Welcome to Shrubbery’s guide to role playing and battling. This thread is mostly just suggestions and advice on how to write better characters and how to write better role plays (both of violent and non-violent types). This thread is about all the things we would like to encourage you to do more and all the things we want to you to do less, but aren’t mentioned in the Rules, for they are not mandatory. However, I think you’ll be getting more compliments if you take some of the information here and apply it.
Now before we dive into it, the basics:
What is an RPG?
The RPG (Role-Playing Game) is a place where written characters from your imagination can interact with one another in many ways. Since all of this is written, anything from your imagination can come into play, so long as it does not break the BA Rules. An RPG (or just RP for short) can be a long, drawn out event, or it can be a simple exchange between characters.
The Crossroads is where you post role playing threads. There's conversation, traveling together, or even joining forces to go on quests for mystical artifacts and the like. Characters can duel against each other in epic battles or ally together to stop greater good or evil (depending on what type of character it is). To learn more about role playing here, read the Battle Arena Rules.
Getting a Character
To write in the BA, you must first have an approved character. So you’ll need to read the Acceptance Policy and Guidelines. These will outline the basics for creating a character. Again, you can send a private message to one of the BA moderators or Councilors, and they will help you to understand anything that is unclear. Or even ask in the OoC thread, they don’t bite … Okay, sometimes they do bite. Watch out for Quark.
It’s pretty simple: you fill out an empty template provided in the Acceptance thread. By copying and pasting it in some kind of document on your computer or however you want to do it. It’s a good idea to save all your character profiles on your computer. ZU and the Forums have been known to be hacked and have to reset from the previous day. Meaning, your thread could end up lost forever, unless you saved it and can repost again.
Remember, we here in the Battle Arena appreciate good grammar and spelling. Please check thoroughly to make certain you have everything right. As for the character’s design, the best idea is to imagine the character you want, then fill out the form as would fit that character. Once you are done, make a new thread in the Character Approval sub-forum (also known as Characters and Resources), with the name of the character as the thread name.
Then, wait for an approver to stop by and either approve your character, or tell you what needs to be changed for him/her/it to be acceptable. Once your character has been approved, post a link to its profile in the Character Directory so you can easily find him/her/it later on. The thread provides farther detailed instructions. For easy access, I suggest keeping a link to your characters in your signature. There will be more information on how to do that later.
Now, you are ready to role-play!
Out of Character
Remember this, whenever you are role-playing and need to speak out-of-character, mark those comments with “OoC” (meaning "Out of Character"). Once you wish to speak in-character again, you should mark it with “BiC” (meaning "Back in Character"). Here’s an example:
"OoC: Great post, now check mine.
BiC: Grun narrowed his eyes and glared at the stranger...”
Now, you can join an RP that someone else has started if the thread title says “(anyone)”. If no one else has joined that RP, or it is open to more participants, you can just make a post about how your character got involved. Note! It is common manners (and somewhat required) to make a link to the character you are using in your starting post if it is not in your sig.
You can also begin an RP on your own by creating a new thread in the RPG forum with the name of your RP as the thread title. Remember to link your character in the first post too. Then you should make a post that sets the scene and tells how your character got there. Be sure to describe the scenery carefully, so there won't be any arguments about it later on. In an RP, it’s also important to have a good reason for your characters to meet up. None of that “two warriors met by chance” junk. Throw in some storyline for good measure.
And just try not to take on too many RP’s at once. Don’t bite off more than you can chew.
As promised, instructions in putting links in things like signatures and posts.
First you’ll need the url, which will be the address in your browser when you are viewing your character’s profile. Copy it. I suggest doing a single post view, so that we don’t have to wait for that huge page of the Character List to load or just use the thread that got your character approved. For that, click the number of your post in the right hand corner of it, and it will direct you to a single view of that post.
After you have the address copied, write a word for the link to be in, such as the name of your character. Highlight it and then click the icon on the tool bar of the signature editing or post that has a little globe on it. It will bring up a box where you paste your address in and then press okay.
Save your sig and you’re done!
Other Stuff to Mention
There are a number of things you should avoid with a passion, though these aren't exactly ban-worthy. No 1337 (“leet speak”, for those who aren’t aware). Try to avoid using posts of only OoC comments. Discussion about the RP can be taken to PMs (Private Messages) or VMs (Visitor Messages) or an instant messenger of some form. OoC only posts should be only allowed if you must address godmoding or powerplaying publicly (see Rules for farther descriptions).
Short posts are not really discouraged. Sometimes they are perfectly necessary; just try to avoid doing only one or three sentences. Ways to avoid this will be covered later in Crossroads Role Playing. Also check out this thread, What NOT to Do, for more tips on what to avoid doing.
Quoted for truth:
Originally Posted by Drammor
Concept, power level and experience aside, let’s talk about the councilors, their job, the aim of the BA. The councilors here are volunteers who have to apply for the job. None of them get paid for it, but they did have to put in hundreds to thousands of hours of work and dedication to the BA before they could be selected for the position.
When a councilor talks to you about something that’s a problem, it’s not personal and it’s not because they want to, but because it is the job they were hired for, and they do out of nothing but the goodness in their hearts and the love of a good, fun roleplay.
As far as I’ve understood it, the goal of the BA is twofold. The first is to provide writers with a fun, free-form and mature writing environment where they can interact with others in long or short term roleplays without fear of being degraded or disrespected by other players. The second is to help writers of all ages and amounts of experience to improve their writing and roleplaying skills through interaction with other players, and especially the councilors.
So, when a councilor approaches you about something, you need to be able face up to it. If it hurts your pride somehow, then you swallow your pride and grow from the experience, instead. Don’t give the councilors here grief about something they’ve said to you, not only because they aren’t getting paid for this, but because they are only trying to help you. They don't have ulterior motives.
I have personally had councilors talk to me about my own roleplay, but because I knew they were only trying to help, I didn’t look at it from a point of view with my head stuck in some orifice and I fixed it. Turns out, it created a better experience for everyone involved.