Whether you're a beginner wondering what all the fuss is about, a roleplayer who desperately wants to improve their skills, or a very experienced roleplayer who wants to share their expertise, this is the thread for you. Below you'll find a number of roleplaying guides and resources to help you on your way - for information on how to contribute, please see the last post.
We need you! Gaia has an amazing roleplaying community with plenty of experienced roleplayers; if you want to contribute to this little stockpile of information, whether you want to write for beginners or even more experienced roleplayers, please read on!
I want to write a guide!
That's awesome <3 Take a gander at the list of desired topics or have a go at your own idea (try not to duplicate any current guides though, or your guide may be rejected sad ). Once you know what you want to write about, please use the Guide Format Template so that the formatting is consistent with our other guides. Make sure that you spell-check and proof-read your work before submitting it to us; if mistakes make it too difficult to read, we may not be able to accept it without a little more polish.
Once you're done, drop a private message with your guide to a Barton OOC moderator for review!
I want to add something to an existing resource!
Some of our resources, such as the Weapon List, can more than likely be expanded. If you have anything to add to them, send your proposed additions to a Barton OOC moderator, with a clear note or link explaining which guide you want to add something to.
I have a thread or guild on Gaia that might be useful to add to the Guides and Resources list!
If you currently have a guild or thread which exists to help people with their roleplaying skills (such as a 'critique my character' thread, or a roleplay practice guild), send the following information to a Barton OOC moderator for review: The link, the name of your guild/thread, and a short description of one or two sentences explaining how it can help with roleplay training. You should not submit links to threads/guilds you don't own (unless you have permission from the owner), as the extra attention may be unwanted, and all links should be within Gaia.
I found a cool guide on a different website. Can I just use that and send it to you if I format it with the template?
I'm afraid not - all guide content submitted to the Roleplay Guides and Resources thread should be original. If you want to use the offsite information you've found to write your own guide, that's fine - just remember not to copy anything directly, and to link to the guide as a reference at the very bottom so that it is compliant with copyright law :3
I'm having trouble with a particular aspect of roleplaying - I'd like to see a guide written about <insert topic here>!
Drop a private message to a Barton OOC moderator, and we'll add it to the Wanted! list.
Thanks for all your contributions!
A list of Barton OOC moderators can be found here.
Please note that these are not guide titles, but themes that we would love to see covered in new guides/resources/exercises. Some of the topics listed here may be very broad and be suitable for division into multiple guides.
Genres in roleplay/different types of roleplay
Roleplay literacy levels in roleplay
Planning ahead, plotting events as a GM
Roleplay thread/post formatting ideas/guides
Strategies for resurrecting a dying/stale roleplay
Playing characters of a different gender to yourself
Common character stereotypes
Heroes vs villains, breaking cliches
Designing a world
Designing a species
Systems of magic
Science fiction technologies
Common grammatical/spelling errors to avoid
Writing good description
General good writing practice
Dialogue in roleplay
Making effective use of other roleplayers' posts
The following links are places within Gaia that can help you become a great roleplayer! For information on submitting links to this list, please review the How to Contribute post.
The School of Dedicated RolePlayers - The SDRP is a guild where RPers help each other improve. Here you can ask/answer questions, tutor, write up tutorials, and, of course, RP. Each new RP is moved to either the Beginners, Intermediate, or Advanced RP subforums by the crew to help members judge their own skill level and join the appropriate RP(s). There's no application to get in, so come for help or come for experience!
Think You Can RP? Prove It! - Have you ever been rejected from an RP based on your sample RP post? Are you a GM who uses a player's past RPs or RP samples to judge whether or not to let them join? Come here to post and/or critique sample RP posts.
How NOT to Roleplay - The Anti-Guide was created to be pure satire. Each post in the guide suggests exactly what you should NOT do when creating/participating in a roleplay. Originally inspired by Alea Facta Est's anti-writing guide.
The Character Creation Thread - Our mission here is to come up with a general list of guidelines and principles to help with creating a new character. No, I'm not talking about making complete lists of acceptible skills, equipment, races, and the ilk. No. Rather, some loose guidelines to help guide through the common pitfalls of character creation, and how to make your profile/bio stand out in the crowd.
So You Wanna Take it Outside Huh? (Combat Roleplaying Guide) - This thread is a guide to all of those nasty little situations that our characters seem to get themselves into. No I'm not talking about messy love triangles. I'm talking about the act of two characters beating each other into a bloody pulp, or at least attempting to do so. This friendly (or not) little guide will show you the ropes of roleplaying a combat situation.
