Greece is just stupid.
    Switch the above weapons into the different RPG's. Make sense now?Of course you'd have a laser sword in Star Wars, or a nice magic horse in Ancient Greece.
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2008
  16. RaZoR LeAf

    RaZoR LeAf Night Terror

    On that same note, Swords are the most overused weapons in RPGs.
    If it's a fantasy setting, there are so many different weapons that can be used instead of a sword. Even a dagger is more original than a sword. If it's not a fantasy RPG, then REALLY don't give your character a sword. It's such a massive and horrible cliche.
  17. pantyer2

    pantyer2 << HOOT HOOT

    What do we write first, Do we do the sign up or main RPG page!? Please reply!
  18. Psychic

    Psychic Really and truly

    If you want to be a part of an RPG, you have to sign up for it with your character in the Sign-Up section, and only after you have been accepted can you post in the main RPG area.

    Hope that helps. ^^

  19. Peter Quill

    Peter Quill star-lord

    Ok here is a suggestion:

    If you want people to take you seriously and join a RPG you should follow a few tips:

    Use proper paragraphing. Seriously there are many times that atleast I wouldn't join a RPG, because I can't read your giant text of wall. Proper paragraphing helps people to read and gives a much better layout of your RPG plot and mechanics.

    Another thing that's a real pet peeve, and something that makes you look like a downright noob.

    - I'm sorry this is my first RPG so it's a bit noobish.

    This is a huge no. For the love of god, don't do this. In gives the opposite effect of making you look like a noob. Basically this is as comparing in the old Fan Comics: I'm only using paint waaahhh I don't have photoshop :(((

    This makes you look extremely silly, and basically shows that you can't take criticsm. And ultimately your just trying to cover your *** for in what your opinion is a crappy RPG.
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2009
  20. Kamotz

    Kamotz God of Monsters

    On a forum I frequented prior to serebiiforums (where I actually was first introduced to the written RPG concept), the RPG Forums were much more moderated. You couldn't even post a signup thread without having moderator approval. Now, I don't think there's any need for something so drastic here, but one thing this did was make potential GMs sit down and really give thought to their RPG. There was a specific "form" they needed to provide for the proposal, which actually helped a lot. It made the layout and presentation of the RPG much neater and easier to follow, and I thought it would be good idea to bring this bit of help here.

    This is what they wanted to see, quoted directly from the source:
    Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not advocating switching Serebiiforums over to this style. I don't think moderator-approval is necessary, and it was a bit of a hassle for the moderators over there. However, I do think the above format is very useful for presenting your RPG, and all potential GMs should have those sections. You don't need to have the actual labels "backstory", "plot", etc., but have them in mind as you're writing your initial signup post. This will help to close up or reveal plot holes that you might not even have known about.

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