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Character Profiles

Author: Original by Leesa-Chan, edited by Seishin_No_Kibou and Penden, new editing by Kilarra


Many roleplays will require you to build a character profile in order to join. This guide summarises everything you need to know!

  1. Overview

    A character profile is a description of your character that helps you remember things about them and, when you post them in an RPG you are going to join, tells the other players a lot about your character. A lot of people use the profile you submit to help them determine whether to let you into the RP or not.

    Sometimes, if your profile isn't long enough and you didn't put enough work into it, you will be rejected from an RP. There are also a lot of RPGs that don't really care about a character profile. Some roleplays like to find out information about characters from certain events, and not have it all listed in a profile. This is up to the Game Master.

    Profiles are usually a form that you fill out for your character. An example of what a profile might look like:
    Profile Example
    Name:
    Age:
    Race:
    Appearance:
    Personality:
    History:


    That's a pretty good opportunity to give your character a good start. However, a lot of roleplayers tend to give very little info that would be considered beneficial to the roleplay. Take a look at this profile example:

    Under Developed Profile
    Name: Van Helsing
    Age: 35
    Race: Human
    Appearance: Black hair and cloths. Coats with some weapons hidden.
    Job: Vampire Hunter
    Personality: Loner


    This example gives no valuable information besides your name, race, and age. Here are some tips on what you should try to add for the remaining profile:

    Appearance

    • Apperance is where people tend to make mistakes. You should not say "see avatar". If you do not put effort into describing a character, we may take that as you may be too lazy to stay and roleplay for extended periods of time. And then, of course, there are things that you can't show just by dressing your avatar. What if your character was missing an arm or had green skin? Your description can also help set the mood. For instance, you can say only that your character wears black clothes, or you can say why-- to blend in with the vampires, maybe? You should take the opportunity to describe your character yourself to show that you care about the roleplay and your character.

    • People tend to also paste in a picture for appearance. Usually these images are big and obnoxious. However, explaining how the character looks and giving a link to an image may help improve your description skills. Maybe you have trouble explaining what you want or think, or you know that most people don't know what a yumi is, so you get a picture instead. You should try to be original with your pictures and not use art or photos that you do not have the rights to. Also, try to keep the images sig worthy. Nothing hurts worse than a profile picture stretching the page.

    • Say you find a nice picture and want to base a character of that. Then do that! But don't let that be the end-all-be-all of your character: use your imagination! Change things around!

    • Maybe you have trouble saying all of it in a paragraph. Make subtitles then! I tend to do the same. It doesn't have to be amazing.

    • Also, people tend to do clothes for appearance. You could use up a whole paragraph just doing clothes, so be careful not to bore the reader. Mention clothes in a few sentences and only include what is most important. We don't care what they wear unless it tells us something about them.

    • While describing though never refer to something outside the roleplay. Don't say:
      -> She wore a battle suit like Lina from Slayers
      -> His hair was straight and black like Ross from Friends.


    Here is an example of the appearance section in a profile:

    Appearance

    Gender: Female
    Height: 5"2
    Weight: 45 - 50 kgs
    Eyes: A bright and cheerful blue! Always sparkling. During a fight though they tend to change to a colder colour.
    Hair: A long blonde, just short of her waist. Oddly enough, natural pink streaks are mixed through the golden blonde. Her fringe sits high, falling over her eyes.
    Build: Slim and slender
    Complexion: Smooth and creamy
    Civilian Appearance: While at school she wears the middle school Juuban high uniform (depending on which season) often accessorised with a scarf during the colder weather. Outside of school she often wears a pleated purple mini-skirt with a soft yellow blouse. Her clothes often have no labels and are very sophisticated but by the look of them they seem expensive.
    Accessories: With her school uniform it's her scarf during winter and her black book bag all through the year. A cloth hangs over her bag distinguishing it from others. It's a small character from the manga Wish. Lucinda also wears star like shaped purple earrings that dangle to about her mid-neck.
    Special Markings: N/A


    Listed out and easy to understand. Or you can use paragraph form:

    Quote:
    Appearance: Blue-black, as a hair-dye box would say, is the colour of her hair, which is thin and straight. It falls to just below the shoulder blades, and is cut in several angles and lengths, the shortest at her cheekbone. Her eyes are a midnight blue. In daylight they appear to be several shades lighter but at night they appear to be black and almost empty, looking straight through somebody's soul. She's tall, 5'9" in height, and slim. Unlike others she doesn't appear starved and is on the healthy scale of things. Long legs seem to have been obtained from her mother, only told from pictures though. Her only piercing is single in her ears.


    Whatever suits your own style.

    Personality

    • People tend makes mistakes here as well. You should try to avoid writing things like 'it depends on the situation'. If you would like to say something of this sort, use things such as certain situations make your character act differently then they normally would.


    The easiest way is to write it out 'novel' style or, in other words, the way a novelist would describe their character's personality.

    Quote:
    Lucinda seems quite snobbish to people who don't know her very well since she's quite wealthy and lives in one of the best apartments in that area of Tokyo. When people get to know her she's actually quite a nice and generous person, not even hurting a fly. She's very confident with a high self-esteem so others say mean things about her and stab her in the back. She ignores it though. Hating confrontation she avoids arguments whenever she can and often will stop saying whatever she was going to so not hurt people's feelings. Lucinda rarely gets angry so if she's angry at you you've done something really wrong. She often gets distracted as well, even stopping midsentence. In three words: Fun, caring and unique.


    That covers a lot. In short:
    Appears snobbish, is actually quite friendly and generous, wouldn't harm a fly, confident, high self-esteem, rarely gets angry, sometimes flaky, fun, caring and unique.

