Tutorial for RPs

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You may be aware of the ‘Forum Game Tutorial’-type thing I’ve suggested and initiated in the master thread.

While CYOPs, Mafias, and Competitions have been done (Arguably three of the four major forum games), the fourth, RPs, has yet to receive a tutorial.

I think that any RP player is fully aware of the fact that there is no way to have a single, cohesive tutorial.

So I figure this should be more of a collection of tips on the subject. After all, every RP’er has different styles, different strengths and weaknesses…

So go ahead and post what you believe would be helpful when creating/participating in an RP. I’ll make a second and third post for a collection of these tips.

 
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Making an RP

 
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Making an RP cont.

 
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Participating in an RP

 
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Participating in an RP cont.

 
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1. Playing a character with four intelligence does not mean that you have four intelligence.

2. Meta is fun.

3. Never allow time travel. Your players will break it.

4. DMPCs are good.

5. Never give your players gear to start out with; their frustration is priceless.

6. The DM reserves the right to use insta-kill lightning as a punishment.

7. “Because I said so.” is a valid reason.

8. Steal ideas from other places!

9. It’s more amusing to give your players 138 +1 Unholy Sticks than it is to give them useful items.

 
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Laughed at 1, 5, 7 and 9.

I might use these.

 
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1. Make sure to grammar check every sentence and every title.

2. NO ZOMBIES OR WARS. Seriously. We have way too much. Every second game out there is a zombie apocalypse or WW2.

3. Make sure its not freestyle RP, but DM controlled. These tend to be better. Look at Dungeons inc., for example.

3. Try making a gameplay game, Like A dungeon crawler, and make Role-playing unessential. In games like the original Duel Arena, Role-play wasn’t a must, but players decided to Role-play on they’re own accord. It makes it more natural.

4. Make sure the gameplay is good, fresh, and fun. If you look at games like, again, Dungeons inc., You will notice that the game fails without a bit of gameplay. Try picking up a DnD book and letting your players use that. Its a decent and fun system.

5. Remember rule 4. Gameplay is a must in all RP’s.

6. Make sure that upon each failed game you start a different one. After a failed sign up to a war game, dont make another with a slightly different plot. Make a medieval adventure instead.

7. Send a few invites to your closest friend RP’ers.

Adeeb’s comment:

1. Make sure to grammar check every sentence and every title. Read it in your mind, read it to your friends, or even make him them read it. Really, grammatical mistakes sometimes (not always) take out the feel of the game.

2. No zombies, wars, conquests etc. Those never seem to work out. If you are going for an international intrigue kinda game, make it a bit comical. Always seems to work.

3. If you think you are confident in your ability to create a world, define its proportions and set limits, make your RP freestyle. If you are not, make it DM controlled. However, I do not imply that GM controlled Rps are only for the unsure. An experienced and adept GM can control an Rp yet give you enough freedom. Example: Dungeons Inc, as kidude stated.

3. Make it 50% gameplay, 50% RP. Depends on your target audience, really. Think who you’d like to have play your game. Remember, you can’t please everyone. For gameplay strong RPs, look at Duel Arena. It wasn’t even much of an RP, seeing that some guys never wrote more than moves, while Blood wrote whole chapters on his characters’ histories.

4. Unlike what he says, I usually am not eager to have people use another game as a base for their own. Many mess up badly if they are in the onset. However, if you believe you can do it, go ahead.

5. Not necessarily. RP means players can still create gameplay. Improvisation, to me, is part of the fun. And a strict gameplay can ruin an RP.

8. Don’t change your mind all the time. If you look through the zombie survival game that was made lately, you can see that the GM kept changing his mind in mid game. He turned it from Survival to RP in midgame, and then he reset it by deciding zombie suddenly appeared and made us escape into another town, foolishly dropping our guns and supplies on the way.

 
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Copied from here

It’s been brought up several times, but, in my opinion, it’s probably the most important thing regarding RPs.

Luck.

I know, I know, things like this shouldn’t rely so much on luck. There should be ways to make a good RP, guaranteed. But there isn’t. There are things you can do to increase your chances, but it’s still a roll of the die. Maybe someone will stumble across your game by accident, sign, and then become one of your biggest fans. Maybe you’ll have this weird dream with some cool elements that, in turn, you transfer into your game (coughcoughQuarantinecoughcough). There are simply so many variables. You can make 100 RPs, and maybe only one will succeed. You can make 10, and you might get 6 good ones. It’s all luck.

