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fractalJester
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 16, 2010 1:35 pm
Introduction


Role Playing is writing with a community, and like all writing, it is an art. What you will read in this Info Thread aren't exactly rules, per se, but more of guidelines to help you along in this guild. Even if you get nothing else out of the guild, these are some handy tidbits to know.


Ϛᵒᵑᵗᵉᵑᵗˢ
{I} Roleplay Etiquette
{II} Clichés
{III} Perspectives
{IV} God Modding
{V} Mary Sues
{VI} Colors
{VII} Useful Links  
PostPosted: Sat Jan 16, 2010 1:36 pm
Roleplay Etiquette

These are the basic guidelines of any roleplay you find in this guild.

We prefer to be a Literate Guild. Consequently, please try to be Literate.
Literacy is often thrown around in roleplay threads and guilds, and everyone has their own definition of 'being literate'. Here, we have our own definition of literacy. The length of the post doesn't matter to us so much as the content of the post. If you get everything you want across in a single sentence, then that's okay--just don't make a habit of it. Please use proper grammar, spelling, and punctuation. This includes subject-verb agreement, not having run-on sentences or sentence fragments, not over-using punctuation marks or using them incorrectly, et cetera.

No God Modding
This will be explained in a later post meant specifically for GMing. Suffice to say, it's been a problem in the past, and we're tired of it.

Avoid being a Mary Sue
This will be explained in a later post meant specifically for Mary Suism.

Always stay in character.
If your character is described as a bubbly, carefree person, then don't have him/her act cold and cautious. That's not in-character. If you can't stay within the boundaries set down for the character, don't play the character.

Always separate Character Knowledge from Player Knowledge.
If you happen to read a post about someone in Agrabah secretly scheming to assassinate the Sultan, then your character in Traverse Town shouldn't know about it because your character isn't there.

Similarly, if you are talking with another character, and he/she has a thought, then your character shouldn't know about it- you're not a mind reader. Unless, of course, one of your character's abilities is Mind Reading, in which case, go for it.

And please, don't pull that whole "it was a sixth sense" thing. Your character can only have unique abilities if they're approved in your profile by the roleplay leader.

Don't senselessly derail the plot.
This one is mostly common sense, and honestly falls under "Always stay in character". If the group you're in is on a mission, don't randomly try to bring them elsewhere without a good reason. For instance, say your group is traveling to find a kidnapped princess in Traverse Town. Don't randomly try to bring them to Hawaii for some surfing. If your character honestly thinks that way, he's probably not meant to be with that group.

Don't kill or forcefully harm other writer's characters without their permission.
This is pretty much the ultimate form of GMing, something addressed in a later post. However, due to the severity of the act, we felt we needed to address it specifically. You have no right or control over another writer's character. Even if all the circumstances would allow you to kill the character, you are not allowed to do so without the character owner's permission. That's that.

Don't ignore posts.
This is also a guild rule. If a post is directed at you, or happens around you, then you need to read it. We make this easier on you by having the Location Tags for each post, telling you who is where. If you see a post that has a Location Tag for your area, then you should probably read that post so you know what's happening around your character.

Now, if your character chooses to ignore those posts, that's another thing--just be sure to mention it in your post so the other writers understand.

Give people enough time to react.
This is something else that goes hand-in-hand with GMing. If your character is interacting with other characters, then you should give the other characters time to react. For instance, you shouldn't be able to have 4 actions before the other character can react. Imagine if somebody threw something at you. Would you wait for that person to throw three more things at you before trying to dodge?

This is important both for actions and for dialog. Think about it like this: the more you act or talk without giving others to respond, the more you're making other characters do nothing. You're not making them act, but you are making them not act, which is still a form of GMing.

Preview and Proofread your posts.
Before you press that Submit button every time you post, be sure to press Preview first. That way, you can see how it would look. Be sure to proofread. Look for typos, grammatical errors, and the like. Maybe you thought something made sense while typing it, but when you read it, you realize it doesn't make sense at all. We suggest using a Spell-Checking program for your posts to help this.

As well, when you preview, the 'Topic Review' (which shows the posts before yours) refreshes, allowing you to see if someone has posted while you were typing. This is extremely important--it lets you know if someone posted while you were typing! If that happens, be sure to edit your post accordingly--it's not fair to ask them to remove it.

