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The RPG Forum Rules

Discussion in 'Role-Playing Games' started by RaZoR LeAf, Aug 27, 2009.

  1. RaZoR LeAf

    RaZoR LeAf Night Terror


    Role-Playing-Game (RPG) A game in which the participants assume the roles of fictional characters.
    Participants determine the actions of their characters based on their characterization, and the actions succeed or fail
    according to a formal system of rules and guidelines. Within the rules, players have the freedom to improvise;
    their choices shape the direction and outcome of the game. -Wikipedia

    RPG Forum Rules

    The RPG Forum is part of the Serebii Forums, as as such ALL of it's main rules apply here. You can read the Main Forum rules here. There are parts of the rules you can bend here, but any such differences are mentioned in this Rules thread.

    1. Topics

    We have three different forums here. The RPG Forum is the main part, this is where the actual game itself goes. Before you post here, you go to the Sign Up Sub-Forum. This is where you post your RPG awaiting members. The RPG Café is for discussion of all things RPG related. There is more information about both of these forums later in the thread.

    2. Etiquette

    Respect every member's thoughts and ideas. Please treat all members with the same respect you would want to be treated with. We have a Bill of Rights that entitles you to fair play, though they do not automatically make you or your argument right. These rights are:

    As a Game Master
    • The right to have good Sign-Ups
    • The right to deny anyone who doesn't reach their/the RPG's standards
    • The right to deny anyone who you feel won’t do well in the RPG
    • The right to ask for reasonable changes in someone's character
    • The right to retain all rights and control over their RPG
    • The right to later deny or remove someone from their RPG

    As a Sign Up
    • The right to be treated equal to everyone else
    • The right to politely question the Game Master
    • The right to a reason if turned down
    • The right to contact a Moderator if unfair play is suspected
    • The right to retain all rights and control over their characters, when it does not contradict the rules of the GM

    3. Differences to Main Forum Rules

    As mentioned, there are some of the main forums rules that can be bent here. The ways you can bend them are as follows.

    Evading the swearing filter is acceptable so long as it is done in-character. Doing it outside of a character post and it's the same as doing it anywhere else in the forum. We also ask that you don't use it excessively and use the character as an excuse to mouth off.

    The Game Master has the right to bump their own topics that are over a month old, for whatever reason. Any topic over 2 months old cannot be bumped.

    The RPG Forum is one of the special cases. You can double post if nobody else has posted in over a day. Game Masters can double post in their own RPGs, Sign Ups and Discussions in order to spread out information between more than one post.

    The only other rule in the Serebii Forum Rules that can be bent, is one that goes in the opposite direction.

    Don't use smilies AT ALL in the RPG Forum. They are banned, completely.

    4. Post Length

    RPG Posts should be of adequate length, a minimum of 200 words, approximately seven lines. Posts that are just one or two lines in length are not acceptable. They don't help move the plot along in any way, and do nothing to help other characters either. Too many short posts will earn the RPG itself a warning. If they continue after this, then the RPG will be closed. Post Count is turned on in the RPG Forum, it will not be abused by people making no effort in their posts.

    On a similar note, RP posts must be written as prose. Scripts are not allowed, nor are lines of just dialogue and actions. Also not allowed are "conversations," where RPers simply hit refresh and post right after someone else, and the two (or more) continue so there are pages of just conversations between their characters. The RPG doesn't actually progress this way.

    5. Bunnying

    Bunnying is taking control of another person's character and making them do or say things without the RPer's permission. This can be difficult on forums such as these, as we do not allow conversations to take place over several posts. This is why we allow bunnying so long as it is only for moving along the plot or scene. Forcing a character to go somewhere, or do something, or do a lot of things over one or two posts is not allowed. Anything involving another person's character must be done in that character's style, with their personality. This is why it's always important to have detailed Personality fields on Sign Up Forms, so other people know what to expect from your character and can control them properly when necessary.

    6. On Non-Pokémon RPGs

    While this is primarily a forum for Pokémon fans, RPGs do not have to be exclusively about Pokémon. We allow RPGs on any subject here, including other video games, cartoons, films, books, and also your own original ideas. However, since other people may not be knowledgeable about other fandoms, you must provide appropriate information about whatever your RPG is based on. This is especially important for original ideas you create. They're your ideas, so nobody else will know the details if you don't explain them.

    You can link to Wikipedia or Fan-Wikias, but not to other websites. You also cannot rely entirely on these sites by just linking or copy/pasting instead of providing the information properly. Write out the relevant information yourself.