Now, onto some things you can implement to improve your chances at having a winner. First off, an interesting story. That’s key. If it’s the monotonous, ‘Aliens take over teh wordl,’ it isn’t going far. Speaking of which, grammar. Many people are Grammar Nazis at heart. They might not admit it, but they still are. Personally, I try not to be, but there is a cutoff point… I can read things like the paragraph Adeeb pointed out, and be alright. There might be a few points where I’m like, “That grammar is a little off,” but it’s legible.

Now, when there is something that is so jumbled that it makes no sense, there is a problem. In fact, there is one such case in that paragraph.

The XULC-13 has scanned the life form and is asking to name it. It was called Thirst mainly because it soaks up water and start to grow. The person continues to see a bus parked up with the keys on the inside.

Alright, so, who is ‘the person.’ I’m aware that there are police chasing a person. But you claim that the police stop by the bin. As such, it would make sense if you said, “They continued…” But when you suddenly switch back to the person being chased (Which I’m assuming is what you are doing – It’s hard to tell), it’s confusing.

So, to summarize that tangent, focus on grammar. It’s a good investment – Eventually you won’t need to check it.

Now, back on topic. Plot. Holy crap, this is important. You want to pull people in. I’ll give you an example – My second ‘big’ game. Quarantine. I had had a dream, which I have since forgotten, which led me to create the game. It was your normal ‘Mutantz’ fare, only there was a sort of twist. All of the mutant were being persecuted, similar to the Jews in WWII, and placed in Cities ‘For their own protection’ (Which, at first, the cities were for this purpose, but then there was a coup, and… yeah). The players were mutants in a slum. They were not free to do whatever they wanted. Any misstep, and the Sentinels would either kill or arrest them. The entire point of the story was to survive – Not to escape (Although that was supposed to happen).

In retrospect, that’s not the greatest story, but it was enough. It drew in a plethora of signs, and bam, there was a winner.

Now, getting a good plot isn’t always easy. Once again, there is an element of luck – What you might consider to be a good plot might be considered bad by the next guy. You never know. You really don’t. Nonetheless, if you don’t try, you won’t know (more on that later).

So, how do you get a good plot? How do you find the inspiration to make this amazing story?

It depends really. I’ve gotten them from dreams (Quarantine), taking a shower (Reaper), or even reading up on an event in history (On The Wall, which was a story, and not an RP, but that’s besides the point).

Find what you feel to be a good, interesting story. Something with hooks and twists… Something that will leave people coming back for more.

Alright, on to the next thing. Titles.

Personally, I don’t care too much about ‘em. I like to get cool, one-word titles for most of my games. Why? It’s short, to the point, etc. I look for the one word that would best sum up the game… Dreams, for instance. It sums up the fact that the game involves dreams. Only, that was only in the beginning… The game has since moved on to the other meaning of the word… Dreams as in ambitions, desires.

So shoot for something short and sweet that gives a general idea as to what your game would be like. I can’t give you too much more advice on this, because that’s how I do it…

Anyways, onto the final, most important thing. I know I said luck was… But these two are closely linked.

There is one thing that does not require luck. One element which, if added to the game, is almost guaranteed to boost players.

Perseverance.

It’s the only way Shattered and Nightmares have survived. Perseverance. Only 3-4 players, outside of yourself? Deal with it. Keep going. Don’t give up.

But it’s more than just persevering when you’re in the midst of the game. That requires you to already have active players…

There is another kind of perseverance. One that negates luck.

Keep making games. Eventually, one of them will do well. If you put the same amount of effort into each (And I mean a good amount), you’re bound to run into a winner.

It may not be the first or the second time.

It may not be until the fifth.

Maybe it will take longer.

But when you plug in infinity, it appears. So don’t stop.

One of my favorite quotes is this: “When you’re going through hell, keep going.”

When every single one of your games has failed, and you see no reason to make another…

Do it.

 
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You don’t really need to post it completely, take the important parts and put it in points in the first few posts.

Participating in a RP is not a tenth as hard as running one, It only needs one reserved post.

I had an idea for another tip, But I really dont know where to take it. The time at which you run a RP could be best when there aren’t much other games at that time, though many other games means many people enter the forums and thus your game. Thoughts?

 
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I’ll contribute for participating in an RP. At least, how I do it. Blame Fog if it is bad. He mentioned putting writings here.

