SPOILER WARNING! THIS GUIDE IS NOT WRITTEN BY ME! I HAVE NO RIGHTS OF CLAIMING ANY PART OF THIS GUIDE! THE GUIDE COMES FROM ANOTHER FORUM, AND I BROUGHT IT HERE WITHOUT MAKING ANY CHANGES TO THE ORIGINAL TEXT. THE AUTHOR IS OsakaSun FROM THE SPORUM.
This is a guide on realism. Now, I know exactly what you’re thinking:
Why the hell did you make a guide on realism?! It’s a roleplaying section! Half the stuff here is sci-fi and fantasy and whatnot! Nothing is realistic!
Yes. That’s all very true, but that isn’t the exact kind of realism I’m talking about. For those of you who do roleplays with aliens and robots and all that, you can just skip the section on characters if you want to be like that, but you all should read this anyways. I’m talking about the stuff that ticks me off like hell because people can’t seem to make their characters act realistic, or else can’t make their actions within the normal human limitations. That may seem a little harsh, but it’s so effin’ true that I’m wasting my free time to write this guide in order to help prevent it.
Reading this thread obviously is not mandatory; I can’t enforce it in any way and it is impossible for me to make you read it unless I know you in real life (if I do, you’re dead meat) so I’m just going to ask nicely. Please, please, please read this and spare us all your unrealistic bullsh*t! I promise I won’t hate you if you do!
Section I- Character Realism
This is one of the most common instances where I see people being wildly unrealistic. The reason for this, I think, is because people want their characters to be two things:
1. The center of attention.
2. The best.
If you think I’m lying, just look at fight scenes (although that’s covered in a later section); people are always trying to win. Or else look anywhere else. There’s drama like crazy because people want their characters paid attention to. Seriously, I’m not lying. Even I make drama so people pay attention to me. And I’m, y’know, me!
(Note that this section covers the realism of human and human-based characters. Animal behavior is different, unless it’s an anthropomorphic roleplay.)
I-a On Mental Illness
I am not by any means a specialist on these sorts of things, but I can tell you how you’re being unrealistic in this field.
People always say that you should give your characters flaws so that they aren’t ‘Mary Sues’. That’s very true, but the thing is that too many flaws can also make your character a Mary Sue. Plus, when people thing flaw, they usually think mental illness. Also, I see a lot of noobs/newbs making mentally ill characters, which really ticks me off because they’re so inaccurate.
If you’re going to start roleplaying, start normal, and even if you think you’re ready for mental illness in characters, I’d really suggest that you don’t use it.
Now, I be you’re wondering why I’m covering this issue first. (And believe me, it is an issue.) That’s because it’s the one that bothers me the most, having a touch of mental illness myself, and because it’s horribly overused and exploited. See, mental illness implies silliness, right? It means I can make my character do crazy, stupid things, be the center of attention, and not get in trouble at all!
Well… not exactly. I’m going to show you a few examples of the things I see most commonly and why you shouldn’t be using them for your characters.
What do you know about schizophrenia? Really?
I’ve had a friend confuse it with MPD (Multiple Personality Disorder), and I argued with him for about an hour in order to set him straight.
Now, I have only seen people who have schizophrenic characters portray this illness accurately one or two times. In almost all other instances, people use it as an excuse for their characters to be totally random. Like this:
OsakaSun"The government!" Willow started to rant again. "They stole our water and now they're stealing our souls! Lightbulbs are bri- K IS FOR POTASSIUM! Get your umbrellas, folks, it's gonna be a rainy day!" Okay, maybe she'd completely lost it...
Now, Willow wasn’t schizo, she was just totally freaked out and such, but I see a lot of ‘schizophrenic’ characters doing similar (less funny) things. It’s just not accurate.
Let me guess what you’re thinking:
Okay, if you’re so smart then then tell me what is accurate.