Let's (Role) Play! - Join forces with other roleplayers-in-training to take part in 'practice' roleplays, while senior roleplayers observe and critique your work to help you improve.
Author: Original by Bartjj, editing and additional content by Kilarra
If you're hearing about roleplaying for the first time, it can be a bit confusing. What exactly does roleplaying involve? Is it something you would enjoy? Fear not; all these questions and more are answered in this short guide.
What is Roleplaying?
Roleplaying is you playing a different person. Maybe you are a shy boy in real life, but in the game you are a brave knight who slays dragons and saves towns from dangerous monsters. It's easy, even very easy, as long as you got good imagination. But taking the first steps into the world of roleplaying can be hard sometimes, and that's where this guide can be helpful.
Roleplaying can take place across a variety of mediums - instant messages, emails, private messages, or open threads in the Gaia roleplaying forums. There are many different ways to roleplay, but the fundamental idea is that you create a character you are going to 'play' as, and along with other people and their own characters, write a kind of collaborative story. It's an interactive, exciting way to 'play pretend' through writing - you never know how other characters are going to behave, you can enjoy epic battles and dramatic scenes and explore worlds that only exist in your imagination.
Maybe you and your friends want to play a group of superheroes or battle-hardy warriors in a struggle of good versus evil. Maybe you want to play a regular person in an extraordinary setting. Maybe you want to act out a fun, anime-style romance with your invented character.
Video games are restricted by their programming, and you can't influence what happens in your favourite novels or movies or cartoons. Even if you've ever played games like Dungeons and Dragons, you will have been restricted by rules and gameplay mechanics.
Writing-based roleplaying gives you a freedom that isn't available in these other areas - and has the added benefit of letting you meet new people or have creative fun with your friends.
Are there any rules?
Roleplaying techniques and rules will vary from roleplay to roleplay, but don't let that put you off. There are huge freedoms in writing-based roleplay, and what's more, if you're making your own roleplay, you can make up the rules yourself!
In most cases, what you're "allowed" to do will only be restricted by things like the setting of the roleplay, and your character's own limitations. For example, if you're in a Lord of the Rings-type roleplay surrounded by orcs, your fellow roleplayers won't be happy if your character suddenly escapes on a modern jumbo jet. It's also important to be aware of roleplaying etiquette, but there are other, more detailed guides available on these subjects. Just remember to be courteous, and have fun!
What do I need in order to be able to roleplay?
A basic grasp of writing and a whole lot of imagination are all you need. Roleplaying is just like writing a book, except other people will be taking part, and there isn't often a set plan of what will happen. You may encounter roleplays that use tools like dice throws to determine whether or not that punch your character threw actually landed in the enemy's face, but for the most part, you will be given responsibility in writing out what your character does and doesn't do.
If this is your first time roleplaying, it's best to take a look in the Barton Town forums at the roleplays currently taking place. Pay attention to how they're set up, and see how other roleplayers are using threads to enact these mini-epic sagas. When you feel confident enough, try joining one!
Want to join a roleplay, but aren't sure where to start? This guide will help you out!
Looking for a Roleplay to Join
When looking for an RP thread to join, I take in several factors:
-Is the theme something I've wanted to play?
-Does the thread look active?
-Does the scenario in the thread sound interesting?
-Are all the things mentioned in the first post agreeable to me?
-Are any of the players munchkins?
-Are there already too many players?
-Is this part of a guild that I'll have to join?
-Is the thread actively recruiting?
-Do I have the time for another RP thread?
If the answer to all these is agreeable to me, I'll usually have a look. Take in all these factors before you jump in, and you'll save yourself a lot of trouble. In particular, the first post in the thread is vital. There you should find everything you need to know, including recruitment status, rules you need to obey, and the opinions of the thread starter. I also recommend reading through the first 3 pages of the thread, and the last 3 (at least) to give yourself a feel for what they had intended it to be, and what it had evolved into.
After Choosing a Roleplay
Make sure you understand any rules the roleplay might have! If you're required to send a profile in BEFORE you post, make sure you do so.
Within the RP, when you introduce yourself, do something non-obstructive to their current thread, but something that will hopefully interest them into interacting with you (Maybe your character accidentally bumped into a precariously balanced statue, caught the heavy thing, and is now striving with all her might to keep it from hitting the ground.).