Describe your actions!
This is a Literate Guild. When you type up your post, don't use asterisks or other symbols to describe your actions. For instance, *runs forward* or -slashes sword- are both wrong. Instead, type it out. 'He ran forward, slashing his sword'. Voila.

Use the proper format for speech and thought.
When making your character talk, use the double quotation marks ("Hey!"). Do not use quotation marks when the character is thinking. While not necessarily a "rule", we suggest the following options for thoughts: italics or 'single quotation marks'--or both! ('What's going on...?')

Mind your post length.
You're allowed to write as much or as little as you want per post, within reason. However, a piece of advice: try to stick to the pattern of the rest of your fellow roleplayers. If most people only post a paragraph or two, then maybe you should reconsider posting eight; likewise, if most people post five or six, perhaps try to write a little more than one.

This, of course, is just a suggestion. Remember what was said above: post length doesn't matter as much as post content. As long as you get your message across, then it's a successful post.

Careful with the violence!

While yes, we tend to have somewhat more mature roleplays, the rules of Barton (and yes, Gaia as a whole) still apply. This includes Barton's take on the amount of violence, quoted here:

Quote:
Many roleplayers enjoy a good fight now and again, but please use your discretion when depicting violence. A general portrayal of violence is allowed; this includes bloodshed, slicing, killing, beating, and other general actions. However, extremely graphic depictions of violence are not permitted. Going into explicit details down to the last organ hitting the floor is considered inappropriate and may result in a warning for graphic content.


Because this is a Gaian rule, you will receive a warning/strike from the guild if you seem to have a problem abiding.

The Limits of Love and Lust.

Chances are, there will be romance. However, there are certain rules set down by the Gaia Mods themselves, as quoted here:
Quote:
[C]ertain romantic interactions and themes are not considered appropriate and may result in a warning for those involved. Roleplay threads based heavily on sexual themes or fetishes, such as cybering, rape or bondage, will be removed from the forums, and participants in the violating content will receive appropriate penalties against their account.

The roleplay of non-sexual interactions, such as hugging and kissing, is allowed on Gaia Online. This is a general display of affection and breaks no rules. However, there are several activities that are considered to cross the line and be inappropriate. The list below outlines such common violations:
  • Grabbing/touching of private areas, fondling
  • Sexual encounters, also known as cybering
  • Inappropriate, sexually-explicit dialogue, "talking dirty"
  • Nudity, a character stripping or being stripped in detail, or for acts of seduction

If you find users breaking these guidelines in your roleplay thread, or any other roleplay thread, please report their posts so that a moderator can review them.

These are the rules of Gaia, and consequently, our rules.

Long story short, keep it PG-13. If you must unleash some carnal energy, take it elsewhere, or just... don't write it. Imply it, hint at it, but don't write it.

Distinguish between each of your characters in writing.
Find some way to distinguish between each of your individual characters, whether that be by typing up completely separate posts, or simply using different color fonts. Colored fonts are always a good idea, as just the color can help set the mood for that character- or hey, maybe that's just the character's favorite color. However, please use colors dark enough to read!

Use Location Tags!
In our roleplays, we use what we've called 'Location Tags' so the we know where each character is. You place these tags at the beginning of each post or, at least, at the beginning of each separate location.

For instance, let's say Sora and Riku are in Hollow Bastion, in the Castle Library, and Leon is in Traverse Town at Merlin's House:

Quote:
[Sora & Riku : Hollow Bastion : Castle Library]

Sora and Riku walked into the musty old library, hoping to find some information.

[Leon : Traverse Town : Merlin's House]

Leon patiently awaited Merlin's return; he needed to speak to the wise wizard.


You can format them however you like, so long as you do it somewhere along those lines. This helps people know where you are and if you're doing something that affects them.

Basic Grammar Checklist

  • Make sure to use Subject-Verb agreement.
  • Avoid sentence fragments and run-ons (unless done for a specific reason, such as emphasis or rambling).
  • Use correct spelling! Spell-check is more common now than ever before--make use of it!
  • Check your punctuation! Each mark has its specific purpose, so know them or get to know them!


