This article will help improve your roleplaying skills as well as answer common questions about the process of roleplaying.
There are several variations of roleplaying, but I will be specifically expanding upon the form of writing in this article. My answers to common questions should hopefully improve your roleplaying ability or introduce you to the wonderful concept of it.
What is roleplaying and why should I do it?
- Roleplaying is when a person takes the role of a character and acts it out with a partner taking the role of another character.
- Roleplaying gives you a chance to create your own story or to alter the story of your favorite character. It can be done throughout all genres, from everything to Harry Potter to Warrior Cats. Or you could make up your own genre. You could create your own world or take My Little Pony and set it in Medieval Times. The sky is the limit here. Also, it is a wonderful and fun way to improve your writing skills.
What is my level of literacy and how can I improve it?
- There are some general terms used to describe the literacy of roleplayers: beginner, semi-literate, and advanced-literate. These can be altered and changed slightly throughout various sites, but they mean the same thing. These terms are not trying to trick you and they sound exactly like what they mean.
- Beginner: A type of roleplayer that is new to the process. They generally type anywhere from a one liner to a paragraph, but not much more than that. There is nothing wrong with being a beginner as well all must start somewhere. Remember that being a beginner does not mean you lack literacy!
- Semi-Literate: A type of roleplayer that types generally one paragraph to four paragraphs at most. This is generally where most people are on the spectrum and it is a very good place to be. There is good quality here as well as a good bit of quantity, but is not as intense as advanced literate.
- Advanced-Literate: A type of roleplayer who generates novel-length posts, which are four paragraphs minimum for the most part. There is a lot of pressure here because advanced-literates often expect a great amount of quantity as well as quality.
- Hopefully those descriptions helped you classify yourself. This doesn’t say anything about your writing, but just helps you find other roleplaying partners of the same caliber. Remember to always tell the truth about what you consider to be your level of literacy so that things work out in your roleplay!
- The only thing you can do to improve your literacy is to practice, practice, practice!
What do all these abbreviations mean?
- RP: Roleplay
- OOC: Out of character
- IC: In character
- BIC: Back in character
- PP: Power playing
- GM: God moding
- MRP: Mature roleplay
What are basic roleplaying rules?
- Basic roleplaying roles are standards that most roleplayers expect others to follow.
- Don’t GM or God Mode. This is when you make your character immortal in the sense that they never get injured and somehow dodge every blow in a fight. Even vampires get hurt sometimes.
- Don’t PP or Power Play. This is when you kill, maim, or injure another person’s character without their express permission. This is assuming that his or her fate is yours to control, when really the only fate you can control is that of your own character.
- Be respectful of other roleplayers and never disrespect or “flame” their writing. If you find yourself roleplaying with someone under your level of literacy there is a polite way to ask to discontinue the roleplay without hurting their feelings.
- Do not create a Mary Sue or Gary Sue. These are characters that are perfect, powerful, have no apparent flaws, and/or have a clichéd or ridiculous tragic past. Such as, a girl whose parents died in a fire after abusing her for her whole life, then she found out she had a twin sister who tragically died in another house fire then somehow came back to life and then drowned. It sounds ridiculous, but some people do it. To test if your character is a Mary/Gary Sue go to the Mary Sue Test.
- Most roleplayers are generally expected to write in past tense and third person, but that can sometimes vary depending on the site you are on.
What can I roleplay?
- There is literally nothing that you can’t roleplay. There is every genre of fandom available. Every book, TV show, and movie has roleplayers, no matter how obscure. Also, you can create your own unique world with your own characters. There is nothing you cannot do and there are hundreds of people out there willing to roleplay your zombie apocalypse of chickens, I guarantee it.
Where can I roleplay?
- There are millions of sites our there dedicated to roleplaying and you have to find what you want. Some people roleplay with multiple people on forums, while others tend to want just a one on one roleplay.
- Forums: One of the best places to find forums is Proboards Support. Proboards Support allows forum creators to advertise their site and, most importantly, it allows roleplayers to advertise what they’re looking for. You can post your level of literacy, how many people you want on the forum, and everything else you’re looking for and you’ll get at least ten responses, if not more. Invisionfree is another version of Proboards that’s good to use as well. Also, there are sites like Neopets and Gaia that have their own roleplaying section. Or, you could always Google search, it is usually pretty useful in finding forums.
- One on One: This form of roleplay can be done over e-mail, instant messenger, or other means, but can be a bit trickier to find. Some good places to search are Roleplay Gateway, Neopets, and Gaia where you can advertise what you’re looking for. Personally, I have found Neopets to be quite handy in this (which sounds silly, I know), as I simply give the link to my Freewebs roleplaying site and I am able to roleplay with other interested users off-site. A good example of such can be found here.
Also, MySpace is a wonderful place to create a page for your character, then you can add friends and roleplay with them either one on one or within a group!
What are some good tips for roleplaying?
- People generally consider you to be more literate when you use proper grammar and spelling, which means no talking like “this b/c u look stupid! lolz”.
- Always use quotation marks when your character is speaking.
- Use description, but not so much that you take up one paragraph describing your character’s hair.
- Be creative, don’t make your partner(s) think up all the twists or plot devices.
- Make it a point to reply once or twice a week, otherwise people will want to stop roleplaying with you. And, if you have a good excuse, warn them in advance so you don’t leave them hanging.
- Always ask about limits. You may have no limits and your character might be violent and swear all the time, but other people might not be into that sort of thing.
- Remember that roleplaying is all about fun!
What is yaoi/yuri/shonen ai/shoujo ai/slash?
- These are popular terms used to describe a homosexual relationship within a romantic roleplay. “Yaoi”, “shonen ai”, and “male slash” are all terms used to describe a homosexual relationship between two men. While “yuri”, “shoujo ai” and “femmslash” are all terms used to describe one between two women. If this is what you desire, make sure that the other person is clear of your preferences and make sure to check what another person’s preferences are before starting up a roleplay with them.
Roleplaying can be hard work, but it can also be lots of fun as well. It is a wonderful way to make friends online as well as being a fun way to practice your creative writing. Once you get into the swing of it, roleplaying can be very entertaining and worthwhile and I hope you will find a roleplaying partner soon!