    7. Other Forms of RPG

    This forum is only for written RPGs. It is not a discussion board for MMORPGs, Tabletop games like Dungeons and Dragons, or a place to ask for help on Fan-Made Games/Hacks (which are not allowed anywhere on the forum). It is also not a a place to advertise other forum RPGs, as this is against the SPPf Rules, so doing so will earn you an infraction.

    8. Plagiarism

    Using any part of the work that somebody else wrote up is unacceptable NO MATTER WHAT. Whether it’s a member on another site, part of a novel or even Wikipedia, if it’s not your own words then you cannot post it, even if you give credit. Taking what another person said and slightly editing it is also plagiarism. If proof of plagiarism has been given, then the member will be given a ban for two months or more, depending on the circumstances, and will be named and shamed in public.

    If you suspect another member of either copy/pasting or copying and somewhat changing the RPG, character or post of another person, then please do not hesitate to contact a Moderator immediately, providing as much information as you can (such as the original RPG, even if it is on a different forum) so we may investigate it.

    9. Images

    Images can be displayed in the RPG Forum using [noparse][/noparse] tags. You may only do this ina few places, such as Sign-Up sheets to show your character's appearance (however an adequate description must still be provided). This is not to be abused. Doing so will result in a verbal warning, followed by RPG closure if it continues. If it is abused to much it will be removed permanently.

    10. Feedback

    Any comments, questions or complaints about the RPG Forum in general or about specific members should go to one of the RPG Forum Mods. If you have any comments, feedback or suggestions, then there is a Feedback Thread in the RPG Café.

    Sign Up Rules

    1. Plot Content

    RPG plots need to be a minimum of 400 words. Anything less than this will result in the topic being closed. This rule applies ONLY to the main plot. Additional information, such as rules or other background information, does not count towards this number. Do not think that because your thread has 400 words it will be automatically fine.Your plot is open to be examined by the Mod team. They have the right to pick through it and pull out any plot errors, loop holes, mistakes and contradictions. When a mod does this, you are expected to rebuild and edit your plot in te first post to fix these mistakes, not reply with a list of answers/excuses.

    The Forum as a whole uses the Rating System provided by the MPAA. If an RPG contains adult themes, then it needs to have a proper warning in the thread title.
    G Acceptable to all ages, does not require any written warning
    PG-13 Acceptable for anyone over the age of 13
    PG-15 Acceptable for anyone over the age of 15
    R Acceptable for anyone over the age of 17
    NC-17 Acceptable for anyone over the age of 17, considered for adult audiences only.

    Please ASK permission from a Mod if you want to use the NC-17 rating as it will usually contain themes that aren't suitable for younger members.

    2. Sign Up Forms

    Signs Up Forms are mandatory. You must have some kind of Sign Up form so members can apply for your RPG. These can contain varying fields, including whatever it is that you feel you must to know about a character. Sign Up Forms must at least contain fields for Name, Gender, Age, Personality and Description. Unless there is good reason for it, do not leave these sections out. You may also add other fields where necessary, such as History, Weapons, Magical Abilities, Pokémon and so on.

    As with Plots, Sign Up Forms need to contain a good amount of information. As a result, the fields for Personality, Description and History cannot be less than 100 words. In the case of Descriptions, you can include pictures if you choose, however you must still include a 100-word description.

    3. In-Thread Rules

    GMs may use their own sets of rules inside their own threads. These cannot bend or break the main RPG Rules in any way. Anyone signing up should follow these rules properly or they may not be accepted into the RPG. Putting "Follow Main RPG Rules" into the list isn't necessary, as everyone should be following them regardless. If the GM doesn't enforce their own rules, the thread will be closed.

    It is also considered bad form to add silly rules such as "Write "RPGS ARE AWESOME" to prove you read the rules.". As the GM who wrote the rules, you are expected to be able to tell if someone is not following them. Additionally, it is demeaning to be told to write a silly phrase to prove you can follow the rules if you are perfectly capable of following the rules yourself. While doing this is allowed, we do not encourage it and look down on GMs who insist on doing it.

    4. Invites and Limits

    We allow invite-only RPGs here, where the Game Master can close sign-ups to anyone outside of a list of their creation. This allows them to make an RPG for themselves and their friends, for members of a club or social group, or for people of a certain fan base or experience level. Who a GM invites to their RPG is up to them, so if you haven't been invited, don't take it personally.

    GMs are also allowed to limit the number of RPGers they will accept to whatever number they see fit.