If you have any questions, feel free to ask! Some of us have been writing for over a decade, so we'll be glad to help.  

fractalJester
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fractalJester
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 16, 2010 1:37 pm
Clichés

Clichés are, by definition, ideas that are overdone or overused. There are certain things in roleplaying that have been done so many times that they've simply become annoying. Nobody wants to be considered 'that annoying cliché'. As such, try and avoid these simple (yet dangerously common) clichés when creating your character. Or, if you simply must do something, try to do so uniquely, in a way that hasn't been done before.

There is one thing to note. In certain universes, some of these clichés may be allowed... even encouraged or required, in certain instances. If you're uncertain about a cliché's use in a certain roleplay, simply ask the roleplay leader about it.


1.) I wield the Masamune/Oathkeeper/Death Penalty!
Taking famous weapons from their rightful owners, especially without reason, is a no-no. And don't attempt to create an 'original' weapon that happens to be identical (using a picture of the Oathkeeper and calling it "The Promise", for example). That's worse.

2.) I was trained by Sephiroth/Yen Sid/Vincent!
This one's more overdone than the first, and sometimes it just doesn't make sense. We understand that you want your character to be special--everyone wants to be special, and that's okay. But try to avoid this cliché unless you have good reason (or have spoken to the roleplay leader and gotten it approved, of course). We encourage people to develop their own backgrounds and histories away from the canons, if possible. Just remember, things have to make sense! Some examples that don't make sense:

Cloud is a total loner. Why would he suddenly decide to pick up a newbie and train him?

Hojo has zero care for others--he's more likely to experiment on you than train you. So why would he?

A good thing to remember: if you're going to include other characters in your background, make sure they stay in character, too.

3.) I'm the son/daughter of <insert Canon here>!
While not quite as overdone as #2, it's even more dangerous because it forcefully binds not just the character to one canon, but two--and then forces those two together. When did they have the time to do the dirty? Why did they get together? There's simply too many assumptions going on, and it forces the people who play those canons to have to accommodate. This can be exempted, of course, in roleplays set in the future where such relations might be encourage, or even if you simply ask the canon-player (and the roleplay leader) if it's alright.

5.) I'm the long lost 8th Princess of Heart/True Keyblade Master!
Being the 'Chosen One' is possibly the most over-used ideas in the history of story writing. It's one thing to make your character special, but it's another to put them up on a pedestal above everyone else--that's not just cliché, it's not fair. Again, if it's allowed in that specific roleplay, then so be it, but try to avoid this or use it in very small doses.

6.) I'm a master with every weapon/magic type known to man (and then some)!
That's not only cliché, it's Mary-Sue-ish AND God-Modding. You won't be allowed into any roleplay, I can guarantee it. Unless otherwise permitted by the roleplay leaders, you're probably going to be playing a mortal. Mortals have strengths and weaknesses. They have virtues and vices. They are not perfect. A good rule of thumb: for each thing a character is good at, make them bad at something else of equal importance.

7.) I have amnesia!
This cliché is bad moreso because it's not done properly. If you want your character to have amnesia, well, okay--but that doesn't mean he doesn't have a past. You, as a writer, still need to know that past--and so do the roleplay leaders, when you include it in the profile audition. Basically? Don't use this as an excuse to keep your character's Bio blank. That's just bad form.  
PostPosted: Sat Jan 16, 2010 1:40 pm
Perspectives and Tenses

Generally speaking, most of the roleplays you join will take place in Third Person, Past Tense narrative perspective. When we say "narrative perspective", we mean how you write everything that's not dialog or thought. Below, we will explain what this means, as well as each of the other forms of perspective and tense.

Perspectives

First Person

First Person means writing the narration as if the character is writing, using "I", "me", "mine", and so on.

Quote:
When Sarah gave me a hug, I couldn't help but smile and wrapped my hands around her in response. "I missed you, too," I said.


Generally, we don't write in first person. It reads more like a journal than a story, and that's what we're writing: a story.

Second Person

Second Person means writing the narration as if you're talking directly to the reader, as if the reader was the character, using "you" and "your".

Quote:
When Sarah gave you a hug, you couldn't help but smile and wrapped your arms around her in response. "I missed you, too," you said.