If you did all this, and posted, and posted, and you were utterly ignored, you have one final thing you can do: PM the player who seems most in charge (and active), and very nicely and politely ask what you can do to get into the thread. Share your concerns about being ignored, and then wait for a reply. If he/she responds, you'll likely have your answer one way or another. If he/she doesn't respond, and is still posting, you may want to consider leaving.
After all, if they display such rudeness, is it really worth RPing there?
Author: Original by Seth Darkheart, edited by Kilarra
Depending on the type of roleplay that you are taking part in (futuristic, present, medieval etc) there will be different rules. Most roleplay threads will outline any rules that they in particular wish you to abide by, but the majority of roleplaying rules are common sense.
This is arguably the most important rule. There are many different ways to cheat whilst roleplaying (sometimes referred to as 'munching' or 'Godmoding'), too many for me to go into here, but I recommend that you read the Anti-Munch Project. If you're new to roleplay then it outlines several things that you should avoid. Think of the AMP as a list of roleplaying guidelines. In certain situations it's ok to break them, but I wouldn't recommend it until you've been roleplaying for a while and know how to recognise these situations.
As well as being a term interchangable with munching, Godmoding also refers to a particular type of munching. Godmoders are arguably the worst form of munchers, because their characters have powers akin to Gods. They can dodge bullets, fly, run incredibly fast, do martial arts... Basically, a Godmoder can do anything. It should be easy to see why this can get annoying.
In some roleplays you might be able to get away with bending the laws of physics, but in 'realistic' roleplays in particular you will have to bear what can and can't be done in mind.
Stick to your Story
It can get increasingly annoying if somebody that you are roleplaying with keeps changing their character, saying that they grew up with their parents on a farm one day, then claiming that they watched their parents die at the age of 1. Once you've got a story going in a roleplay, stick to it.
Only Control Yourself
There's nothing wrong with interacting with another user's character when roleplay (in fact, it's encouraged ) but don't control them. For example, it's fine to say that you offer another character a beer or that you throw a knife at them, but it is not ok to assume that the character takes the beer or that the knife hits him. I'll go into battles themselves in more detail later on, but the basic idea is that you let people control their own characters. After all, you wouldn't like it if somebody was controlling your character, would you?
Offline? Leave Them Alone!
If somebody says that they are going offline but you wish to continue roleplaying, then the best way to do it is to pretend that the character started to ignore you or went off to do something else. Just because somebody has gone offline without making excuses IC does not mean that you can attack them, kill them, draw funny faces on them with pen, or anything like that.
Author: Original by Serael, editing and additional content by Kilarra
If you're new to roleplaying, some of the words more experienced roleplayers use might be very confusing! Below is a summary of the most common terms, and what they mean.
Roleplay : To assume the role of. Example: I am roleplaying a knight. I am pretending to be a knight. RP : An abbreviation of the word Roleplay. Example: I'm going to RP for a bit.
Profile : A character sheet depicting the qualities and information about a certain character such as name, gender, inventory, powers, etc. Example: Name: --- / Age: --- / Appearance: --- ...
Out-Of-Character : Commonly abbreviated as OOC. Means to talk outside of one's role; to talk as yourself rather than the character/role that is being roleplayed. Commonly is surrounded by symbols such as (()), . Example: ((Drat, my keyboard is a mess.))
In-Character : Commonly abbreviated as IC. Means to talk/post as the character/role you are roleplaying (i.e. To resume the role I was roleplaying as.)
God Moding : Roleplaying in-character but ignoring all rules of roleplay, dictating what happens to other roleplayers' characters, making their own character a super-being who can't die. Generally used to describe a character being roleplayed in battle situations (e.g. every attack they perform hits, they dodge every attack directed at them, they are unfairly powerful compared to other characters).
Non-Playable Character : Commonly abbreviated as NPC, also referred to as Non-Player Characters. A character that isn't controlled by just one roleplayer, such as an innkeeper in a tavern or a guard at a gate. An NPC may be controlled strictly by the person in control of the roleplay, or the roleplay creator may let anyone control them. Example: The following are non-playable characters: Billy, Bob, the goblins, and the guards.
Puppeteering : If a roleplayer has to leave for an extended period of time, sometimes they may permit their character to be 'puppeteered', or controlled by other roleplayers, so that everyone else can continue with the story without waiting.
Example: ((I'm off on holiday for a week now, guys! Feel free to puppeteer my character if you need to))
Storyline : Every roleplay has a story in it...read the first page of every RP you're going to participate in before jumping in. Also called the plot.
