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Thread: HoloNet Roleplaying FAQ and Players' Guide

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    Moderator: Roleplaying Forum coldskier0320's Avatar
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    Exclamation HoloNet Roleplaying FAQ and Players' Guide

    I'm proud to present this fine group effort to all HoloNetters, with special thanks going out (in no particular order) to dgswensen, Rogue Janson, Ardent, Terras Jadeonar & Raven, Stormrider, PsychoInfiltrator, chiefcaptin, tauchiss, Uron Teff, and everyone who helps make this place the best place for SWRPG on the internet.

    FAQ

    A great aid for newcomers, created by our very own Rogue Janson, this thread is meant as an introduction to the Roleplaying forum and for any questions people may have about it.

    What is the Roleplaying forum?
    The Roleplaying forum is the area of the holonet for playing roleplaying games. In other areas of the holonet, you can talk about games. Here you can actually play them.

    As it says in the forumís description, only in-character (IC) roleplaying threads and their out-of-character (OOC) counterparts are allowed in this forum. An out-of-character thread is one tied to a game, for character biographies, GMs to answer questions, players to talk, etc..

    How are games here played?
    All the campaigns here play slightly differently. At the simplest, the players in a game describe their charactersí actions in turn, then the GM describes how successful they are, what NPCs do, what other things happen, etc..
    Different games play and use RPG rules differently. For example, some follow the rules strictly - every skill check or interaction with an NPC must wait for confirmation from the GM - others give players much more autonomy - allowing them to decide on many the success of actions, run NPCs themselves etc.. In many cases, players can get by with little or no knowledge of the rules.

    Unlike face to face games, play-by-post ones tend not to be so much about rules, stats and fast paced action and more focused on developing characters (though action is still important of course - this is Star Wars after all ). In most games it is just as important to describe what a character thinks and feels as what they do.

    How do I join a game?
    GMs looking for players to start a game will normally post in the tradersí infonet forum, so have a look there for any games starting up. Campaigns which have an OOC thread in this forum, but havenít actually started yet are also a good bet as they are often looking for more players. Some campaigns that are running may also accept new players Ė they may say in their OOC threads. If you want to join a game that has already started, read through the in-character thread so you have an idea what is going on, what sort of character is appropriate and how the game is played. Most GMs also lay down rules and guidelines for their campaigns, so look for these and make sure you can follow them. (The most common requirement is the ability to post regularly.)

    When youíve found a campaign youíd like to join, ask the GM if they will accept a new player, either by posting in their OOC thread or by personal message. Do not Ďjump straight iní and post in an in-character thread before checking things out with the GM.

    How do I start a game myself?
    Anyone can start running a game in this forum; there is no need to ask permission or be some kind of special person. Itís best to make sure you have players first though, so gather some using the tradersí infonet or another method before starting up an OOC thread here.


    Should anyone have any complaints or serious issues about this forum, they should contact the moderator, coldskier0320.

    Anyone want to add stuff Iíve forgotten?
    Anyone fancy explaining the lunacy that is No Need to be Sober?


    DOs

    These are things you should make a point to incorporate as part of your online habits here in the Roleplaying forum.

    DO follow the forum rules and guidelines. They're there for everyone's benefit. While we moderators try to be as generous as possible, repeated breaking of the forum rules will get your posting privileges removed. My policy for the Roleplaying forum is to give one warning, explaining which rules were broken, and what action will be taken next, should the same rules be broken again by the same user. That second action is usually a banning, especially if the user has obviously ignored the warning. Even if you only logon to the Network to slide over here to check out the roleplaying forums, remember that you have to abide by the same rules that everyone else on the HoloNet does. While the Roleplaying forum is fairly laid back compared to some of the other forums, abuse of the situation will probably result in its removal, so keep it up for everyone's sake.

    I don't get a charge out of banning anyone, so please don't force my hand. Play nice instead.

    DO report troublemakers to the moderator -- that means me. Every post has a "report" feature next to it. You can also contact me via PM, email, or IM (relevant contact information in my user profile), and I will look at the situation and take the appropriate action. Please try not to get in lengthy flamewars or altercations with other users. That benefits no one. If someone is breaking the rules, contact me, and I'll take care of it.