    5. Reservations

    If you are interested in an RPG but don't have the time to make a sign up on the spot, or you wish to take more time on making it right, some Gms will allow you to reserve a spot in the RPG. If a GM allows reservations, then you should post a completed Sign Up form as soon as possible, else you are holding a spot that could be used by another member. If you hold a reserved spot for too long, then you are letting down the GM and earning yourself a bad reputation. Many GMs will only allow the reservation of a spot, and not on particular features (such as powers/Pokémon/types, etc) or they will have deadlines which you must be done by. Some GMs will not allow reservations at all, in which case just write up a post your completed sign-up asap.

    6. Accepted, Pending, Denied

    These are the three responses you can get for a Sign-Up form. "Accepted" means that you are almost certainly taking part in the RPG. As already explained, the GM reserves the right to remove anyone from the RPG at any time. "Pending" means that you have some issues with your form that the GM doesn't like. These can range from grammar and spelling mistakes, contradictions with the plot, overused character clichés or length issues. in the case of Pending, you will be given a chance to edit your character to improve on what's been pointed out. Some GMs will limit the amount of times your form can be Pending, as they do not want to be stuck with a character form that needs constant editing, or with a member that cannot maintain the same standards in the RPG itself. "Denied" means that there are too many mistakes in your form, and it does not reach the standard the GM is looking for. In most cases you will be given another chance, but if your form is very bad, you may have to resign to the fact that the RPG you are trying to join is not right for you.

    If you are Accepted to an RPG, then you should have no further reason to post in the Sign Up thread, unless it to ask important questions. Posting to ask "When will the RPG Start?" is considered very rude. GMs reserve the right to throw people out of their RPGs if they ask this question.

    RPG Café Rules

    1. Topic Content

    The RPG Café is for any threads regarding RPGing in general. The bulk of topics in the forum are Discussion Threads for individual RPGs, however you may also create topics about RPing. These can be discussions about characters, plots, settings, ideas, themes, essays, etc. - anything is fair game so long as it is on the subject of RPGing.

    2. Topic Ownership

    In the same vein as the above rule, it is not the sole duty of the mods to create threads. If you want to see a thread about something, then post it. Don't sit around waiting for the mods to do so; take some initiative. There are many topics posted by regular members that have since become prominent threads in the Café. Of course, you should first do a forum search to make sure a similar thread hasn't been posted already. Please also be sure to check the last post date in such threads. If the thread is over 3 months old, then you can start a new one.

    3. Discussion Threads

    Discussion Threads can be made to accompany an active RPG. They are for the Game Master to pass on large amounts of important information that cannot be posted in the main RPG thread. They can also be used for members to ask questions regarding the RPG, and to discuss where they are going and what they are doing. Discussion Threads are not for chit-chat, and such threads will be closed.

    In order to get a Discussion Thread for your RPG, you will need to send a Private Message (not a Visitor Message) to one of the moderators and ask for permission to start one. Include a link to your Sign-Up thread and the RPG thread if you've already started it. Explain why you need a Discussion thread, what it will be used for, and mention the sort of details that will need to be expanded on for members over the course of the RPG. "There's a lot of information that will need to be explained" is too vague to be a valid reason.

    If your thread is approved, then you must write the name of the Moderator who approved the thread in the first post. Failure to do so means that your thread will appear unapproved and be closed.

    The first post in your Discussion Thread should also contain the plot, and all the information you provided in your Sign Ups thread, plus any further information you can give out before/at the start of your RPG. Do not create the thread, provide no extra information, and simply wait for people to start asking questions.

    4. Chatting

    The Café is not for idle chatting. The Post-Count is turned off because of how busy the Discussion Threads can get, but even so, back and forth chat is not allowed unless it directly concerning an important RPG issue. Should members start idly chatting in the Discussion Thread, it is up to the GM to tell members to stop. Failure to control this can result in the Discussion Thread being closed.

    Please report any rule-breaking you see so it may be dealt with accordingly. If you think a mod made a bad call, don’t be afraid to send a PM politely explaining why; we don’t bite, and if a good case is made, we may reconsider. Feel free to make inquiries, ask for specifics or clarifications. We are more than willing to answer and help out members.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2013
    ChintzySnail likes this.
  2. RaZoR LeAf

    RaZoR LeAf Night Terror

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Q. Can you co-run an RPG?
    This isn't a problem at all. Just make sure that everyone who visits the topic knows that there are two people running it, and are authorised to approve or deny sign ups. Co-GMs should discuss things pertaining to the RPG privately instead of in the RPG Thread or Discussion Thread.

    Q. Do I need permission to start an RPG?
    Only if you are writing an NC-17 RPG. If you want to get a Mod to look at an RPG first, then PM them and ask them if they can, then PM them the RPG in full if they say they will. Do not just send them the RPG and expect them to look at it. Ask first.