    The last thing I'm going to say is history. Some roleplays will ask for a history. Try to think of different situations that your character has gone through. Try not to use these examples, as they are often used and very cliche.

    • Parents died when the character was very young.
    • The character has lost their memory, and is trying to find theirselves.
    • The character is searching for their love, who was kidnapped.


    That should help you in creating your own character! smile


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Invisible Gaian

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Game Master Responsibilities

Author: Original by Airez, editing by Kilarra


The Game Master, or GM, of a roleplay can have great responsibilities in terms of guiding and maintaining the roleplay. This guide will help you understand these responsibilities and advise you on how best to handle them.

  1. Overview

    The creator is usualy considered the GM of the game, and they do have unquestionable control in most cases. They are the referees in fights, they are the controllers of NPCs (unless they are created by others), and they are the controllers of the plot/storyline. But I'll do my best to address each case individually.

    Just how much control over the story does the creator have usually?

    Like I said, the creator usually has indefinite control over the story, though it really depends on the GM. There needs to be leniency, and there needs to be space for sub-plots to fall in. In essence, you really just need to trust in their judgement before doing anything about it. I myself was left with control over a guild at once point when the leader left for a bit, and I ended up moving the story along as I saw fit. How ever, the story was already in place and I just had to work the others through it. I did the best I could with the absence of the guild leader and ended up doing a pretty good job in the opinions of my comrades. The reason for that is because I allowed space for each of their characters, I took questions and answered them, and I took charge in a way that I deemed justifiable.

    The best you can do is trust the GM knows what they're doing, though don't be afraid to put a little of your on stuff in (within reason of course).

  2. What to do when:

    You have a lacklustre roleplayer?

    While I question the definition, I believe there are more than a few things to do here. If by lacklustre you mean he/she is illiterate by your standards, then there is something you can do. While it does tend to push them away from what I've seen, you could ask them to put more work into their writing and try to follow the story more so, as well as being more exuberant in their posting style. This isn't an actual insult so much as a constructive criticism in my opinion. I've had it done to be a long time ago, and I grew from it. I've told others that and they've bettered themselves as well. Problem is that most users see it as an insult and a stab at their own pride as a roleplayer.

    A roleplayer is going against the plot?

    If some one goes against the plot, it's not always a bad thing unless it's to an extravagant extent. If they change the entire storyline with what they're doing, then yes it is the GM's duty to step in. Before they can do that, they need to have permission from the GM first and THEN move into it.

    Now, I said it's not always a bad thing also. Sub-plots make for an interesting read also. If there is a romance brewing, then that's a sub-plot. If by chance the roleplayer found out his/her lost sister was still alive, then yes that's also a sub-plot. They go on and on, and they can improve upon the actual story itself.

    Someone isn't posting very often?

    There is a matter of how lenient the GM is in posting. More so, how active the actual thread itself is. I know a few roleplays where the GM only asks that the users post every week to every two weeks in very advanced roleplays. Also, there are roleplays that don't merely go into paragraphs, but dwell into short stories themselves. A rarity indeed in Barton Town, though there are a number of threads out there dedicated to that form of roleplaying. On the opposite of this is the threads that have posts every 10 minutes from different users. These are more likely to get the roleplayer reamed if they post one once a day or even every few days. Not only does it make the person look bad in the eyes of the others, but it also makes for a lack of story knowledge. Story is vital for all participants to know. For one thing, knowing the plot would help many to avoid these issues I'm discussing.

    Someone just doesn't give a flip?

    If they don't care then there is nothing you can do about it. Kindly ask them to leave, have the GM ask them to leave, and if that doesn't work, then you may report the user and have a site moderator step in. And don't be scared to use that 'Report this Post' button, but just use it wisely.

    Do we just inform a mod and let them handle it or should we try to get them back on track on our own?

    If the roleplayer has been repeatedly asked to change what ever it is they are doing wrong by the GM, and there is no reconciling on the defendant's side, then there is the chance of having to call a moderator to step in. This is, however, a last resort and you can only do it if he's breaking site rules. Harassment, however, is one of the rules that needs to be upheld, and if the person continues without care or regard of his actions, is actively hurting the plot or the other users' sub-plots and stories, all without the permission of the GM (and especially if in spite of the GM), then there is justification to report the user in question.

    This is, like I said, a last restort. More times than not, it's better that the people participating ask the user to control him/herself. If it's by PMs or even by OOC posting in the thread itself, the users are the first persons that the individuals in question must face. If you can do something to prevent mod interference, then it should be done. For more info on how to use the "Report this Post/Thread" button, click here: Link


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Invisible Gaian

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Common Species List

Author: Original by Penden, editing by Kilarra


One of the joys of roleplaying is that you're not restricted to being human! Below you'll find a list of species commonly found in roleplays.

