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#1 Aug 08, 2009 3:40 PM

A Guy
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Things to do/avoid.

Now, this is in no way a definitive guide, but these are some things you should try to do when making a story. I don't RP here anymore (or, at least, I can't find an RP to join here), but I do RP in other places (I have been a prime offender of many of these and have learned from my mistakes.)

Give the villain a motive. Seriously, why is the villain doing what he is doing? One of the more egregious examples is a villain that wants to destroy the world - he's part of the world, too, after all, so it would be suicide. Even if he can escape, why does he want to destroy the world? Why would he have anyone helping him? While certain actions have obvious motives (e.g. taking over the world is obviously an attempt to gain power), you can often expand on it (e.g. fighting for peace.)

Avoid Mary Sues. A Mary Sue (male equivalents being known as Gary Stu or Marty Stu) is basically a character that's flawless and great at everything. Mary Sues can solve most of their problems by just lifting a finger, they can make friends just by looking at people, everyone falls in love with them, etc. The reason they're bad is because there's little to no conflict if there's nothing that can stand in a hero's way. Now, I'm not saying that powerful characters are bad - in fact, certain characters, such as villains and legendary heroes, are expected to be very powerful. However, they should have some flaws and weaknesses (for example, you can make the source of their power vulnerable). Villains aren't exempt from this either - while a villain should be very powerful, they should also have a few flaws, or else a deus ex machina will have to be used to defeat them.

Don't resort to the deus ex machina. A deus ex machina (literally meaning "god from the machine) is when a problem is solved by something out of nowhere. An example of a deus ex machina would be having the villain struck by lightning during a thunderstorm. Whether something is a deus ex machina or not depends on how it's set up and how it's explained, and it's a bit subjective. A common deus ex machina is having a character get some strange new power from nowhere whenever the plot demands it. For example, a hero that comes out of the wood and takes down two thugs that are chasing someone and then explains that he hates the bandits because they burned his village isn't deus ex machina, as there's a reason he was there at the time (ambushing) and a reason he helped (dislike of the bandits). A hero that teleports there for no apparent reason is a deus ex machina (unless he's clairvoyant, heard screaming, or can otherwise tell the location of the thugs). It's a bit subjective because something might be a reasonable set-up/explanation for one person while it might not be for another person. Let's take cavalry arriving in a battle after a message was sent, for example. One person might consider it reasonable that the cavalry arrived in response to the person's message, while another might not (why did the person in command believe the messenger? Why did the cavalry arrive on time instead of a day later?) Generally, if something relies on pure luck to happen/can't be explained or set up properly, don't rely on it to solve problems - it doesn't require the heroes to work to solve problems, and that robs from the value of a story. The same goes for villains - how can they crush their opposition if have to rely on luck to win?

Don't godmode. Godmoding is the act of making things go your way while RPing when they shouldn't. Godmoding is often done my Mary Sue characters, and does often constant use of dea ex machinae, but neither are prerequisites (it is different from . An example of godmoding is having a character conveniently look just like the owner of a vault, allowing him/her to rob it, and then conveniently dodging every blow guards throw at them while landing every blow they throw at guards when they're discovered. Which reminds me, one common way to godmode is controlling the actions of other characters. Take this, for example:

"Alice saw the sword swing incoming. Alice dodged with a late duck, but was so close to it she heard the wooshing of the sword. She then decided to take advantage of Bob's lowered guard by thrusting her dagger at him."

And then compare it with this:

"Alice moved right into Bob's sword swing. Being startled by this, Bob flinched, allowing Alice to punch him. Bob went flying and landed in a pool of water. Bob was thrashing around, screaming 'I can't swim!'"

In the first paragraph, the person RPing Alice just controlled her actions. However, in the second paragraph, the person controlled both Alice's actions and Bob's, assuming stupidity, ineptitude, and the inability to swim in Bob's case. Note that in this case, it wasn't the punch that could knock someone back a fair distance that was godmoding. It was forcing this punch to land on the target, and having Bob conveniently land inside water. While it's godmoding to control the actions of characters not under your control (and even the behavior of some characters under your control, if they oppose each other), it's also godmoding to abuse the control that you have over your character over a fight scene and make them invincible (unless they're much more powerful than their opponent or otherwise have a good reason), as that is making everything go your way.

Now, a little control over other characters is okay in certain situations (such as a character finishing off another character that is explicitly at the mercy of another character). However, don't go overboard with it (this is rather subjective, so you should err on the side of caution).

Characters should remember their abilities, and be able to call upon them under usual circumstances. It's particularly annoying when the guy that can phase through walls is trying to figure out how to escape a prison cell. Characters suddenly forgetting their ability to do things is like godmoding, but in reverse. Even more annoying is when one character has an exclusive ability that there's conveniently a counter for, even though the counter would be useless in all other cases (let's say that, instead of forgetting he can phase through walls, the walls are phase-proof. This doesn't count if the inability to phase through cartain walls is part of a character's defined abilities.) This is a form of deus ex machina. Of course, the exception comes when someone else has prepared this counter specifically (in this example, Dr. McEvil knew he would need to capture Phase Man and prepared the cells for him.)