Closed RP : A closed RP means that it is restricted to ONLY the users that were invited. It's best not to disrupt other RPs that you're not involved with.
Open RP : An open RP means it's open to anyone who wants to join.
RP Rules : Every RP made by different users has their own set of RP rules, please follow them to avoid embarassment.
Quest RP/Long-term RP : These RPs are very committed. If you're not the 'serious' role player than this isn't recommended for you. The reason is a Quest RP can go on for a long time, with a very carefully crafted story. These RPs are often organized by "serious" roleplayers who know their stuff.
School RP : A place for those that would enjoy a good educational RP. Class is in session! The University/School subforum has plenty of these!
Anime/Manga/Game RP : These RPs are mainly based on the series itself. For example: A thread was created called "Final Fantasy RP" and that means the RPers on that thread may RP in character as Cloud or Tidus or be original characters that they have made up RP with the FF characters.
Original Characters (OCs) : Often used in roleplays based on existing book, cartoon, game or movie series. Just because you choose to roleplay in the world of Final Fantasy VII doesn't mean that you have to play one of the game's main cast, like Cloud or Sephiroth. You could make up your own character within the Final Fantasy VII world e.g. a shopowner who works in Midgar called Claude. Claude would be an OC, or original character.
Canon Characters : 'Canon' characters are those which already exist in an existing series. If you play Cloud in a Final Fantasy, he would count as a canon character. The word 'canon' can also be used to describe anything already established within a game, book, movie or cartoon world. For example, Squall and Rinoa's relationship in Final Fantasy VIII is considered 'canon' because it happens in the game. Sometimes people will want to roleplay scenarios which are not canon - for example, roleplaying a romance between Squall and Selphie instead.
Symbols : Sometimes you will see those asterisks * used during an RP. Those often times by most users are used to describe motion/action. But not everyone uses it like that. Some may use color on the text and others will use slashes / or make it to italic or small text or :: or ~.
Author: Original by Final Nova, Red, Kimi, & ~Alechsa~, editing by Kilarra
Anime is an extremely popular form of entertainment, and it can often be seen to inspire roleplaying escapades. Below is a list of common language and terms from Japanese anime which can be found in anime-based roleplaying.
Some of the terms below signify particular anime concepts, while others are simply the Japanese words for common English words. Remember that using random Japanese may not be the best way to create a convincing character!
Ecchi : 'Pervert' in Japanese. This is more meant to be in use with low class perverts, those who gape at girls in underwear or leer at them when they wear short skirts or low cut/tight shirts.
Hai : 'Yes' in Japanese.
Hentai : 'Pervert' in Japanese, or Japanese Animation porn.
This is for severe 'dirty perverts', who stare at naked girls and tend to like kinky things. Hentai stuff isn't allowed on Gaia AT ALL. Any roleplay based on hentai should be reported.
Iie : 'No' in Japanese.
Inu : 'Dog' in Japanese.
Itai : 'Ow', 'Ouch', in Japanese.
Kitsune : Foxes and/or demon/anthropomorphic foxes, sometimes referred as 'Fox People'.
Kyuubi : Nine tailed fox in Japanese. This is a word ONLY for nine-tailed foxes.
Nani : 'What?' In Japanese.
Neko : 'Cat' in Japanese.
Nekojin : Cat people.
Oni : 'Demon' or 'Ogre' in Japanese.
Shoujo/Shojo Ai : Literally 'girl' love, these are fluffy romance animations or stories involving pretty lesbian girls.
Shounen/Shonen Ai : Literally 'boy' love, these are mostly fluffy gay animation or story romances with sexy men or boys.
Yatta : 'Yay' in Japanese.
Yaoi : Officially refers to sexual Male x Male relationships, which are not allowed on Gaia. However, the word 'yaoi' is commonly used simply to refer to non-sexual male homosexual romance as well. If you come across a sexual yaoi roleplay, please report it!
Youkai : 'Demon' in Japanese.
Yuri : Officially refers to sexual Female x Female relationships, which are not allowed on Gaia. However, the word 'yuri' is commonly used simply to refer to non-sexual female homosexual romance as well. If you come across a sexual yuri roleplay, please report it!
Author: Original list by Final Nova, Red, and Kimi, some editing by Kilarra
Plenty of roleplays involve battle scenes, and what's a good battle without some awesome weaponry? If you're designing a new character, browse the list below and see what kind of weapon might suit them and their backstory. The weapon you pick will greatly affect the fights they find themselves in, so choose wisely!