  1. The List

    • Aliens - creatures originating from different planets, galaxies or universes
    • Androids - non-organic creatures made of metal, and usually built to resemble humans
    • Angels - holy, white-winged, celestial beings
    • Anthromorphs/Furries - Animals with human characteristics, or humanoid physical traits such as walking on two legs etc.
    • Centaurs - Beings with the lower body of a horse and the upper body of a human
    • Demons - Usually violent and malicious creatures associated with evil, and opposing angels
    • Dragons - Reptilian creatures capable of flight, usually huge in size and able to breathe fire
    • Dwarves - Short humanoid beings that prefer to live underground
    • Elementals - Creatures whose existence revolves around the elements - see nymphs, dryads, undines, djinn etc.
    • Elves - Usually tall and beautiful humanoid beings with long lifespans; there are several common subspecies, such as drow (dark elves) and wood elves (forest-dwelling elves with strong bonds to nature) etc.
    • Faeries - Small, magical beings, usually humanoid in appearance and possessing insect-like wings for flight. Common varieties include Dark Fae, Light Fae, Sprites, Pixies, Brownies etc.
    • Gargoyles - Beasts capable of turning to stone.
    • Giants - Humanoid beings of massive size
    • Gryphons/Griffons - Traditionally, a cross between a lion and a bird, but there can be many other varieties which include many creatures half-bird, and half-other
    • Half-Breeds - Creatures with parents of mixed species e.g. half-elf, half-demon
    • Hobbits - Small humanoids with stout bodies and bare, hairy feet, found in the Lord of the Rings series
    • Humans - self explanatory! Usually considered to be the most average of species
    • Imps - mischievous creatures of various forms
    • Mermaids/Mermen - Beings with the upper body of a human and the lower body of a fish
    • Mythical Creatures/Monsters Creatures drawn from the mythologies of our hundreds of cultures - chimera, sphinx, minotaur etc.
    • Naga/Nagah - Beings with the upper body of a human and the lower body of a snake
    • Nymphs - elemental creatures from Greek and other mythology; the most commonly found types are dryads (tree spirits), naiads (fresh water spirits), undines (water spirits), gnomes (earth spirts), sylphs (air spirits), and salamanders (fire spirits)
    • Orcs - ugly, beast-like humanoids, often with pig-like faces
    • Pegasus - a winged horse
    • Undead - any non-living creature, such as vampires, zombies, ghosts etc.)
    • Unicorns - a horse with a single horn protruding from its forehead; winged unicorns are known as alicorns, and in eastern mythology, unicorns are usually more goat or deer-like than horse like and known as kirin/kilin
    • Were-creatures - humans that are either half man, half animal or can change into a particular animal, particularly during a full moon; the most common variety is a werewolf


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Invisible Gaian

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Character Classes List

Author: Original by Final Nova, Red, and Kimi, editing by Kilarra


Many traditional games and roleplay systems categorise characters according to the skills and abilities they have. Below you'll find a list of the most common character 'classes' you'll encounter.

  1. The List

    • Archer: A class which the character usually wields bows and arrows.
    • Assassin: A trained killer, known to be very sneaky and have quick attacks.
    • Bard: A singer/song mage, which uses songs to convey attacks.
    • Cleric: Priest, someone who can use healing spells and the sort.
    • Druid: Usually seen with a familiar and associated with aspects of nature, a Celtic type of mage.
    • Guardian: A protector, usually protecting someone of royalty.
    • Gypsy: Sometimes considered a bard, but for the most part dancers.
    • Knight: A person sworn into fealty, normally wearing a suit of armor.
    • Magi: A spell caster, wizards and magicians.
    • Monk: Martial Artists, normally he or she uses her hands and feet as weapons.
    • Oracle/Seer: Someone who peers into the future with the use of items or his/her own mind.
    • Paladin: A holy knight.
    • Ranger: Sort of like a druid, he/she is normally seen with an animal companion, a tracker.
    • Rogue: Someone who does not abide by the rules of the "land" but his or her own.
    • Royalty: Kings, Queens, Princesses, and Princes.
    • Shaman: A holy man/woman for tribes and the such.
    • Shinobi: A Japanese assassin, very quick and stealthy.
    • Summoner: Someone who has the ability to summon creatures.
    • Thief: Simply, as the name implies a thief a swindler.
    • Traveler: Again, as the name implies, someone who travels.
    • Warrior: A general fighter.




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Invisible Gaian

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Magical Definitions and Terminology

Author: Original by Final Nova, Red, and Kimi, editing by Kilarra


Magic is a common feature of roleplays, and this list provides a quick-reference of some of the terminology and definitions that are used.

  1. The List

    • Abjuration: Defensive magics. (Example: Magic Shield)
    • Alteration: Magic which distorts a person's physical structure.(Example: Burning Hands)
    • Alchemy: Magic with the use of metals. (Example: Defense +5 *On armor*)
    • Casting: The transfer of magical energy to induce an effect (Example: 'Casting' a spell that sets something on fire)
    • Channelling: Manipulating a 'current' of magic to run through something or someone (Example: a mage channelling magic through his body in order to cast a spell)
    • Components: Ingredients that can be used to create a magical effect, usually in alchemical magic systems.
    • Compounding: Magic by use of herbs. (Example: Potion of Life)
    • Conjuring: Summoning. (Example: Summon Lesser Water Elemental.)
    • Divinity: Holy magic. (Example: Bless)
    • Elements: Magic of the elements. (Example: Fire Ball)
    • Enchantment: Magical charms and binding spells. (Example: Dispel Magic)
    • Evocation: The same as "Elements" (Example: Fire Bolt)
    • Exhaustion: A state that can befall a magic-user if they push their limits, depending on the system of magic used.
    • Hedge Magic: Cantrips, Self taught. (Example: Cast Shadow)
    • Heraldry: Magic with the use of crests or symbols. (Example: Protection)
    • Illusion: Illusionary magics. (Example: Watery Double)
    • Invocation: Ritual Magic, Candle Magic. (Example: Create Pentacle)
    • Invoking: Calling forth a spell - usually associated with word-based magic systems.
    • Nature: Druid magic, magic based on nature. (Example: Vine Wall)
    • Restoration and Healing: Magic that recovers ailments of a character, like curses, damage, poison, or disease. (Example: Cure Moderate Wounds)
    • Spellsongs/Dance: Magic that is based on dances and songs.
    • Necromancy: Magical study of death.