    DO have fun. Lots of fun. That's what the HoloNet is for. It's just the Internet. The HoloNet is one of the best online communities out there, and we like to keep it that way.

    DO be courteous to other players and the GM at all times. Not only is it highly advisable (and in your characterís best interest, where the GM is concerned!) itís HoloNet policy. Itís okay to disagree...just keep a civil tone and avoid throwing around insults.

    DO keep your IC opinions strictly separate from your OOC opinions. Don't let your reactions to a character affect how your character treats that character IC, and certainly donít let it affect your feelings toward the player. Likewise, don't let your feelings toward a player keep you from enjoying the game. In short, what happens in character, stays in character.

    DO use your game's original recruitment thread if looking for more/new players rather than starting a new thread. It helps prospective players gain a better perspective on how far the group has come thus far, the other party members, and any other bits of information that may be helpful in making their decision on whether or not to apply. It also helps to avoid clutter over in the Tradersí InfoNet.

    DO your homework! If you see a game thatís running and you think you might like to join, be sure to read up on the IC thread before asking in the GM about joining. You need to be familiar with it, because if allowed to join, youíll then be able to present a character that'd be useful and fit with the game/group. The group's roster may already be full, but occasionally, the GM may still let you in if your character concept is compelling enough. Please understand, however, that you may need to wait a while to play until the GM can fit you in. (And please keep in touch with the GM to let them know youíre still interested if a lot of time passes with no correspondence.) Itís aggravating for a GM, and reflects poorly upon a player when a GM admits a new player, only to have to re-explain every facet of the adventure to said player.

    DO run your posts through a spell check program. This can make a world of difference as to whether or not people take your posts seriously, if they read them at all. Also, it is sometimes helpful to do something else for a few minutes or longer, then come back and reread your post, just to make sure it looks exactly the way you want it to. Taking the time to not only consider the character's actions, but also to prepare your post as forums-worthy is the mark of a respected and desirable role-player.

    DO be respectful of the GM's wishes. Occasionally GMs open an invitation only to a select group of players, asking if he's recruiting for the game in the OOC thread is a great way to ensure you're not on anyone's list for game invitations. Just do everyone a favor and read up on the game to see how the GM is handling mustering his players.

    DO be patient. Someday soon someone will need to be patient with you, and youíll appreciate it when they return the favor. This doesnít mean you should be afraid to post a ďbumpĒ type post (a post whose entire purpose is to check the status of the other people in the gaming group), but in general, a sudden week's absence of a player or GM does not mean the end of a campaign.

    DO let the GM know (or, if you are the GM, let the players know) if you plan to retire/resign from a game. Itís considered fairly rude to simply cease posting anything in relation to a game while keeping active in others, especially if the game in question is still active. On the other hand, players who drop out and say why are generally looked upon favorably. It shows maturity, respect for the GM and players, and allows the GM to, should they choose, recruit a replacement. Keep in mind that many times, a game will die because of a general loss of interest or lack of posting. While you can still announce your formal resignation, if no one is touching the game for a long time, with no explained reason, you can generally assume that itís given up the ghost.


    DONíTs

    These are things to try and avoid here in the Roleplaying forum.

    DONíT act for NPCs or other PCs without the GMs permission. Your GM is the one telling the story, and the characters that arenít PCs belong to him. You should trust him to handle them as he sees fit, for the betterment of the game. Unless you have express consent from your GM to handle his NPCsÖhands off!

    DONíT post in an IC thread without permission. If youíre not currently a member of a particular game, itís usually seen as a very inconsiderate move to post anything in a gameís IC thread. If you would like to join the game, contact the GM in some fashion other than making a post in his gaming thread (OOC post, PM, IM, email, recruitment thread post, etc.).

    DONíT pick fights IC. Unless specifically allowed/accepted by the GM, it's generally a bad idea to start violent confrontations between PCs. A step further, ideally, the PCs should get along, though sometimes rivalries and rifts in a group make for interesting roleplay. Itís best if such relationships are determined beforehand, and with the GM's input.


    Tips

    A veritable cornucopia of helpful information to help you become the best roleplayer you can.