Well, for one, it’s not MPD. People don’t develop other personalities from schizophrenia. Schizophrenia entails auditory and visual hallucinations (hearing and seeing things that aren’t there), paranoid or bizarre delusions (this is where people go wrong), and/or disorganized speech and thinking. Thanks Wikipedia
That’s common knowledge, right? So what do you know about anxiety, depression, and substance abuse? Did you include that in your schizophrenic character? Odds are you didn’t; you were just aiming for silly, not ill.
But guess what! Schizophrenia is a mental illness. If you want a schizo character, you need to throw in everything (and throw ‘em in with accuracy!) or else it’s unrealistic and gets on my (and many others’) nerves.
Do you know what those stand for?
Dissociative identity disorder/Multiple personality disorder. They’re the same thing. What do they mean?
I’ve certainly seen this several times, often confused with schizophrenia, and like schizophrenia have only seen it portrayed accurately in roleplay characters a few times. Yes, it shares symptoms, but it’s not the same thing.
Here, before I go about telling you why you’re so wrong, here’s a list of symptoms found on Wikipedia:
• Multiple mannerisms, attitudes and beliefs that are not similar to each other
• Unexplainable headaches and other body pains
• Distortion or loss of subjective time
• Severe memory loss
• Flashbacks of abuse/trauma
• Unexplainable phobias
• Sudden anger without a justified cause
• Lack of intimacy and personal connections
• Frequent panic/anxiety attacks
• Auditory hallucinations of the personalities inside their mind
Now, how many of those did your character with MPD exhibit? Maybe the first one and the last one, right?
Otherwise, the characters are just totally random. You know, they run around doing crazy stuff then act normally and call themselves by a different name.
That’s not MPD, that’s a toddler in an adult/teenager’s body.
Really, I can’t do much about this. What I can say is that, unless you’re able and willing to have such a complex, in depth character that shows most if not all of the above symptoms (accurately), you should steer away from MPD. Really, you should steer away from any mental illness at all.
Most people aren’t even aware that they have it, and it can be fairly hard to detect. Really, I’d suggest you stay away from it altogether; it’s too complex for the average—and even several of the more experienced—roleplayer(s) to handle. (And that is NOT a challenge.)
I don’t see bipolar characters very often in roleplaying, but when I do it’s treated just like the previously mentioned illnesses; it’s used as an excuse for random, wild behavior.
This really ticks me off because my family actually has quite a history of bipolar disorder and I may or may not have it myself, so I know a bit about it.
Bipolar disorder is also known as manic depression.
Ring a bell?
Maybe. See, bipolar disorder is not just crazy mood swings. It’s a series of ‘episodes’ that affect people in different ways. There are episodes of severe depression , and other such things.
Really, you should do research if you want to make a bipolar character, because I may say something incorrectly.
Now here’s one that people use very often so their characters can be random. Like with MPD, I’m going to list symptoms:
• Be easily distracted, miss details, forget things, and frequently switch from one activity to another
• Have difficulty focusing on one thing
• Become bored with a task after only a few minutes, unless doing something enjoyable
• Have difficulty focusing attention on organizing and completing a task or learning something new
• Have trouble completing or turning in homework assignments, often losing things (e.g., pencils, toys, assignments) needed to complete tasks or activities
• Not seem to listen when spoken to
• Daydream, become easily confused, and move slowly
• Have difficulty processing information as quickly and accurately as others
• Struggle to follow instructions.
• Fidget and squirm in their seats
• Talk nonstop
• Dash around, touching or playing with anything and everything in sight
• Have trouble sitting still during dinner, school, and story time
• Be constantly in motion
• Have difficulty doing quiet tasks or activities.
• Be very impatient
• Blurt out inappropriate comments, show their emotions without restraint, and act without regard for consequences
• Have difficulty waiting for things they want or waiting their turns in games
Now, if you know somebody with ADHD, then that’s fine and dandy; you know the condition better than I do, so you can skip ahead, but the thing is that people with ADHD usually aren’t super random, they’re just easily distracted. That’s a huge difference. In fact, ADHD is often accompanied by depression and anxiety, which means that people with it aren’t happy-go-lucky, OOH A CHICKEN.