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Invisible Gaian

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Description Words

Author: Original by by Final Nova, Red, and Kimi, editing by Kilarra


These words should help you describe your character and their surroundings.

  1. Colours

    Colors
    Black: charcoal, coal, dusky, ebon, ebony, jet, livid, murky, obsidian, onyx, pitch, pitch-dark, raven, sable, shadowy, slate, sooty, starless, swart

    Blue: azure, beryl, cerulean, cobalt, indigo, navy, royal, sapphire, teal, turquoise, ultramarine

    Brown: amber, auburn, bay, beige, brick, bronze, buff, burnt sienna, chestnut, chocolate, cinnamon, cocoa, coffee, copper, drab, dust, ecru, fawn, ginger, hazel, khaki, mahogany, nut, ochre, puce, russet, rust, sepia, snuff-colored, sorrel, tan, tawny, terra-cotta, toast, umber

    Gold: aureate, auric, auriferous, aurous, aurulent, blond, blonde, caramel, dusty, flaxen, gold, golden, honeyed, mellow yellow, ochroid, straw, tan, tawny, wheat

    Gray: ash, ashen, clouded, dappled, dove, drab, dusky, dusty, grey, heather, iron, lead, leaden, livid, oyster, pearly, peppery, powder, shaded, silvered, silvery, slate, smoky, somber, stone

    Green: apple, aquamarine, beryl, chartreuse, emerald, fir, forest, grass, jade, lime, malachite, moss, olive, pea, peacock, pine, sage, sap, sea, spinach, viridian, willow

    Orange: apricot, bittersweet, coral, peach, red-yellow, salmon, tangerine, titian

    Pink: blush, coral, flesh, flush, fuchsia, red, rose, roseate, salmon

    Purple: amethyst, bluish red, heliotrope, lavender, lilac, magenta, mauve, mulberry, orchid, plum, pomegranate, reddish blue, violet, wine

    Red: bittersweet, blood, blush, brick, burgundy, cardinal, carmine, cerise, cherry, chestnut, claret, copper, coral, crimson, dahlia, damask, flaming, florid, flushed, fuchsia, garnet, geranium, magenta, maroon, pink, puce, rose, roseate, rosy, ruby, ruddy, russet, rust, salmon, sanguine, scarlet, terra cotta, titian, vermeil, vermilion, wine

    Silver: argent, argentate, bright, chrome, lustrous, magnum, mercury, nickel, pale, pearly, plated, silvered, silvery, sterling,

    White: alabaster, ashen, blanched, bleached, chalky, frosted, ivory, light, milky, neutral, pallid, pasty, pearly, pure, silver, silvery, snowy

    Yellow: amber, bisque, blond, buff, cream, gold, ivory, lemon, saffron, sand, tawny

  2. Body Parts

    Arms: appendages, fin, limb, member, wing,
    Eyes: hues, opticals, orbs, pools, spheres, windows to the soul
    Hair: fiber, fluff, fringe, fur, hairstyle, lock, mane, mop, ruff, strand, tress, tuft
    Hands/Fingers: appendages, claws, paws, phalanges, talons
    Face: appearance, expression, features, mug, profile, seeming, visage
    Legs: appendage, column, flipper, limb, member
    Wings: appendage, down, feathers, pinions

  3. Clothing

    Clothing General: apparel, array, clothes, costume, covering, drapery, dress, duds, ensemble, equipment, frock, garb, garments, gear, get-up, outfit, rags, raiment, threads, ensemble, wardrobe
    Jacket: coat, fur, hide, parka, pelt, trench, tunic
    Glasses: bifocals, contact lenses, eyeglasses, four eyes, frames, goggles, rims, shades, specs, spectacles, trifocals, windows
    Robes: cape, cloak, cassocks, frock, mantle, shawl
    Shirt: bodice, bodysuit, middy, pullover, shell, slipover, t-shirt, turtleneck
    Pants: bell bottoms, bells, bloomers, breeches, britches, chaps, cords, corduroys, denims, drawers, dungarees, jeans, knickers, overalls, pantaloons, shorts, slacks, trousers
    Shoes: boots, soles


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Invisible Gaian

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Character Development Prompts

Author: by Penden, editing by Kilarra


When you have a basic profile ready for your character, you can develop them further by responding to a prompt that puts your character in a tight spot. You can write these prompts yourself or use my examples.

  1. Situational Exercises

    One way to elicit a response from your character it to stick them in an uncomfortable situation, or else a situation that would make most people uncomfortable, then figure out how your character would respond. The most common ways to respond to any difficult situation are:

    A.Solve the problem
    B.Resign self to the problem
    C.Hide from the problem

    Some basic situations you may want to try are:

    A.Being physically trapped
    B.Being emotionally trapped
    C.Being injured or threatened
    D.Having loved ones inujured or threatened

    Here is an example prompt for C

    Quote:
    Your character is just outside his or her home when two muscular looking men come up and ask to come in for a drink. Since it's not very hot outside and both men look pretty grissled and mean, they've probably got more on their minds. One of them is stroking the hilt a nasty looking sword at his side, and clearly they expect your character to either fight them or come inside quietly 'to talk.' Once you're inside, though, they'll be no chance of random strangers spotting the trouble.


    What you do is read the bit I wrote and respond with how your character would respond (not in this thread, though-- in notepad or something). Don't just tell the reader, but actually write it out like you're writing part of a story.