Practice good spelling/grammar. Seriously, what's it like to read a post like this?

hey lets go for an advnetur sad example1 itll b loads of fun ok sed example2 let me jsut get redy i need too get supliess n stuf okay seid example1 wile ur doin taht ill go look around n see if i cna get sum ppl to join us n hlep us out where r we goin aksed example1 lets go to teh dungun of doom sied example2 theres lots of treshur tehre yes taht snouds liek fun im so board hye i wnat to go too sed example3 lets hvae sum fun i hav muney to u kno i cna hlep u out if u shar sum trehsur wit me

Notice the lack of proper spelling, capitalization, and punctuation. This would give your average person a headache trying to decipher. It can really be a turn-off for joining an RP if you know you're going to constantly have to read stuff like this. If you spell correctly and use proper grammar, things will go much better, as people don't have to waste time figuring out what you're saying and more people may join if they like the theme of the RP.

Comments are welcome. Once again, this isn't a definitive guide. This list is subject to change based on comments.


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#2 Aug 11, 2009 9:17 AM

Spyro Volcanix
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Re: Things to do/avoid.

Agreed!
Also, on another point: grammer and general English.

Dont join an RP if everyone else there is at least 3 years older than you. seriously, I'm tired of 7-10 year-olds comming onto an RP and ruining it with their way of writing storys, in which they are the main character in everything, which usually leads to some of the points above, they usually do these though:  'Mary sues', 'deus ex machina' and 'god modding'. Plz just don't join if you find that you're a lot younger than the rest...

Next point:

Use correct grammer! I really hate it when someone starts saying stuff like: and so I turned around and blew the monster away then turned back and grabbed another one and shook him around then I threw him away then... Ect. Ect. Ect.  Also, use full stops and quotation marks (and punctuation), none of this - and so i said ok ill do it and so i went and did it and everyone was happy - stuff. PLEASE!!!!! And that means abbreviations also... (e.g: I loled at the n00b)

That's all, Ty! ;-) :-P


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#3 Aug 22, 2009 2:02 PM

Kmn483
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Re: Things to do/avoid.

I'm serousily weirded by rping. It seems pointless to me, someone has to win, so they use a certain attack or something, then what? you dodge you a certain attaxck? the only way that'd end is ether you want to lose, or if your openet used a move that makes you lose, both begin lame. Well that's for battle rp. How about storyline rp? That I don't get, are you just making a story together? that's sorta lame. Then if you control multiple charcters, how does that work? Espsecaily (can't spell.) if they are both in to diffrent places, then it's like two stories. Maybe I'm just confused or doomed to not like rps. Or I just don't understand them.....But It's like being who your not, unless your charqacter is based of you, then what is it your second life? Also what's OOC:? I seen it on two rps and I was wondering what it ment. If I do understand everything, and get a little bit used to rping, I might join one. So thanks If you can help me. I'm bored all the time, so I mine as well try it out.


Never returning. may pop in once in a blue moon. *shrugs*

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#4 Aug 23, 2009 1:45 PM

Swaffy
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Re: Things to do/avoid.

It's "grammar," not "grammer," Volcanix. : )

Little Kids
But he is right. I was mad when little kids suddenly butted their way into
my RP after it had already began a week ago. They threw stuff in there
that, not only went against the set guidelines, but ruined the moment and
storyline. So I ask that little kids should watch where and when to join.

A Guy, I agree with everything you said.


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#5 Dec 26, 2009 11:31 PM

Nightfall
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Re: Things to do/avoid.

This is good to know, thank you.


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#6 Dec 29, 2009 12:00 PM

MrX-Link
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Re: Things to do/avoid.

I agree... BUT I think judging on age is not allright. I know there are such people and therefore:

Ask before joining
This can be done via PM, chat, post whatever. The best thing is to put your sheet (or refer to rurikredwolf)  in a post, so the leader and people of the RP can judge your character (This mostly solves a lot of god modding and mary sue'ing).

The leader of the RP can, after talking about it with the others, "kick" you out of the RP, meaning your posts will be ignored. It is fair to give warnings before doing that.

I think that works better, but it's up to you guys. I do only want to give my opinion and I say that judging by age (3 years younger = denied) is a bit unfair.


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#7 Dec 29, 2009 6:42 PM

Stormy
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Re: Things to do/avoid.

^ I don't RP, but I have to agree with you. What you've suggested seems fair.

Age is no guarantee of following or breaking the guidelines. I've seen many younger members who use perfect grammar as well as many older members who still use chatspeak.


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#8 Jan 07, 2010 9:02 PM

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Re: Things to do/avoid.

Very, very good. Shame I didn't see this eariler. Very useful tips.


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#9 Jun 02, 2014 4:25 AM

thetruefan
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Re: Things to do/avoid.

These rules are so true!
Thank you for showing the points!