    Q. What is the Seal of Approveal?
    The Golden Serebii Seal, seen at the top of this thread is a mark used to identify RPGs that are considered brilliant. This is no mean feat to achieve, and they are rarely handed out. Seals are also added to specific Mod Approved threads, such as Rules and Important or useful topics. Seals are only handed up by the moderators. Anyone who is found to be adding a seal to their topic themselves will receive a high-level infraction.

    Q. If I make an RP post that’s just under the minimum of seven lines, will the RPG get closed?
    Not if it isn’t far under the minimum and it only happens once or twice. But if a Mod sees that there have been lots of short posts in an RPG then there will be a public warning for everyone to increase their post length, and only if it goes on after that will it be closed.

    Q. Can I join/Run more than one RPG?
    You can take part in and run as many RPGs as you want. However be aware of how much of your time they take up.

    RPG Terminology

    RPG - Role Playing Game
    RPGer - A person who takes part in Role Playing Games

    Godmodding - Portraying the character as unbeatable, with all the best qualities and abilities, and no negative ones.
    Power Playing - Portraying the character as unbeatable in a post. May not necessarily have a powerful character, but in posts they never put a foot wrong and always come out on top.
    Mary Sue/Gary Stu - An unrealistically perfect character, that offers no originality. Usually fulfils several clichés.

    LSU - Late Sign Ups
    OOC - Out of Character
    IC / BIC - In Character / Back in Character
    NPC - Non-Participating Character

    Bunnying - Taking control of another person's character and making them act out of character.

    GM - Game Master, the owner or person running an RPG

    Writer's Block - A condition that writers have when they are stuck for ideas

    Useful Links

    RPG Announcements
    If we make any changes to the rules, or someone gets modded or demodded, or if there's an issue that the mods think needs to be raised, we'll do it here. If you see it has a new post, then you should read it straight away.

    How to Craft A Character + Sign-Up Review Thread
    A detailed guide on making a good, well-rounded character. You can also post your sign-up and receive feedback on it, as well as review other sign-ups.

    Ideas and Wishes
    Got an idea for an RPG but don't know how well it will do? Is there an RPG you'd love to take part in, but have no idea how to write it yourself? Post here, and get opinions from your fellow RPGers on your own ideas, or see if you can inspire one to make an RPG for you.

    The RPGer's Profiles
    Tell us about yourself, your skills and your upcoming RPGs here. A list of everyone who RPGs on this forum, you can see what sort of things they like, or find the perfect person to help you based on what they know.

    The Universal Mary Sue Litmus Test Outside Link
    A useful page where a series of questions will determine if the character you have created is a 'Mary Sue' or not.

    Onomasticon Outside Link
    A great resource with hundreds of names from around the world. Perfect if you're looking for a traditional or just a different name for your character.

    Face Creator Outside Link
    Having trouble describing a character's face? Well you can create a basic face on this flash site. It's a bit cartoony, but you can create some fairly detailed faces that should give you a head start on visualising your character making them easier to describe.

    Seventh Sanctum Outside Link
    A randomiser site, which can give you just about anything you'll need for a fantasy RPG. Great to use if you're really stuck, but don't become reliant on it.

    Spellcheck Outside Link
    Enter a body of text into this page and it'll check your spellings. I strongly advise you to use a Word Processor though, as this doesn't pick up on all spellings and doesn't customise for American/English differences

    Guide to Godmodding Outside Link
    A useful guide that gives examples of how to avoid being the best character. Tips on making your character balanced, so they've not got the unfair advantage.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 2, 2014
  3. krakket

    krakket Well-Known Member

    Why on earth is it considered very rude to ask when the RPG will start? This sounds like the most reasonable question somebody could ask.... really glad I didn't ask this now because I almost did.. but i'm a newbie..
  4. The Doctor

    The Doctor Absolute Beginner

    Keep in mind GMs have lives outside of Serebii and it makes you appear impatient for doing so.
  5. krakket

    krakket Well-Known Member

    Or just curious. Asking the question once when it hasn't been previously asked doesn't imply you're upset it hasn't started yet or you want it to start right then... It just means you're curious about when to expect to begin because you're exited. I think it's a courteous thing to tell people when it'll start so they don't forget about it waiting or miss the kickoff. Obviously GMs have lives...I didn't mean to be rude :/ But thanks for the answer.
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2011
  6. RaZoR LeAf

    RaZoR LeAf Night Terror

    Because GM's often have to get things organised regarding the placements of people who have signed up, or any plans they had have to be tweaked to adjust for someone's history. More often it's because they want to see if there are more sign ups. Somebody posting "When will the RPG start?" a day after they've signed up doesn't come across as eagerness, it comes across as impatience. It's the forum equivalent of asking "are we there yet?" on a car journey. "We get there when we get there."
  7. Flame Mistress

    Flame Mistress Well-Known Member

    So, does this mean we can ask questions here?