  2. Reaction to Stereo-type Characters

    One way to force a response of your character is to have them face a stereo-type character. Stereo-type characters are simple and unbendable in their oppinions, often producing a humorous response from more complex character. Some stereo-types you might recognize are:

    A. Hero/Knight in shining armor
    B. Defenseless maiden in distress
    C. Super-bad guy
    D. Super bad guy's frightened minion

    Here is an example of a prompt for B

    Quote:
    Your character has been ordered as an escort for a lady of high standing as she wanders on horseback through the woods. You're the only escort because the woods you two are traveling in are supposed to be really safe, but the maiden suddenly slips out of your sight. For a good few minutes there's just no sign of her.


    Here is an example of a prompt for C

    Quote:
    You've been captured by *gasp* the super-bad guy! He's been after you for months, and, after tricking one of your friends into betraying you, now has you in one of his smaller lairs. You're just waking up with the affects of the drug he gave you still lingering, and you can hear him pontificating near by to one of his minions.



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Mary Sues

Author: Roka_Shotar, editing by Kilarra


What is a Mary Sue, and why do I care? All these questions and more answered in the following guide!

  1. What is it? Short Definition

    The Mary Sue is a term in writing for a certain type of character. This character is an extension of the author's ego. That means it is a copy of everything (or at least a lot) of what the creator wanted. In Role Play terms, it is a powerful, 'perfect' character. There are few true Mary Sues, but there are way too many normal Mary Sues.

  2. What is it? Detailed Definition

    The Mary Sue is an ideal character. Strong, attractive, popular, and cool, the Mary Sue (Gary Stu for male characters) is a huge pitfall. Everyone wants to play one, but no one ever should. These characters are, bluntly, stupid.

    The characters often have a great number of skills. They don't have to be masters, but they have a lot, and they are great at most of them. In simple terms, the character is a Jack of All trades, but is as good as someone who specializes in that sole trade.

    The Mary Sue is also highly beautiful (in more than one aspect). They appear to be heavenly, and are often exquisite in many different types of clothing. Their soul tends to be 'beautiful' (to the creator, which means it may not be innocent). That can make for a wicked personality.

    The Mary Sue is a huge part of any story or Role Play. They suck up the other character's roles, hogging the plot to them. The Role Play dies because of it, and the Mary Sue brought everyone down with her.

  3. What to do with a Mary Sue?

    If a Mary Sue is detected, please tell the Role Player politely. If they ignore or even flame you (which is against the TOS), then you can gesture a Spork, the mighty weapon against Mary Sues, at them wildly, but realize that they may be to fearful that they made a bane of characters.

    At this point, send them the Mary-Sue Litmus Test for them to test the Mary Sue. A good character (in Role Play sense) should follow this table:
    Role Play Type - Score
    Non-Literate - 50
    Semi-Literate - 40
    Literate - 30
    Advanced - 20

    The scores are the maximum allowed. However, some of the questions in the test are asking about a story plot. For that, simply tell them what has happened (and if the answer does not score you a point, then what you plan to happen).

    If you do get a Mary Sue, then you must figure out what to do. Sometimes, the best way to eliminate a Mary Sue from a Character is to look at the things that gave you points. Choose a few, and then adapt your character so that those things do not apply anymore. Then the score would go down.

  4. Where can I find more information?

    Here is a great site for an explanation: Explanation, tests, and other Mary Sue Lore



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Invisible Gaian

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Battle Advice

Author: Original by Seth Darkheart, editing by Kilarra


For some reason or another, roleplay battles are one thing that people often find to be quite hard. They take a little bit of getting used to, but once you've roleplayed a fight a couple of times and you've gotten used to the way that they work, you'll learn that roleplay battles are often the most fun part of roleplay that there is!

  1. Main Pointers

    As with roleplay of any kind, users take it in turns to described their action and speech. The only difference with battles, really, is that users are describing their attacks. The more that you can elaborate upon your attacks, the easier it is for people to roleplay with you; if you say that you shoot them, it's hard for them to respond. If you said that you shot them but indicated what gun you used, where you were aiming the gun and gave a brief idea of what might happen if the bullet hit them (in case the user is not familiar with guns), then obviously it becomes easier for the user to reply properly.

    Never assume that your attacks hit the target. If everybody assumed that all of their attacks went through, then roleplay would be incredibly boring and a lot of characters would die. A good roleplayer will always leave some way for their opponent to counter the attack, or at least give them a chance to do so; unstoppable attacks are seen as 'godmoding' and people will not want to roleplay with you if you never let them do anything.

    Take a few punches. This is exactly the same as assuming that all of your attacks hit the target, really; if you avoid all of a user's attacks then they're not going to want to roleplay with you. Just because you think that your character should be able to do a backflip or dodge bullets, or that you think that they would be good ways to get out of attacks, bear your character in mind, again trying to remember to be realistic. Just because dodging bullets would get you out of a sticky situation doesn't mean that you should do it. Rather than trying to avoid everything, accept the fact that once or twice your character might get their a** kicked.

    Accept defeat. If your character gets shot in the head at point blank range, or gets a knife through their heart, accept that your character is dead. Depending on the type of roleplay it may be possible for your character to be revived later on, but you shouldn't count on it. Coming back from the dead can be done well in certain situations, say in a roleplay centering around the use of magic, but just because you know that your character would be revived eventually is no need to do it too quickly. What I mean by this is that if your character dies, don't bring them back to life instantly if at all. If your character dies, then you've officially lost the fight, too.


References

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Preparing for Battle

Author: Original by by .a.n.r.u.i. and Jack Kouhei, editing by Kilarra


This guide illustrates a few key considerations when preparing for a roleplay battle, and the main strategies your character will probably take.