The weapons below are organised into categories and accompanied by a brief description.
b*****d-sword: Straight blade, hand and a half sword- used with one or two hands. Bokken: Wooden sword, used to train samurai in Japan. Dao: Single edged Chinese sword, normally called "Broad Swords" in English. Cutlass: A curved blade sword, sailors normally used these. Flamberge: A wavy edged sword, typically long swords or rapiers or a large claymore. Gladius: A Spanish sword used by roman legionnaires. Katana: Japanese long sword. Katar: Weapons that were known to sit just above the wielder's knuckles with a horizontal handgrip. Kodachi: A small sword that should be considered a “dagger”. Kris: Two kinds of Kris; one is a wavy blade used for piercing, the other is a asymmetrical heavy sword. Long-sword: A sword used to increase armor protection. Rapier: A fancy hilted weapon that is considerably thin and pointed at the end. Sabre: A knuckle guarded curved weapon, originally used for cavalry. Smallsword: A European dueling sword. Claymore: A Scottish two handed weapon roughly 55 inches. Greatsword: The largest versions of swords, typically straight and two handed. Scimitar: A sword made for slashing, a very curved sword, Think Aladdin. Tachi: More curved and a bit longer than the Japanese long sword, typically worn by cavalry. Tano: Smaller version of the Katana. Wakizashi: Normally worn with the Katana, it is similar but shorter to the Katana. Zanbatou: "Horse-slaying sword" a pole arm with a large heavy blade at the end.
Bayonet: A knife usually attached to the end of a rifle, used mostly in the Civil War.. Bolo - a heavy bladed, ornate knife found in the Philippines Bowie: A large sheath knife. Butterfly, FrameLock, Lockback, Linerlock, Slip-Join, and Switch Blade: All are folding knives. Dagger: A special type of knife, where the tang of the knife is place centerline of the blade. Dirk: A Scottish dagger. Ka-bar: Seven inch fighting and utility knife used by the US Marines in WW2. Kunai: Flattened iron nail, it can be thrown like a shuriken. Kukri: A heavy curved Nepalese Knife. Leatherman: A little larger than a Swiss Army knife. Machete: A long wide blade used to cut through plants. Stiletto: A long sharp narrow knife. Tano: Smaller version of the Katana. Victorinox: Swiss Army Knife.
Bo: Korean staff. Hanbo: Martial art Quarter-Staff. Long: Longer than the Quarter Staff, which is lighter as well. Quarter: An English staff, normally made of hawthorn, oak, hazel, or ash. Shakujou: A Buddhist's staff.
Bayonet: When used on the end of a rifle; a Bayonet can be considered a spear. Bill: A chopping blade with several spikes on the end, usually six to seven feet long. Halberd: A two handed pole arm with an axe head. Lance: Long heavy spear used in jousting matches. Long Warhammer: A long spear with a hammer like head. Pike: A spear about 10 to 14 feet long used by cavalry. Pollaxe: A spear with an axe or hammer on the head. Spear: A sharpened pole either wood or metal. Or may be fashioned with a "spear head" Scythe: Typically used for a mowing tool, but can be used as a weapon.
Club: A wooden object used to beat people with in battle. Mace: A mace is a metal club or metal reinforced club. Mere: A Maori war club, it has almost flat sides and a round top. Morning Star: A mace with a curved head that has spikes surrounding it. War Hammer: Close combat weapon resembling a hammer.
Cat o' Nine Tails: Multi tailed whip, used on ships as punishment. Morning Star: A spiked metal ball attached to a handle with a chain. Nunchacku: Two sticks connected with chain or a thong of fabric. Whips: Leather bound weapons that have a handle and a flexible strip.
Ballista: A giant "Cross Bow" that throws heavy bolts. Cross Bow: A bow mounted on a stock and uses bolts or quarrels. Long Bow: A common bow. Miniature Cross Bow: Simply, a miniature version of a Cross Bow attaching to the wielder's arm. Recurve Bow: A bow which ends curve away from the archer when in firing position. Shuriken: A tactical weapon, Japanese throwing stars. Yumi: A Japanese Long Bow, it is larger than its wielder.
Cannon: A large, smooth-bored, muzzle loaded gun. Hand Gun: A small gun used either with one or two hands which uses bullets rather than shot. Shot Gun: A gun which shoots “shot”, tiny balls from the barrel in a large spread. Rifle: Any long gun which uses a bullet, not to be mistaken as a 'Shot Gun'. Submachine Gun: An automatic weapon which combines automatic fire and light weight ammunition of a pistol.