SEVEN TIPS TO RPING

1) Get in the mood

Oh yeah, you sure want to participate in this awesome RP involving cyborgs from hell fighting these unicorns from heaven…. but wait. Are you prepared for it? In my opinion, the first thing anyone going to participate in an RP should do is think, and evaluate the RP itself. Of course, I don’t mean plan elaborate strategies in advance, or plan out your base in the Arctic, but rather, think whether you can do this. Think whether you know enough about the setting, or can find out or research about it. Don’t jump in blindly, then find yourself flailing in unfamiliar waters.

2) Choose a side (optional)

This is for those RPs that allow you to choose multiple sides. Such as Cliche War, where there are heroes and villains, or even The World After, which has both pro players and anti players to match them. If there are, like the previous example, cyborgs and unicorns, think. Can you imitate, or imagine yourself as a partially unemotional being clad in metal, half man half machine? Or, can you place yourself as a frisky devil of doom cute animal better? Or, can you do none? Always play your strengths, just like in any game. if you think you are good for both, well, select the one you think you will enjoy more. Never get forced by others to join the side you do not support yourself.

3) Making the man/woman/creature/machine

Alright, so we have decided that we are going to play an RP, and even decided on a side. However, we must get a character for this to work. Many people like to simply put up anything (or a staple char sheet) and sign up. Now, this is not necessarily bad. However, there are some things to be kept in mind here.

(a) Check the character sheet given by the GM. You should, preferably, never exclude required fields. You can add one or two costume ones if the host allows it, such as Title, Rank etc. However, they should fit the theme. (b) Who are you? An important question. If you are in this step, you could probably imagine yourself as a guy on any one side. Now the question is, what guy are you on that side? If you are a pro player, are you a contender for the lead role, a side kick, a support, or just a mere neutral player? You need to think which you can play best, or get into the role of best. © Design. While this seems to coincide with the last point, this point is more to the point. Make a mental sketch of your character. Not like “So, he has a beard, and has a black mustache like i like…” rather, imagine his goals, think of his purpose, think of his method of dealing with a problem, think of his interaction with all kinds of people. Yeah, you can skip this step, but it just helps you to get your footing better in your world. (d) Innovate. Never be afraid to do so. Make a new, wacky, uncommon or awesome name. Get your hero a new hairstyle, or your heroine a new skin colour. Make sure, however, that it matches the context. (e) Do the deed. When you think you are ready, click that tasty Reply to Topic button (or open notepad or similar text editing software) and start typing! However, do not rush on blindly, or take to habit. Put in a new twist, perhaps? Think carefully when writing bios and whatnot. These often make you frustrated when you realize you should have done it in another way. Also, try to keep it short, and to the point. Long essays are fun to read, but not often fun to write unless you like writing. However, make sense. Never say ‘I am a cyborg, but my brother is a unicorn.’ because frankly, that makes no sense. And also, no need to put the whole life of the character in the bio. You can create his whole life in the game.

4) Introductory post

A very useful tool. It is like being born, like a flower blooming, like a shy animal peeking out of its hole.

Now we are over with melodrama, actually, introductory posts are VERY useful. They tend to give a view to how the character acts, thinks and reacts. Action packed introductory posts are often full of failure unless they SHOULD be so. If the setting is war, more often than not, you are already fighting. Even then, don’t just post a few lines about how you headshot a soldier and then report to your commander. Try to put in your thoughts as you think them. Imagine yourself in your character’s place. Your introductory post does not have to be the defining point of your RP life, but definitely a minor milestone. Have something happen that eventually turns out to be Schrodinger’s gun, perhaps, or create false suspense. It depends on your character, really. If he is brave, SHOW that he is brave. If he is mad, SHOW that he is a nut.

5) Then I went on.

Your bases are now set, you have a fictional dude in a virtual world with other dudes. Cool. You are now in the RP, and part of it. I know it feels awesome, but here is when you need to be most cautious. Some tips on this point in time:

(a) Think. Never, I say NEVER, rush on blindly. Never act on impulse, rather plan. Do not take rash steps, rather take cautious ones. However, this depends on your character. An impulsive character SHOULD be impulsive. A cautious one should be cautious, not the opposite. (b) Interact. Oh, interactions are awesome. A single interaction is like writing two major posts about your guy. Think you want to show how kind he is. Well, you can write two posts about how he found a bird with a broken wind and tied up tis wings and blah blah. However, a single PC interaction can do twice the wonder. Maybe he is wounded? Now’s your chance. Help him, and there, you have just proven yourself kind. Not only that, the character you saved now has the advantage of being able to develop his own character. We all love to socialize, no matter what we say. And if you really want to talk with NPCs all the time, you should write a novel. Nothing more boring. © Get interacted with. Now this is crucial. You like to interact with others, save them, perhaps, boost them and advise them. However, you must learn to ACCEPT getting the same things done to you. Yeah, sometimes it is painful to think that my ’uber guy got advised on swordmanship by puny idiot. While it may seem annoying, here is another chance to develop yourself. Like I said, two birds, one stone. Express how your character feels. This can convey a powerful meaning to the reader. A clever trick, and the other guy also gets to develop his own guy. And everyone is happy. (d) Going uber. Oh yeah, being ultimately powerful is always fun. Lust for personal supremacy is man’s chronic disease. However, never get carried away. Is your pacifist character really eager to be called ‘God’ by everyone, while it is actually you who would like to be called so? Never mix up yourself with your character. If you want to be over powered, make a guy who wants to be so. And even then, it is a good idea to leave loopholes. No one likes to have pun pun kicking their butts before they can even get up from the floor. (e) Plot development. Sometimes, your duty, sometimes the host’s. In GM controlled RPs, your job, or your part is simply to develop your guy’s personality. The GM does the work of making the story. On the other hand, in free RPs, you need to make everything for yourself. This requires some creativity, and also some clever thinking. Try to develop your character slowly, showing their progression towards the final scene. (f) Final scene. While this may sound like the last part of an RP, this is not so. This is like the part where your kid hero wannabe has finally grown up to be a benevolent hero. or perhaps not? Perhaps he has been reduced to a jester? Or maybe even a villain? Your choice, again. Your character is your own. Their fate, too, depends on your hand. In the final scene, we find out what your character has become. This, oddly enough, is sometimes optional. Many RPs can allow (some even require) you to do the Backtrack. (g) The backtrack. Glorious, glorious backtrack. How many have used it? Many, my dear reader. Even you will use it, every now and then. This is when your cyborg returns to dwell upon its past as a human, your unicorn remembers being an idiotic pony with near to no future, your full grown hero remembers the scrawny kid with glasses and dyslexia. Yes, this is ‘The Flashback’. You go back and delve in the past. This is SO OFTEN used, yet remains so fresh and new that it deserves its own point. You can show the WHOLE thing about how your guy is what he is now through this. Clever usage can do miracles. Some people do not use this, fearing that it might cause problems in the time line and whatnot. I personally urge everyone to do AT LEAST 1 flashback. Flashbacks are easy to write, and so informative that, once all is done and you do the great read, you will be surprised you ‘thought of that little thing too.’

6) The End.

Everything must end. You must always have that in mind. The RP must come to some sort of end, and there goes all your work, bundled together into a neat package. In the grand finale that precedes this, always remember one thing – You do not have to survive. Yes, this sounds odd, but you really do not. Of course, if you are a good guy, and just defeated the bad guys, and have a reason to live on (or none, but a will to do so), keep living. Staying alive, never forget to make that epilogue, unless the GM wants to do it. If you die, make it gratuitous, if possible. even a silent, sacrificial death can touch a reader’s heart, and, while your character dies, your skill becomes evident. Many readers may even break into tears if your guy was developed well enough. That will be your greatest accomplishment. However, if your staying alive makes the world a better place, or even if you simply ‘vanish from public view’, you will have a character that people will connect with. This, again, depends on how well you developed him.

7) The Great Read

Completely optional. Read through the whole RP again. Page 1, then 3, then 5 and so on. This can let you know where you are weak, and you can strive to improve them later.

There we go. I probably missed half the things I myself do. Oh, and don’t forget the toilet. A great place to think.

 
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Well, this is useful, considering FG is getting flooded with them recently:P

 
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One point I would like to make is that, FAW and Dreams are becoming BORING now. Do a RP different from time to time. This is aimed at Squid and Fogfun.

 
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Originally posted by walfordking:

One point I would like to make is that, FAW and Dreams are becoming BORING now. Do a RP different from time to time. This is aimed at Squid and Fogfun.

Aren’t there like 8 FAWs and like 3 Dreams? Move on already.

 
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Originally posted by walfordking:

One point I would like to make is that, FAW and Dreams are becoming BORING now. Do a RP different from time to time. This is aimed at Squid and Fogfun.

They still get enough players, so I suppose you are alone at that. I will suit up quickly if squid starts a new FAW.

Edit: Ninja’d.

 
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Originally posted by NimbusCloud26:
Originally posted by walfordking:

One point I would like to make is that, FAW and Dreams are becoming BORING now. Do a RP different from time to time. This is aimed at Squid and Fogfun.