ADHD is also accompanied by more than just depression, usually it comes hand-in-hand with OCD, BPD (borderline personality disorder), bipolar disorder, vigilance problems, etc. If you want an ADHD character, you’re really going to have to go more in depth than—OOH ANOTHER CHICKEN!
Oh, boohoo! I am so depressed and sad! I think I will wear all black and too much makeup, then go around crying, writing poetry, and cutting myself! I am so emo, woe is me! The world sucks; I hate everything.
That’s what I believe most people think when they hear the word depression. Emo automatically comes to mind. Why? Because we’re stupid Americans. The worst part is that people actually laugh at the kids who are actually like that. That makes things even worse, makes them even more depressed, and probably drives them to at least attempt suicide at one point.
Why do these misconceptions bother me? Well I got hit with depression pretty badly. In fact, when I was cutting, people didn’t know but they’d point at band-aids on my wrists, laugh, and ask if I was cutting myself. They didn’t know that their jokes were actually correct.
Do you know how much that hurts, to have a problem that everybody is inadvertently joking about?
See, depression can come from a lot of things. Stress, bad experiences, mental illnesses, etc. It’s usually about the same, though; you feel like sh*t. You hate the world and the world hates you back. You feel like lying in bed all day and doing absolutely nothing, because if you do something you know you’ll find out yet another ugly truth about our society. You think that, if you just died, nobody would really care. Hell, you’d be doing them all a favor. One less mouth to feed and all that. You get irritated at the smallest, stupidest things. Are people listening to music you hate? You yell at them to turn it off or call it stupid or something. People bothering you? You act like a totally antisocial jerk that just ignores everyone. You get these urges to just take some sort of blunt instrument and bash all the annoying, ignorant peoples’ heads in. You put your head down on the desk at school every day and try to sleep because at night, you can’t. You have nightmares, you hallucinate, you toss and turn, whatever. You just can’t sleep.
That is depression. Not poetry and eyeliner and all that crap.
Remember that if you want a depressed character.
Mental illness is a hellhole of details when portrayed accurately, and incredibly annoying when it’s not.
If you still want a mentally ill character, I suggest you research the condition in question first.
If you want a super random character, then just say that they’re weird and act accordingly, don’t give them a condition that you only know the common knowledge about.
This gets unrealistic as well, you know. People sometimes forget that their human characters are human and therefore forget some things that come with being human.
A big scary monster is coming right at you.
You know what adrenaline is, I’m sure; it’s that burst of energy you get when you’re scared out of your wits. It comes with the flight behavior that kept us alive when we didn’t have weapons to fight off bigger, more dangerous animals than ourselves. You may get an adrenaline rush in response to the big scary monster.
Then there’s another reaction. Ever seen a deer get hit by a car? When they see the headlights, their whole bodies just freeze up. They can’t move. That happens to us too (although we might also our pants as well), in moments of sheer terror, and it’s quite often more common than adrenaline rushes.
So instead of,
Justin saw the monster coming and felt his heart begin to pound as adrenaline rushed through his body. He had to get out of here. Grabbing Maiya’s hand, he sprinted for the door as quickly as he could…
Justin saw the monster coming and felt his whole body freeze up as icy terror crept down his spine. He had to get out of here! Next to him, Maiya was trembling with fear as well, but he couldn’t even coax his hands to move so he could comfort her…
would be much more accurate.
See the difference? It’s even more dramatic than running away, too, so I don’t see why people don’t use it more often.
I’m guessing it’s because they’ve never experienced the ‘deer in headlights’ response to fear before. After all, I doubt many of you have been faced with a hungry predator or a man with a gun pointed at your head before.
Shock (The traumatic kind)
I don’t see shock very often in roleplaying, which is why it’s so unrealistic. Everybody’s characters take huge, lifechanging news and giant bloodbaths (although that constitutes survivor’s guilt, really) and whatnot perfectly in stride. It’s like stuff like that happens to them every day.