    Okay, so in the rules it says "PG-** - Acceptable for anyone over the age of **". Does this mean that you have to be over that certain age to be accepted in the RPG?
  8. Ioneos

    Ioneos Well-Known Member

    I don't think so, you just need to have that level of maturity.
  9. krakket

    krakket Well-Known Member

    Oh, gotcha. That makes sense, thanks for the explanation. I don't have much experience with how RPGs are usually planned, so i figured most GMS would have in mind a timeframe when they would stop accepting signups or maybe a number of players signed up when they would start, that's why I thought it odd that asking was rude.
  10. RaZoR LeAf

    RaZoR LeAf Night Terror

    They're the same ratings that are given to films in the US. It basically means that the content is aimed at people of that age group, so PG-13 is for the younger teen, PG-15 for the older with more mature themes, R for over 17, so basically adult themes without being graphic. NC-17 is for graphic themes, which is why we ask that you check with a mod before posting it. It's up to you what level you choose to join, but the warnings are there so you can't turn around and complain that the RPG was rude, or offensive when there is an adequate warning in place.
  11. Hancade

    Hancade Abomination

    Is it okay for a GM to be a player too?
  12. pokegamer2

    pokegamer2 New Member

    i know what a rpg is but how can it be fourm game
  13. Zbger

    Zbger Fiery Blaze Lucario

    I'm just wondering, should you have your sig shown when signing up for an RPG?

    If this is considered bumping, mods u kno wat 2 do
  14. Psychic

    Psychic Really and truly

    Bumping in a rules thread is totally fine! :) This thread exists for asking questions.

    It's completely up to you if you'd like your sig to show up while signing up or even participating in an RP! Most forum-goers don't really mind either way, so you can do whatever feels right to you.

  15. QueenUnfezant

    QueenUnfezant truly a meme

    I can only play G-rated RPs. Should you be concerned if QueenUnfezant posts in an RP that's not G?

    EDIT: I can use a higher level of maturity, but it's that of a 12 year old. Might have to wait a while before my maturity is that of a 13 year old so I can use PG-13 RPs.
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2016
  16. Monster Guy

    Monster Guy Danny Phantom

    Since it doesn't say anything in the rules about it, I'll ask here first.

    Are two person RP's here? If they are, would we need a Sign Up thread for it?
  17. Psychic

    Psychic Really and truly

    Hi there! We don't actively enforce age-limits here; as in real life, we generally leave it up to each person's personal discretion to decide what is appropriate for them. Usually in real life it falls to parents/guardians to decide whether or not to buy their child certain video games or take them to certain movies, but that's kind of hard to enforce on a fan forum on the internet! So we trust you to look over something first and decide from there whether or not you want to engage. :)

    Two-person RP's are definitely allowed here! Having a Sign-Up thread would be great, because that way if anyone wants to read your RP then they can refer to that if they want to learn more about your characters or the plot. Plus it's an easy way for me to ensure everything's above-board in terms of following the RPG Rules!

  18. Captain B

    Captain B Member

    Ok so I have a few questions that I need answers to.

    Is there a restriction to making an RPG?

    Is there a guide here on how to write prose?

    How do you conduct a sign up sheet?
  19. Wonderblue

    Wonderblue Member

    I've been going for 5 years strong RPwise and a friend just introduced me to this site today.

    Is a long plot absolutely completely necessary? I've got a good amount of lore (well, by my last RP site's standards), and it primarily is there for misadventures and the like. There's no real plot that I have in mind, since I enjoy collaborating with other people to make things happen. A good RP should be based on the characters and people in it, at least in my opinion.

    I'm just a little intimidated by all this, and want to clarify that my smol lore, open faced will be okay. ^^

    Thanks for your time.
    - Blue
  20. Dragalge

    Dragalge Quirky

    As long as it meets the word count requirements (although it’s recommended you go further than that anyway) and it’s p easy to understand in some manner, then nah it’s not necessary to do so.

    Of course you can if you like as some people here do enjoy reading a lot but sometimes being more to the point in some areas can be equally helpful too. Just go with what you think is best (within reason lol) while meeting word count and such

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