Aren’t there like 8 FAWs and like 3 Dreams? Move on already.

I remember FAW from back before there was a forum games forum. I no longer remember what it stands for.

 
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Originally posted by HappyYay:
Originally posted by NimbusCloud26:
Originally posted by walfordking:

One point I would like to make is that, FAW and Dreams are becoming BORING now. Do a RP different from time to time. This is aimed at Squid and Fogfun.

Aren’t there like 8 FAWs and like 3 Dreams? Move on already.

I remember FAW from back before there was a forum games forum. I no longer remember what it stands for.

I heard it means Fire at Will, and something else.

 
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Ok, maybe I’m alone on it, but I was one of the first people to make a game here on kongregate on Off Topic with the great Jabor. Now we have moved to Forum games forum.

Dreams/Nightmares 6 games in total and FAW 8 games in total.

It’s about time we had something new and execiting to FGF.

 
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Originally posted by walfordking:

One point I would like to make is that, FAW and Dreams are becoming BORING now. Do a RP different from time to time. This is aimed at Squid and Fogfun.

You don’t even play in Dreams…

Look, I enjoy making the games, and it appears that people enjoy playing them.

As for doing a different RP from time to time – I used to do that. I might again.

Originally posted by NimbusCloud26:
Originally posted by walfordking:

One point I would like to make is that, FAW and Dreams are becoming BORING now. Do a RP different from time to time. This is aimed at Squid and Fogfun.

Aren’t there like 8 FAWs and like 3 Dreams? Move on already.

Why? If I were to ‘move on’ right now, the story wouldn’t be finished. “So the world is still screwed, Achron is in turmoil, and people are dying left and right. End the story right there.”

Neither of you have participated in Dreams.

And, while you do have a right to an opinion… Well, I disagree with it. What do you want new stories each time? No continuous series? But then that would be no fun to make… No chance to develop characters, create backstory, etc. No chance to create a true universe.

EDIT:

Originally posted by walfordking:

Ok, maybe I’m alone on it, but I was one of the first people to make a game here on kongregate on Off Topic with the great Jabor. Now we have moved to Forum games forum.

Dreams/Nightmares 6 games in total and FAW 8 games in total.

It’s about time we had something new and execiting to FGF.

5, actually, unless you include Nightmares.

Also, the first 2, although they share a similar name, are in a completely different universe/plot.

Plus, the first Dreams (Of the new series) failed at page 10.

So, technically, there has only been one successful Dreams in the current series.

 
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@Fog: Which is that, actually? And also, you need to post in Under The Radar: Snow.

I personally believe all serieses are cool.

 
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MY TIPS ON MAKING AN RP

1. Create an idea. This might seem obvious, but it’s sometimes really hard to do. Think of a really small idea first, then expand on it. Think of every possible flaw people might point out in it, and work on them. Make it awesome.

2.Write it down. It’s no good creating an idea then forgetting it, now, is it? This can mean on a sheet of paper or even on your Kong profile, just do something to make sure you will not forget it.

3.Be open to suggestions and ideas from others. Adeeb had a great one in Cliche Title [Yes, Adeeb, it’s Cliche TITLE not Cliche WAR!], and I’ve approved of it. [Yes, I’m going to implement it soon. Don’t worry.] If you’re not listening to the community, they won’t join your games.

4.Think of a plotline, but prepare to change it if a player does something that affects it. That says it all.

5.Don’t set a cap on the signups. Just because not many people have signed, doesn’t mean that if you keep it open, people won’t sign in the future. They might just need some convincing that it’s actually a good RP. So keep the signups open incase someone else might want to join.

 
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Originally posted by AdeebNafees:

@Fog: Which is that, actually? And also, you need to post in Under The Radar: Snow.

I personally believe all serieses are cool.

What is what?

And I know. I’m cleaning.

Again.

Also, Adeeb, your tips are really good.

Seriously.

I enjoyed reading them.

 
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Which is your successful Dreams? And cleaning again!? Hahahaha

 
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Shattered.

Nightmares technically, but it didn’t have Dreams in the title.

So yeah, I guess two.

Also, did you read my edit?

 
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About those complaining about no new games being formed, well, You all need to just support any new games, but most of them are failing. The oldies are pretty fun, since we know the game creator can usually be trusted and fun.

Also, Do you guys think the RP’s and gameplay games should get they’re own forums, to seperate from crap things like Coke Machine and Corrupt-a-Wish?
It will make sure more good players join and stuffs…