This form is used commonly in poetry and in "Choose Your Own Adventure" stories--but not in narrative fiction. When you write in Second Person (like I am now!), the reader believes you're talking to him or her, when you should be writing out your character. As a result, we tend to avoid this perspective entirely, unless writing out a moderator post.

Third Person

Third Person means writing the narration as if the character is a unique individual, neither you nor your reader. When writing in third person, you use the character's name, as well as pronouns such as "he" or "she", "his" or "her", "him" or "her", and so on.

Quote:
When Sarah gave John a hug, he couldn't help but smile and wrapped his arms around her in response. "I missed you, too," he said.


By isolating the character as a unique, standalone individual, it helps give that character a life of its own to the reader. That's why you'll find it's so popular among writers--living characters make better stories!


Tenses

Now, above, we went over the Person perspectives, but we didn't discuss the temporal tenses. There are quite a few, but to make things simple, I'll only discuss the main three: Present, Future, and Past. You might notice that each of those examples were in past tense--I'll explain that in a bit.

Also, for the following examples, I'll be using Third Person--for the reasons explained above.

Present Tense

Present Tense is writing as if what the reader is reading is happening at that moment. As such, verbs usually end in "-ing" or its present tense equivalent.

Quote:
When Sarah gives John a hug, he can't help but smile and wraps his arms around her in response. "I missed you, too," he says.


Present Tense is a somewhat acceptable form of writing, particularly if done in Third Person. It can help give a feeling of reality, and is especially useful if writing suspense fiction. This is actually how screenplays are written! However, it does have its shortcomings; specifically, it can get clunky when a lot of things are going on... which tends to happen in roleplays with multiple people. We've found that when people try to do Present Tense, they tend to slip back into Past Tense anyway... for a good reason explained in a moment.

Future Tense

Future Tense is writing as if what is written will be happening... well, in the future! As a result, verbs usually have "will" or "shall" in front of them, or something of the sort.

Quote:
When Sarah will give John a hug, he won't help but smile and will wrap his arms around her in response. "I missed you, too," he will say.


As you can tell, Future Tense is... weird. It doesn't feel natural, does it? Future Tense generally doesn't work well with narrative fiction for that reason. A story is meant to be told, not prophesied. And trust me, it gets messier, faster, than Present Tense by a long shot. Imagine reading entire pages of that. Maybe it's just me, but that gives me a headache.

Past Tense

Past Tense is writing as though things have already happened. Verbs will generally end with "-ed" or using a past form, such as "ran", "jogged", and "fell".

Quote:
When Sarah gave John a hug, he couldn't help but smile and wrapped his arms around her in response. "I missed you, too," he said.


As you can guess, I saved this tense for last for a reason. It's perhaps the most natural tense, both in writing and reading, and tends to make the process smooth and uncomplicated. Grab a novel, any novel--chances are, it's in past tense. There's a reason for that!

When you're told a story in future tense, it seems more like a prophecy than a story--which makes the reader question the writer's authenticity. When you're told a story in present tense, it sounds like it's happening at that moment, as though the writer is relaying breaking news as he or she is watching it--like a sports caster. It helps build suspense, true, but more because (again) it sounds like the writer doesn't know the ending.

That's all different with past tense. In the past tense, you're told a story that the writer already knows. When you yearn to know more, you know the writer has those answers--because for the writer, everything's already happened. That gives a sense of history to the story, a sense of authority. It's remained the primary method of story-telling for so long because it works, folks.


Hopefully, the above explanations helped clear up any misconceptions about perspective, and explains why we prefer the Third Person Past Tense.  

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 16, 2010 1:44 pm
God Modding
For the sake of brevity, I'll refer to it as GM'ing for this segment.

GM'ing comes in many shapes and sizes. The most common form is making your character so powerful that they can never lose, be hit, get caught unaware, etc. A GM'er can never die, but can kill everyone else. It's controlling other people's characters without permission. In a nut shell, GM'ing is acting like a god, either as your character or as the writer. Thus the name.

Example Wrote:
Toby grabbed Jack by the arm, pulling him hard enough to make him stumble and fall. Once Jack was on the ground, Toby pounced on him, beating him into unconsciousness. His opponent now defeated, Toby looked to the others who dare oppose him, and beckoned them to come forward.