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#10 Aug 31, 2014 7:11 PM

IrishWarrior20
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Re: Things to do/avoid.

I have an inquiry about RPing. Does the character need to be a dragon, or can it be another being that came to their world? I've always wanted to do a Spyro RP where I could have one of my OCs end up in Spyro's world.

Last edited by IrishWarrior20 (Aug 31, 2014 7:11 PM)


"We seem so eager to dissent
Yet through inaction we but approve each restraint
We keep on begging please govern us
Freedoms abridged, utopia is distrust"
~ Downfall Inc., Sybreed

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#11 Aug 31, 2014 7:29 PM

thetruefan
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Re: Things to do/avoid.

IrishWarrior20 wrote:

I have an inquiry about RPing. Does the character need to be a dragon, or can it be another being that came to their world? I've always wanted to do a Spyro RP where I could have one of my OCs end up in Spyro's world.

Look, I guess you can ask the RP Owner. But I'm sure it's okay most of the times.


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#12 Aug 31, 2014 7:38 PM

IrishWarrior20
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Re: Things to do/avoid.

thetruefan wrote:
IrishWarrior20 wrote:

I have an inquiry about RPing. Does the character need to be a dragon, or can it be another being that came to their world? I've always wanted to do a Spyro RP where I could have one of my OCs end up in Spyro's world.

Look, I guess you can ask the RP Owner. But I'm sure it's okay most of the times.

So that means I would be allowed to make a character sheet for a non-dragon character? I don't want to make a misstep and get in trouble...


"We seem so eager to dissent
Yet through inaction we but approve each restraint
We keep on begging please govern us
Freedoms abridged, utopia is distrust"
~ Downfall Inc., Sybreed

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#13 Aug 31, 2014 7:40 PM

thetruefan
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Re: Things to do/avoid.

IrishWarrior20 wrote:
thetruefan wrote:
IrishWarrior20 wrote:

I have an inquiry about RPing. Does the character need to be a dragon, or can it be another being that came to their world? I've always wanted to do a Spyro RP where I could have one of my OCs end up in Spyro's world.

Look, I guess you can ask the RP Owner. But I'm sure it's okay most of the times.

So that means I would be allowed to make a character sheet for a non-dragon character? I don't want to make a misstep and get in trouble...

Of course you do! My friend edge did two in my RP. I also suggest they can shapeshift into dragons; But it's your choice.


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#14 Aug 31, 2014 7:44 PM

IrishWarrior20
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Re: Things to do/avoid.

thetruefan wrote:
IrishWarrior20 wrote:
thetruefan wrote:

Look, I guess you can ask the RP Owner. But I'm sure it's okay most of the times.

So that means I would be allowed to make a character sheet for a non-dragon character? I don't want to make a misstep and get in trouble...

Of course you do! My friend edge did two in my RP. I also suggest they can shapeshift into dragons; But it's your choice.

Awesome big_smile I hope people don't mind that he's a SWTOR fan character... hmm


"We seem so eager to dissent
Yet through inaction we but approve each restraint
We keep on begging please govern us
Freedoms abridged, utopia is distrust"
~ Downfall Inc., Sybreed

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#15 Aug 31, 2014 7:47 PM

thetruefan
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Re: Things to do/avoid.

IrishWarrior20 wrote:
thetruefan wrote:
IrishWarrior20 wrote:

So that means I would be allowed to make a character sheet for a non-dragon character? I don't want to make a misstep and get in trouble...

Of course you do! My friend edge did two in my RP. I also suggest they can shapeshift into dragons; But it's your choice.

Awesome big_smile I hope people don't mind that he's a SWTOR fan character... hmm

Glad to help. May I know what is SWTOR?


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#16 Aug 31, 2014 7:51 PM

IrishWarrior20
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Re: Things to do/avoid.

thetruefan wrote:
IrishWarrior20 wrote:
thetruefan wrote:

Of course you do! My friend edge did two in my RP. I also suggest they can shapeshift into dragons; But it's your choice.

Awesome big_smile I hope people don't mind that he's a SWTOR fan character... hmm

Glad to help. May I know what is SWTOR?

Star Wars: The Old Republic. It takes place almost 4000 years before the original trilogy, during the Great Galactic War between the Republic and the Sith Empire.


"We seem so eager to dissent
Yet through inaction we but approve each restraint
We keep on begging please govern us
Freedoms abridged, utopia is distrust"
~ Downfall Inc., Sybreed

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#17 Aug 31, 2014 7:54 PM

thetruefan
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Re: Things to do/avoid.

IrishWarrior20 wrote:
thetruefan wrote:
IrishWarrior20 wrote:

Awesome big_smile I hope people don't mind that he's a SWTOR fan character... hmm

Glad to help. May I know what is SWTOR?

Star Wars: The Old Republic. It takes place almost 4000 years before the original trilogy, during the Great Galactic War between the Republic and the Sith Empire.

Cool! I don't know all that Star Wars stuff, but it looks awesome. Feel free to unleash your imagination- That what is RP meant for.


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