Shock, like fear, can be shown in several ways.
Some people actually do take it in stride and don’t react much on the outside.
Others totally shut down, and just sit or stand where they are with vacant expressions on their faces. Maybe they rock back and forth and mutter to themselves as well.
And then there are the people like this:
Quote from OsakaSun »
"The government!" Willow started to rant again. "They stole our water and now they're stealing our souls! Lightbulbs are bri- K IS FOR POTASSIUM! Get your umbrellas, folks, it's gonna be a rainy day!" Okay, maybe she'd completely lost it...
Yes, I used that example before, but this is actually what she was showing: shock. See, she’d just found out that she was dead; a lost spirit trying to find her way through a forest full of demons so she could get a second chance at life. People in shock usually don’t scream or say random stuff like that, but they often will talk really fast about what just happened and maybe veer off topic a bit, but not as severely. These are the people that you’ll see getting slapped while somebody yells “GET A HOLD OF YOURSELF, (WO)MAN!” in movies (or soap operas). If you want experience on this kind of shock, go watch a few horror movies and the most recent season finale of Grey’s Anatomy with the crazy gun guy.
Whoa, Osaka! We do anger fine! Haven’t you see—
No. Shut up. You don’t do anger fine, nor do you do the reactions of other people.
What I see when people exhibit it in real life:
(This actually happened)
My Dad: Where’s the remote?
My Brother: *on couch, playing on his laptop* I dunno.
Dad: Help me find it please.
Brother: *keeps playing on laptop*
Dad: Hey! Help me find the remote!
Dad: Help. Me. Find. The. Remote.
Brother: But I’m watching my show…
Dad: *a little while later, after finding the remote. Changes channel*
Brother: HEY! CHANGE THAT BACK!
Dad: I’m watching my show.
Brother: I was watching mine first! *changes channel with remote he was hiding*
Dad: *gets up* Change it back!
Brother: *also gets up* No.
*both migrate to the other end of the room, screaming really loudly about the TV shows*
Dad: *throws chair at wall, shattering the chair* SHUT UP!!!
Brother: *runs away to go cry on the porch*
Me: *scared as hell, peeking out of the room she was taking refuge in before running outside to comfort brother*
Me: (brother’s name), are you o—
Brother: SHUT UP, GET THE HELL AWAY! *starts throwing things*
Me: Calm dow—
Brother: SHUT THE F*CK UP!!! *throws more things*
Me: *runs to the backyard to go cry*
That is a real-life argument and also the main reason I hate it when people fight. Trust me, my dad never yells, and he scared the sh*t out of me when he started up.
The thing is that people fight about stupid things, usually work themselves up to the screaming stage, and then feel absolutely terrible afterwards. It’s called remorse. Also, some people get scared, usually onlookers (such as me in the example) and will probably not try to get the others to stop, rather comfort them later.
In roleplays, I see arguments (fortunately started over stupid things) that get straight to yelling, then maybe fighting. See, people want their characters to win, while in reality the smaller, weaker one would likely give up and walk away (crying, like my brother) eventually instead of resorting to blows.
I remember in one roleplay, this little toddler character was (unrealistically) standing up to an obviously murderous, terrifying character who had a shotgun. The toddler probably would have gotten freaked out and clung to his mom (who he was protecting) but instead he tried to kill the murderous guy. (He was a werewolf, so technically it was possible.) That particular fight, due to the lack of realism, sparked a massive fight in the OoC thread and ended in the person controlling the murderous guy’s resignation from the roleplay.
The IC fight was unrealistic, but the OoC one was not.
But yeah… Unless you’ve seen a lot of fights and arguments (NOT on TV; those are often unrealistic as well unless they’re in soap operas [and then the making up part is unrealistic]), you may want to steer clear of that argumentative character with anger management problems that you were planning.