GMing in this form is the most common, and the most dangerous. It should be avoided by making actions toward another character like a suggestion. This gives the other character the chance to interact with your character in the way that they want.

Example Wrote:
"Toby reached out to grab Jack by the arm."


Now the other player can either get caught by Toby or avoid him. It's all about giving the other person time to react. It's a slippery slope, sometimes, and something that takes practice to master. If you've never role played with someone before, don't assume they'd be okay with you grabbing their character's arm with no time to react.

That's just one form of it. I must emphasize, you may NOT control someone else's character. In that example, the character Toby did not give Jack any time to respond. This is GM'ing, and this is bad role playing.

It does not only refer to fighting. In fact, it can cover pretty much all the things that you shouldn't do in a role play, such as being a Mary Sue, a Miss Cleo (see list below), and much more.

GM'ing can be, and often is, done on accident. A few things to avoid when role playing with others:
Thanks go to RhikoDemson for compiling this list.

  • (Aimbotters) -The people who never miss a single shot no matter how hard it is.

    Ex: Person A is 400 trillion-billion light years away and Person B only has one arrow for his bow. Person B hits Person A with the arrow.

  • (god-moders) -The people who can't be hit or just shrug it off.

    Ex: Person A tries to punch Person B in the gut while Person C is holding Person B. Person B dodges--somehow. Alternatively, Person B somehow doesn't feel the pain of the punch and is fine.

  • (idkfa-ers) -The people who are never without a weapon and ammo, pulling them from nowhere, especially if they've never mentioned having it before.

    Ex: Person A's profile mentions nothing about a sword. Since he started writing, he has never mentioned a sword in his posts. There is absolutely no evidence that Person A has a sword. When Person B attacks him, though, he magically pulls out a sword that he says he's had the whole time.

  • (twinks) -The people who have absurdly strong powers.

    Ex: Person A is a normal guy who's done some basic martial arts training. He can somehow knock down a brick building with one punch.

  • (min-maxers) -The people who 'balance' their characters by having an irrelevant weakness and massive powers.

    Ex: Person A is an expert magician. His weakness? Butterflies.

    A famous example would be Achilles. Blessed by the gods with invincibility, unless he hurts... one heel.

  • (Miss Cleos) -The people who use Out Of Character knowledge to get an edge. Remember, keep Character Knowledge and Writer Knowledge separate!

    Ex: Person A sees Person B in a restaurant, acting normal, chatting with friends about sports. He's never seen or heard of Person B before. But Writer A read that Person B was a thief--so Person A tackles Person B, accusing him of theft.

  • (McFlys) -The people who do things in hindsight. That means that, if Person A throws a punch, and Person B blocks, then Person A says "But I secretly used my OTHER fist, and you already reacted, so it hits!"

    Ex: Person A leaves to meet friends, locking his house. He's never had a dog, never mentions having a dog, and his profile says nothing about a dog. Person B goes to rob his house, and Person A says "It's a good thing I got a guard dog yesterday."

  • (Puppetmasters) -The people who RP other people's characters for them. This one is pretty self-explanatory. Don't do it.

    Ex: Person A and Person B are fighting. Writer A says that Person B gets hit or gives up, even though Writer B said nothing like that.

  • (Shoe elves) -The people who RP actions and time it against others while the others aren't present OOC, but are IC.

    Ex: Person A and Person B are in the middle of the fight, but Writer B goes to bed. Writer A continues to post anyway, assuming that Person B does nothing because Writer B isn't posting.

  • (Revisionists) -The people who ignore or alter posts that they don't like.

    Ex: Post One: "Person A jumped into the air..."
    Post Two: "Person B hit Person B with a home-run bat"
    Writer A edits Post One: "So and So jumped into the air, and blocked in preparation for an attack!"

  • (Speedhackers) -The people who RP an absurdly time consuming sequence occurting between other people's actions. This essentially controls other characters by making them do nothing.

    Ex: Person A tries to punch Person B.
    Person B dodges, swings his leg for a kick, jumps back, throws sand, pulls out a gun, shoots, drinks his potion, reloads, shoots again, and then tries to punch Person A.

  • (Oxymorons) -The people who play as characters that are completely impossible.