    While it may not be necessary to send the moderator a PM every time you want to start up a game, giving him a heads up can be a good idea if youíre so inclined. This holds especially true for games not organized in the Tradersí InfoNet thread, which I keep tabs on in addition to this one, as thatís where most young RP threads are born.

    If you have a disagreement or argument with another player or the GM, try to keep it private and out of the public eye by turning to IM, PM, or email. Arguments carried on publicly only tend to result in hard feelings and delays in game progress as others get involved in the altercation. It also makes the game look bad (even if it isn't), and clutters up the OOC thread.

    The thing about play-by-post that makes it special is that you can really describe emotions, thoughts and feelings with a high degree of clarity and precision because you have the time to think about exactly what you want to say. This makes it easier for all other players, the GM, and any spectator readers to envision the rationale, mood, and personality of the characters in an adventure. A good way to imagine a play-by-post adventure is like a novel. The more you post so that others will like to read what youíre writing (i.e. how much effort you put into writing a post), the more fun you will have in a campaign. Also, since most of these forum games are indeed written and played in novel story format, they are enjoyable, not just to those playing, but to anyone else on the forums (including guests) who happens to have an interest in reading the new Star Wars stories taking place. Call it a daily installment if you will. Keeping this in mind may help you strive to write high-quality posts as well as keep up a healthy pace.

    Reader's comments are nice to get from time to time, as long as the comments are kept in the OOC threads. Itís nice to know that a game's characters and storyline are interesting enough to non-players that they feel encouraged to post and tell you so. Itís also nice to know other gamers are reading our games for enjoyment, or even to borrow ideas for their own tabletop games. Again, comments and questions are more than welcome in the OOC thread.

    If a game's been under way for some time (a few months or so), the game's GM may no longer check back into the original recruiting thread in the Tradersí InfoNet forum, especially if the player roster has been filled. Thatís when itís best to contact the GM by PM or ask questions in the OOC.

    To be a player in a game in the Roleplaying forum, there seems to be a bit of an unspoken reputation tagged to your name. You, the player builds that reputation solely by your participation as well as quality / style of gaming. That being said, for new people, it can sometimes be hard to get into a game, as many GMs often prefer 'known' players who are established and reputable as opposed to someone theyíve never met/gamed with before. If youíre a new person to the HoloNet, or just new to the Roleplaying forum, the single best thing you can do once you get into a game is to start building that reputation up by good attendance, roleplaying, and manners. When you build yourself up by frequent posting activity, quality posts, and such, you may get more invites to new games starting than you'll realize.

    Quality versus Quantity: adequate time for typing = well written game posts = high level of game quality. There are people with huge lists of games they're participating in. Everyone's lifestyle is different. Some may be sitting with a wireless net access laptop in class; others may have a boring office job, at-home job, or simply at home with no job at all. What matters is you: your lifestyle, free time, and what you can allocate to roleplaying in the forums. You have to realize, you can only handle so many games at once, and when you surpass that limit, all of your games will suffer from lack of attention. So don't jump into a bunch of games at once (even though there's so many great ones out there starting up or running. Itís tempting, I know), its better to have to turn down an invite than accept and then not be able to commit fully. This also holds true for running a number of games as a GM. And don't max out your timetable schedule for gaming. You never know when another interesting game may catch your attention.

    If your going to be absent it's nice to let the GM know ahead of time (or the players if you GM the game) and for how long. It saves headaches and worrying and is generally just a courteous thing to do. As far as GM absences are concerned, it happens, and sometimes unexpectedly. Unfortunately, without a co-GM, the game is destined to grind to a halt. Left long enough, players can lose interest. All too often, the GM comes back and the game is kaput. If possible, try to keep the game running. Players can try to extend the situation a bit and do some player interaction, or at least keep the activity and game interest up in the OOC thread until their GM returns. Too many good games have been lost to the abyss.

    Finally, its a good idea to cease gaming in a thread, and begin a new one at or around 500 posts, should your games go that long (and we hope they do!), this limit helps out on the technical end of the site.


    Note: Any suggestions for additions/alterations or error-spotting should be sent to me via PM, and I'll be sure to fix the problem.
    Last edited by coldskier0320; 25 October 2006 at 08:52 AM.
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