  1. Battle Strategies

    Defence

    Heavy Armor > Light Armor

    Though the heavy armored warrior (let's just say they're swordsmen for the sake of my sanity) may be slow in speed, getting hit by his opponent's blade would be safer...than, lets say, viceversa. With little protection, the light armored warrior could get his a** kicked if the slower one is a powerhouse. Sacrifice one element of battle for another one.

    Speed

    Light Armor > Heavy Armor

    Armor made of light metals or cloth padding. Maybe none at all. Could be the fine fabric of a hakama or just a normal pair of pants and shirt.

    Now on the other hand, a heavy armored person. Too much metal, whether it be a samurai warsuit or your average medieval knight. Hey, our character here could be one of those looney coocoos out there in modern times who has stolen some old armor from a museum.

    Speed could be a key element in a battle of uneven strengths. I say 'could' because there are always people out there who dont plays fights right.

    Power and Intelligence

    You can be a total weakling trapped in any kind of clothing and you'd most likely end up dead, right? It's always the steriod pumping ultramuscular heroes, with their nifty armor and weapons, that always win, eh?

    If you answered 'yes/right!' to any of those questions, you'll have to really work hard to be acknowledged by others.

    If you're weak, you can be smart. Use your brain and terrian to your advantage.

    If you're strong, yet dumb as a brick, pray that your opponent has the same mentallity that you possess. 'cause you're going down, sucka!

    Even things out. Well, dont try to play the perfectly lean and booksmart male/female. If you lack in strength, hit yourself up with brains to make up for your loss. If you are slow physically, slam them with your strong swings. Sure, you'll be taking damage, but think about the other guy. How the hell do you think he's gonna feel with a smashed jaw in the morning?

  2. A Note about Balance

    Quite a few people think that balance = occasionally taking a hit in fights. Whilst this is a good way of preventing godmoding, people find a way. For example: I once RPed with a guy, whose character could cast insanely powerful magic. I thought this was a bit iffy, but tried to RP with the guy anyway. Generic battle, he cast spells, I got injured, blahblah. But when I attack him, sure he takes the hit, and his character is supposedly injured...yet he still continued to fight as if he was unscathed, as if he was pretending to be injured.

    There are many variations of this. The ones who get injured, but your attacking builds up their 'rage' and makes them explode and become super powerful, are one such variation. This slightly ticks me off, since when you mention it to the person, they normally get very VERY defensive.

    And as for power problems...my characters are always very underpowered. Usually get attacked and disabled in some way during fights, or they are knocked out very quickly. But they're normally clumsy idiots anyway. Just like me. 3nodding


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Creating a Roleplay Thread

Author: Kilarra


From creating a thread to roleplay in, to the basic content you can include, this guide provides a useful checklist when you're starting up a new roleplay

  1. Creating a New Topic

    So you want to make your own roleplay? Actually creating your roleplay thread is as simple as clicking the User Image - Blocked by "Display Image" Settings. Click to show. button at the top of the Barton Town forum, filling in the first post details, and posting your thread. There's more to it than that, though . . .

    Posting in the Right Forum

    Remember, Barton Town actually has several subforums - your roleplay will belong to one of these depending on its theme:



    Thread Title

    Pick a suitable name for your roleplay; what you choose is entirely up to you, but it's best to avoid generic titles like 'forest roleplay'. Try and make it more interesting to entice roleplayers to your thread and make it stand out! Many roleplayers also use the thread title as an 'announcement' message, by including important information such as the literacy level, what the theme is, whether the roleplay is accepting newcomers, and whether the thread has been updated or is under construction. Examples include:

    Dusk 'Til Dawn (Semi-lit, not accepting
    Trinity High School [Needs boys!]
    On a Blade's Edge {Fantasy, U/C}

    "U/C" stands for 'Under Construction'. This means that the roleplay thread is not finished yet and should not be posted in. If you prefer, you can build your roleplay thread in the Test Forum first, and then PM a moderator to move it into the appropriate roleplay forum.

    What goes in the first post?

    This really depends on the complexity of your roleplay. If your roleplay is fairly complex and you're going to include lots of posts explaining it at the very start, you may have the roleplay title and a contents list. If this is the case, you will probably want to go ahead and post a few blank posts in your thread to reserve some spaces; that way, you can organise your roleplay content and move it around as you see fit. Alternatively, if you have a very simple roleplay, you may put all the necessary set-up content right in the first post. For a description of the basic components you'll probably be covering in your roleplay thread before any roleplaying actually takes place, head onto the next section.

  2. Roleplay Thread Contents

    There are a number of basic elements most roleplay threads will have. This section provides advice on what to cover and how to cover it, in a general logical order. Not all of these elements will be present in every roleplay, or be covered in the same amount of detail in every roleplay, so the final choice of detail is yours!

    Introduction

    If your roleplay was a novel, what would be written on the back of the cover? Also known as a 'blurb', this will give roleplayers who are taking a look at your roleplay a quick and rough idea of what the roleplay will be like. At the very least, if you have no specific plot in mind, you'll want to give a basic idea of the setting. Other things you could hint at are the time period, technology, plot, characters and genre.

    Roleplay Rules

    You are the roleplay creator, and what you say goes! If you have some specific rules you want roleplayers to follow, you may want to list them somewhere in your thread. Remember, however, that your rules should not infringe Gaia's Terms of Service (e.g. you cannot allow or encourage people to cyber, either in the roleplay thread or in private messages), and that you cannot report people unless they have broken Gaia's rules, not yours. If, for example, someone posts their profile in the thread instead of sending it to you via private message, that should not be reported; instead, you can delete the post yourself.

    When should we report the user rather than handle it ourselves?