    Ex: "I'm the child of two human parents--but I'm an elf!"

  • (Baghdad Bobbits) -The people who arbitrarily declare themselves the winner with instant death attacks. This is more an issue in writers needing to balance their characters.

    Ex: Person A and Person B fight. Person A uses "Death", instantly winning without a chance for victory.

  • (Gaseous Snakes) -The people who've taken actions before they start RPing.

    Ex: "Before I arrived, I trained 400million-trillion hours in order to face you!"

  • (Augustines) -The people who pull-in elements that were approved in an unrelated RP.

    Ex: In RP 1, Person A uses a gun from RP 2, even though RP 1 has a strict "No Guns" rule.

  • (Batmen) -The people who use an existing persona and only RP them when it helps. This is an issue with staying in character.

    Ex: Person A, whose profile only says that he is bubbly and friendly, suddenly becomes a cold, manipulative super soldier when someone threatens him--even though that's not in his profile at all.

  • (Zoicite) - The people who alter their character as needed for the situation. For the record, it is plain against the rules to edit your profile without the roleplay leader's permission.

    Ex: In the above example, changing Person A to have that cold, manipulative super soldier personality, even after he's already been played as bubbly and friendly.

  • (Trinities) - The people who gain abilities as they need them with no prior exposure.

    Ex: Person A casts Fire on Person B. Person B, without warning or approval, suddenly becomes immune to fire!

  • (Quake-ers) - The people who use or pick-up things that spawn from seemingly nowhere.

    Ex: Person A and Person B are fighting on flat plains, with nothing as far as the eye can see. When Person A attacks Person Be, he suddenly jumps behind a rock (that wasn't there) and pulls out a shield (that wasn't there).


If you think you might need help, here's a good link. Ways to avoid GMing  
PostPosted: Sat Jan 16, 2010 1:45 pm
Mary Sues
Thanks go to Mizz_FUJIN for compiling most of this segment.

The Mary Sue (for guys, known as a Gary Stu) has many descriptions. Most commonly, Mary Sues can be found in fanfiction where they are perfect characters, in one way or another. Maybe they can sing well, or they'ree related to a canon, or have another canon simply fall in love with them for no reason other than 'they are so beautiful', and are generally perfect and flawless in every way. Everybody loves them, and thus, they are unrealistic. It's like a fantasy of how you would like yourself to be, and although that's not always the case, it is a very common type of Mary Sue.

Television Tropes & Idioms Wrote:
The prototypical Mary Sue is an original female character in a fanfic who obviously serves as an idealized version of the author mainly for the purpose of Wish Fulfillment. She's exotically beautiful, often having an unusual hair or eye color, and has a similarly cool and exotic name. She's exceptionally talented in an implausibly wide variety of areas, and may possess skills that are rare or nonexistent in the canon setting. She also lacks any realistic, or at least story-relevant, character flaws — either that or her "flaws" are obviously meant to be endearing.

She has an unusual and dramatic Back Story. The canon protagonists are all overwhelmed with admiration for her beauty, wit, courage and other virtues, and are quick to adopt her into their nakama, even characters who are usually antisocial and untrusting; if any character doesn't love her, that character gets an extremely unsympathetic portrayal. She has some sort of especially close relationship to the author's favorite canon character — their love interest, illegitimate child, never-before-mentioned sister, etc. Other than that, the canon characters are quickly reduced to awestruck cheerleaders, watching from the sidelines as Mary Sue outstrips them in their areas of expertise and solves problems that have stymied them for the entire series.


This is especially troublesome in a role play setting. In a role play, other people interact with your character, and you cannot control how they will view them. You may say, "My character is the most beautiful creature on planet earth and everyone loves her/him," but you can't actually make people love your character. In fact, if you're playing a Mary Sue, people are more likely to hate your character. Imagine meeting someone who just insists they're perfect--you wouldn't like them very much, would you?

Mary Sues tend to steal the spot light, and a role play shouldn't operate that way. Everyone wants to shine, sure, that's only natural, but in a role play you've gotta take turns. If you have an idea for a plot, or you'd like some spot light, try to form a plot for your character with the role play leaders. What's better? Include other players!