    Moderator intervention is only required when users have violated the Terms of Service. Do contact a moderator when a user is:
    • posting spam deliberately to disrupt your thread.
    • posting explicit/graphic content, such as sexual roleplay, sexually-explicit images or very graphic violence.
    • posting abusive or offensive remarks to flame or troll the thread.
    • harassing you or another roleplayer.
    • refusing to leave the roleplay despite being asked (but be polite when you do!)

    Do not contact a moderator when:
    • A roleplayer is godmoding.
    • An applicant posts their profile in the thread instead of sending it to you via private messages.
    • A roleplayer is otherwise not following your individual roleplay rules, but they're not violating the Terms of Service either.


    Remember, moderators are not available to moderate roleplay quality, but to enforce the Terms of Service.

    Roleplay Information

    If you covered the basics of the roleplay in your introduction, you may want to develop some of the areas in more detail so that your roleplayers can refer to this information. Common elements to cover include:
    • Setting - what is the roleplay world like? Are there any cities, forests, oceans, other environments? Where do people live? What's the climate like?
    • Plot - what is the focus of the roleplay? What are the characters trying to achieve? What kind of lore exists in the roleplay world? Most roleplays will revolve around a conflict of some kind.
    • Technology - is the technology advanced or very basic? If there are weapons, are they on the level of super guns and nuclear missiles, or bows and arrows? Is there electricity available; if not, how are lighting and heat supplied? If there is magic, how does it work, and who can use it?
    • Culture and Religion - do the people of your roleplay world worship any gods? What kind of traditions and values do they hold? Are there any warring factions?
    • History - what's happened so far in your roleplay world? What are the events leading up to the roleplay? Are there any events coming up that roleplayers can be involved in?
    • Races - if your roleplay world includes more than humans, what other sentient species are there? What are their cultures and lifestyles like? What are their strengths and weaknesses, and what role do they play in your plot?
    • Significant People - are there any important people roleplayers should be aware of? Kings, queens, famous heroes, dangerous villains?


    You may want to address all, some or none of these areas in varying detail. The more detail, the more complicated your roleplay will be, but it will also result in a very deep and rich roleplay experience to pay off for that hard work!

    Character Applications

    You'll want to explain somewhere how roleplayers can join your roleplay. Encourage them to read all of the roleplay information you provide so that they don't spend time on a character who is completely irrelevant or unsuitable for your thread. If there are any specific restrictions (e.g. your roleplay world has elves and humans in it, but at the moment you are only accepting humans), make sure they are clear and readable. You will probably want to build a profile skeleton for people to complete so that you have the essential information for their character on hand, and can insert it into your thread. For more information on profiles, check out this guide. Finally, make sure that you make it clear how roleplayers are meant to submit their profiles - can they post it in the thread, or do they need to send you a private message and get it approved before they can start roleplaying?

    Extras

    There are a number of other elements roleplay creators often like to include:
    • Event logs which are updated as a roleplay progresses, so that people can see at a glance what has happened so far. These can be difficult to maintain, though, especially if your roleplay moves very quickly!
    • Links to OOC information, if you have a separate out of character thread
    • Thread updates, in case you update any information within the thread or post any plot/instruction updates for roleplayers to read
    • Links to any other information, such as roleplay art, maps etc. that you or your roleplayers might have created


    Final Thoughts

    That covers the vast majority of information you might want to include in your thread. Something else you might want to consider is presentation (use coloured text, make some graphics etc.), which can really bring your roleplay to life if you put extra effort in. Of course, not all roleplays will follow these guidelines, and that's fine; creativity is the most important material for roleplaying! For ideas, it's always useful to scan some existing roleplay threads, although remember that direct copying of another user's roleplay content is not permitted.

    Good luck with your roleplay, and have fun!


References

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Character Advice

Author: Original by Harmonica and Airez, Keckhs, editing by Kilarra


Some experienced roleplayers give some advice on roleplayer characters. Read on for some thought-provoking ideas.



  1. Character Advice by Harmonica and Airez

    • If you are in multiple roleplays, you should use different characters, but always those that you enjoy playing. If you do not enjoy playing a character, let him get killed and start over. If you do, do not ever use him in another roleplay unless he dies in the one he's currently used in or said roleplay ends.

    • Try to avoid perfect flawless characters. If your character has no flaws, it needs to be redone. And not little flaws like nail biting or flaws of perfection like loyalty to friends. Those are boring(!) Make things interesting. Not everyone's a genius. Try making your character slow, but not a carcicature. Over the top anything is usually too much for people to bare. Keep things simple and moderate. Keep them from pulling out their knives. Seriously, those things hurt. Unless you're roleplaying Fighter, who is too dumb to realize he is being stabbed. But that's a whole 'nother case.

    • Most roleplayers turn their characters into beefed-up super creations that could very well save the planet or destroy it. This is a strange, yet simple, reason behind this way of producing invididuals in stories.


    Psychologically speaking, the characters people tend to make are usually a representation of one self; an impersonation if you will. And this tend to create an effect of wanting power and strength. And who doesn't want to be able to summon up demonic hordes or to stand up 12 feet tall with devilish and angelic wings sprouting from their backs? Of course we all want to be masters of all the elements in the world and have a bad-arse attitude towards everything, even a heroic complex that makes us look grand and spiffy. Then again, when's the last time you saw some one like that in real life?

    The personas people create are, in a sense, what they themselves wish to be. Even the more experienced writers occasionally let that aspect out, if not subconciously. More times than not, you'll end up seeing inexperienced or casual players dishing out the same entities that are constantly over powered for the certain roleplay, and some that don't even fit at all. Gross caricatures are a constant in more casual roleplays. You'll see princes and princesses, as well as fallen angels and chosen ones all the time.