Mary Sueism often coincides with God Modding, as this list of symptoms shows. Clichés are also common with a Mary Sue. Keep in mind that just having one of these symptoms does not make your character a Mary Sue. It is the combination of many, or sometimes just having a few to a great extreme.

Symptoms Include:
  • Being immune too any, all or most status effects/curses/hoaxes.
  • Ignoring a fellow roleplayer's attack because your character is just too awesome to be attacked.
  • Instantly being strong without any recorded progress of strength/endurance training.
  • Having a canon character devoted to your character, or always talking too your character without noticing any other players near that character.
  • Usually likes the spotlight on their own character so they use attention seeking methods in order to take the spotlight.
  • Have powers that equal or surpass the main hero or any other significantly strong character.
  • Intense focus on self-beauty, both in character and narration. Constantly describing the character's loveliness.
  • You’re character comes out of a battle unscathed, scar-less and generally A-OK.
  • He/she has spiritual powers that heal the sick, make brownies, make woman fertile without using any MP.
  • You insist that other characters tend to get jealous of your a** kickery, good looks, sharp whit, intelligence & charm.
  • He/she habitually shares profound wisdom and knowledge without any background or reason for having it.
  • He/she has Barbie Doll syndrome.
  • He/she succeeds at everything.
  • Inversely, he/she fails at everything. This is called a Pity-Party Sue. Do you like people who constantly throw pity parties and focus on their own failures? Yeah, we don't either.
  • He/she has unusual tattoos that magically appeared.
  • He/she has a super model figure.
  • He/she has an unnatural hair/eye color when no one else in his/her race can have it. (Hair dye and colored contacts not included)
  • He/she the last of his/her race or clan.
  • He/she has a demon or something trapped inside himself/herself. (cliché)


Flavor of Sue:
These are taken from Television Tropes & Idioms. It's a great website to look at to get a better understanding of the Mary Sue. Most of it is aimed at Fanfiction, but it can also be applied to role playing.




How to avoid Mary-sueism:

Try to make you character more realistic, and not so perfect. Add flaws, but not flaws that only tend to make your character more epic. A scar that runs down the character's face and only heightens their beauty is not a flaw. It doesn't have to be physical, either... how about your character having a problem with telling the truth? Or being too reckless?

Take a good look at yourself– at the world around you. Notice how flawed it is, but there’s a balance. Train from it, be inspired by it. People can’t relate to perfection because it isn’t realistic. You want your character to be relatable. In writing, perfect characters (or completely, pointlessly imperfect characters) are frowned upon and it shows that little imagination was involved in the character creation.

Characters are just like people. They have strengths and weaknesses. Virtues and vices. Positives and negatives. Most of all, people are three-dimensional. Some have a lot of little strengths but one tragic flaw; some have a few big strengths but a dozen little flaws that add up. When creating a character, keep that in mind. Every time you give him or her a strength, ask yourself "what flaw or flaws would counter this?". Do the same for flaws: "if this is his or her shortcoming, then where does he/she make up for it?"

If you're concerned about your writing or someone else's being too "Sue"-ish, don’t hesitate to try to help, or contact a fellow roleplayer. We're all in this together, and honestly, we've all probably been there, anyway.

If you think you might need some writing help, here are a few good links for guidance--not hard rules.
Mary Sue Litmus Test
Television Tropes & Idioms
Suspension of Disbelief
List of Flaws  

fractalJester
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fractalJester
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 16, 2010 1:47 pm
[COLORS]


Gaia doesn't offer a wide variety of colours. So, when we noticed that another guild had given an entire list of them, we decided to bring the list here, too. [Credit to the Literate Roleplaying Guild]