  2. Strengths/Weaknesses by Keckhs

    Most good roleplayers know that there is a fine balance between strength and weakness. Too much strength turns a character into a god-moding super demon, while too much weakness can have them killed in ten pages. If you're having trouble with giving your character enough strengths or weaknesses, consider the following.

    A strength in one situation can be a weakness in another. If , say, your character happens to own a metal sword that is resistant to fire, he may be able to fend off fire attacks. But if he is faced with electric attacks, the sword may conduct the electricity and shock him to death. This is equally effective on abilities not concerning weapons.

    Personality quirks, while they have almost nothing to do strength and weakness, add an extra sense of realism to a character. In almost all cases, realism is a plus. Try different combinations of quirks for different results.

    Finally, don't forget this last topic: consider both the upsides and downsides to a weapen/scenario/etc. Everything has positive aspect and a negitive aspect. It may just happen to be that the delicious ice cream cone Miyako is eating will cause her to have allergic reactions, or the field that is wonderful for bird watching in the summer is a deadly mud trench during rainy season.

    Combining the aforementioned techniques with similar others will help to give your character that sense of 'realism' you've been searching for. Don't be discouraged if things don't go well at first. Learn from the masters, practice, and -most importantly- keep trying! I once heard that success is getting up one more time than you fall down. You haven't failed until you've given up.


References

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Character Design Resources


Sometimes it can be really difficult to find the right attributes for your character. The resources listed below should put you in the right direction!

  1. Character Names

    Random Names

    Fantasy Name Generator
    GameSpy RPG Name Generators
    Roleplayer Names

    Meaning-Based Names

    You may want to browse through some name lists looking for some names that would mean something with regards to your character. The links below should help you do this:

    Behind The Name
    Greek/Roman Names from Mythology
    Name Meanings

  2. Personality Design

    Score-based Generator (use a dice roller!
    Character Questionnaires
    365-Question Character Questionnaire!
    D&D Character Alignment guide
    Psychological personality types

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Literacy Levels

Author: Ani Harker


Many roleplays have "literacy" requirements, hoping to attract those who roleplay at their level. How should you define yourself?

What is literacy, besides being able to read and write?

Literacy on Barton typically means your skill as a roleplayer. Just about every group roleplay and one on one request will mention a certain literacy requirement, and it is crucial to get to know the system. The levels aren't set in stone, which sometimes creates confusion, but there's always a general range where a roleplayer can fall.

What's it based on?

As mentioned before, each definition isn't set in stone. The terms are always the same, but they don't mean the same to every roleplayer. Be sure to pay attention to any side notes to a literacy requirement for more specific instructions. Such specifics include post length, grammar, and the ability to help carry out a plot. These are all important to any roleplay, but post length typically bears the most weight in determining how literate a roleplayer is. To some, how much you can write per post is the most important thing, while to others your ability to move the plot is most important. Pay attention to these details to avoid any misunderstandings.

The Different Titles

You'll see these terms all over Barton Town, no matter what forum you enter. It's best to prepare yourself by knowing these beforehand.

Non-Literate

Non-Literate is typically known as the style of roleplaying where one doesn't usually use complete sentences, and actions are marked by asterisks (*). You may also hear this style referred to as Semi-Literate, but that level usually requires fully written sentences. These roleplays typically move a lot faster than the others due to their incredibly short post lengths. Non-Literates are usually beginners, and therefore do not deserve any sort of scorn. Everyone has to start somewhere, and everyone almost always begins to move up in the ranks.

Semi-Literate

Semi-Literates are usually regarded as those who write out complete sentences with decent grammar, but don't write more than a few sentences per post. Roleplays at this level are quickly moving as well for the same reasons as Non-Literates, but require a bit more thought in putting those actions and dialogues into words. Post length isn't so much of an issue in Semi-Literate roleplays, but grammar usually is, so make sure you're up to date in English class.

Literate

This class makes up the majority roleplayers in Barton Town. There are higher grammar standards, but you're not normally expected to be absolutely perfect at this level. The typical post length averages at a well-rounded one to three paragraphs, making for a relatively quickly moving yet slightly challenging roleplay. At this level, one is expected to know the etiquette and other standards required of them as a roleplayer, even if those specific rules aren't stated in the roleplay. These roleplayers also typically have a good sense of plot and character.

Advanced Literate

This is the big time in Barton. These roleplayers mean business, and make a bigger deal of their standards. You're expected to make as little grammar errors as possible if any at all, as well as write anywhere from three-four paragraphs on, depending on the roleplayer's preference. While this title is stretched quite widely, and some who claim to be such don't think others deserve to be called such, it basically means that you can help with a compelling plot, have real, interesting characters, and describe everything with fluent detail. These roleplays aren't always necessarily the best, however. Every title has their weakness, and sometimes Advanced Literates get so caught up in detail and pretty language that they forget to advance the story sufficiently with their post. Therefore, some prefer lower level roleplays just to bypass all of the fluff.

Elite

Roleplayers rarely call themselves Elite in this day of age, but you'll occasionally see someone or a roleplay that does. Elites bypass Advanced Literates both in post length and in substance, their posts equating to pages on a word processing program. These roleplayers are extremely serious, but it's rare that you'll come across one, so don't feel intimidated.

Mirror Literate

This title applies to one-on-one roleplayers only. It's a somewhat rare title, but it is occasionally used, so it's good to know the terminology. Mirror Literates simply roleplay with anyone of any level, and adjust their level in that certain roleplay to match their partner. The number of these is slowly growing, as post length isn't so important to some as it is to others.

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