start
Aliceblue
Antiquewhite
Aqua
Aquamarine
Azure
Beige
Bisque
Black
Blanchedalmond
Blue
Blueviolet
Brown
Burlywood
Cadetblue
Chartreuse
Chocolate
Coral
Cornflowerblue
Cornsilk
Crimson
Cyan
Darkblue
Darkcyan
Darkgoldenrod
Darkgray
Darkgreen
Darkkhaki
Darkmagenta
Darkolivegreen
Darkorange
Darkorchid
Darkred
Darksalmon
Darkseagreen
Darkslateblue
Darkslategray
Darkturquoise
Darkviolet
Deeppink
Deepskyblue
Dimgray
Dodgerblue
Firebrick
Floralwhite
Forestgreen
Fuchsia
Gainsboro
Ghostwhite
Gold
Goldenrod
Gray
Green
Greenyellow
Honeydew
Hotpink
Indianred
Indigo
Ivory
Khaki
Lavender
Lavenderblush
Lawngreen
Lemonchiffon
Lightblue
Lightgoldenrodyellow
Lightgreen
Lightgrey
Lightpink
Lightsalmon
Lightseagreen
Lightskyblue
Lightslategray
Lightsteelblue
Lightyellow
Lime
Limegreen
Linen
Magenta
Maroon
Mediumaquamarine
Mediumblue
Mediumorchid
Mediumpurple
Mediumseagreen
Mediumslateblue
Mediumspringgreen
Mediumturquoise
Mediumvioletred
Midnightblue
Mintcream
Mistyrose
Moccasin
Navajowhite
Navy
Oldlace
Olive
Olivedrab
Orange
Orangered
Orchid
Palegoldenrod
Palegreen
Paleturquoise
Palevioletred
Papayawhip
Peachpuff
Peru
Pink
Plum
Powderblue
Purple
Red
Rosybrown
Royalblue
Saddlebrown
Salmon
Sandybrown
Seagreen
Seashell
Sienna
Silver
Skyblue
Slateblue
Slategray
Snow
Springgreen
Steelblue
Tan
Teal
Thistle
Tomato
Turquoise
Violet
Wheat
White
Whitesmoke
Yellow
YellowGreen
end


_____________________________________________


Psalm ~ "As I was randomly wandering through the test forum, (and I mean randomly, as I rarely if ever go there), I came across a wonderful layout for the color scheme. I asked the author if I could use it for our guild, and she said yes. Full credit goes to T o o t e l e f r o o t for letting us use this. Keep in mind that all the colors have been bolded."

T o o t e l e f r o o t ' s -- T e s t -- T h r e a d


α в c ם/∂/δ є ғ ɢ н ι נ к ℓ м и σ ρ q я s т υ v ω x ץ/ч z

pink, lightpink, palevioletred, hotpink, deeppink, red, tomato, crimson, firebrick, indianred

darkred, maroon, brown, sienna, saddlebrown, rosybrown, tan, darkkhaki, BurlyWood, chocolate, peru, darkgoldenrod

lightcoral, coral, lightsalmon, salmon, darksalmon,
orangered, darkorange, orange, sandybrown, goldenrod, khaki, gold, yellow

greenyellow, lightgreen, lawngreen, chartreuse, lime, springgreen, mediumspringgreen,
limegreen, green, forestgreen, darkgreen,
seagreen, mediumseagreen, darkseagreen,
olive, olivedrab, darkolivegreen

azure, aliceblue, lightcyan, paleturquoise, lightblue, lightsteelblue, powderblue, cyan, aqua, aquamarine, turquoise, lightskyblue, skyblue, mediumaquamarine,
mediumturquoise, darkturquoise, deepskyblue, cadetblue, cornflowerblue, steelblue, slateblue, mediumslateblue,royalblue, dodgerblue, lightseagreen, teal,darkcyan, blue, mediumblue,darkslateblue, navy, darkblue, midnightblue

indigo, blueviolet, mediumpurple, mediumorchid, purple, darkmagenta, darkviolet, darkorchid, lavender, thistle, plum, violet, orchid, magenta, fuchsia, mediumvioletred

darkslategray, dimgray, gray, slategray, darkgray, silver
 
PostPosted: Sat Jan 16, 2010 1:48 pm
Credits and Useful Links

  • Credit to Je Suis a Toi for the Roleplay Etiquette.
  • Credit to Psalm Grasshopper for Perspectives.
  • Credit to Psalm Grasshopper and RhikoDemson for God-Modding.
  • Credit to Mizz_Fuujin and Psalm Grasshopper for Mary Sues.
  • Credit to The Literate Roleplay Guild for their extensive list of Colors.


Ways to avoid GMing.
Barbie Syndrome
Definition of Mary Sue as given by TV Tropes
Suspension of Disbelief
Mary Sue Litmus Test
List of Possible Character Flaws  

fractalJester
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