Hoo boy… This one is really just playing on what people have seen in TV, or maybe just assume from what they’ve decided love is all about in their heads.
What have I seen?
I’ve seen characters just up and confess their love to another without being nervous at all.
I’ve seen love at first sight. (Highly uncommon in real life, although it does exist.)
You know what? I’ll stop right now.
How many of you have actually been in a real relationship?
Not the middle school sh*t—I’m not talking crushes and ‘boyfriends’ and ‘girlfriends’— I’m talking the real deal. Maybe love wasn’t involved; maybe you were trying to find it, but still.
If you’ve had that, then you can just skip this section right now, because you know those feelings. If not, well… random making out occurs, and that’s substituted for the actual emotion ‘love’.
Love is a word that can mean a lot of things to be honest, but the best way that I can find to describe it is that you always want to be with the person you love. Just doing nothing together makes you as happy as you could ever imagine. You don’t need to ‘go out’ or make out or anything, just being there with them is the best feeling.
Love is blind.
Love is the sun.
Love is the rain.
Love is a fistful of glitter in the air. Music nerd… Teehee.
Like I said, love is just doing nothing with somebody and having the time of your life.
Now try putting that into writing.
Sobbing uncontrollably seems to be the most preferred way to express sadness around here, and once the person who was crying had been comforted everything is alright again.
Tell me, does that work for you? Probably not.
Ever had a loved one or pet die?
Grief is a form of sadness. You cried, didn’t you? It was horrible. It felt like the whole world was crashing down because something or someone you loved just disappeared forever. Maybe you even got to the point of sadness where you became depressed. Everything sucked. You cried and you cried. The littlest thing would set you off all over again; anything that reminded you of the death. You’d cry yourself to sleep every night and wake up in the morning with red eyes and a heavy heart.
When did it get better?
When your best friend gave you a hug and said it would be okay?
Sure, maybe you stopped crying, but you didn’t stop being sad. That couldn’t get rid of the feeling.
So when did it get better?
Maybe it did when you came to terms with it. Maybe it did when you forgot. Maybe when you found something to be happy about again. Or maybe it didn’t.
Why can’t we remember this when our characters are sad, then? They’re supposed to be people, so why do they just forget about sadness?
I don’t know.
You can fix that if you try, I’m sure.
We get stressed out when under pressure. Like, when there’s a huge test coming or you have to do too much work or whatever. Everybody knows what it’s like to be stressed out; you get annoyed with every little distraction and you pull out your hair and everything.
The funny thing is that I rarely see stress in roleplaying.
Remember that time when the fate of the world depended on that one character?
What’d he do? He just went through with it. He may have gotten a little nervous, but if that were to happen in real life I feel like he’d have been pretty stressed out. Maybe people would have encouraged him and he would have snapped at them.
Yeah. When something really important is about to go down in a roleplay, try to show a bit of stress in the characters.
I-c Behavior in General
This section isn’t going to be long, I’m just going to say a few things.
What do you do when you write your posts? Do you put yourself in your character’s shoes and think about what they would do, or maybe think about what you would do? Or maybe you just wing it?
Generally, things are more realistic if you think about them. Just give it a shot, I can guarantee you’ll get results if you try considering all the details and backstories you’ve created for your character and then think: What would s/he do?
Or else: What would I do?
It’s better than just glancing at the previous person’s post and having them just do whatever pops into your head.
Section II- What the Hell are you Talking About, Man?
The section you’ve just started to read covers metagaming and godmodding. These issues, too, come from the need to be paid attention to. People still want their characters to be the very best (*guitar* like no one ever was!) by giving them superhuman abilities and knowledge that they just shouldn’t have. It’s effin’ crazy.
So we’re fixing that now.
II-a The Art of Meeting People
That section title probably gave away what this subsection is about: characters meeting one another.
Now, I wonder what you’re thinking right now. Maybe that there’s absolutely nothing wrong with how your characters meet? Well, uh… How the hell did that guy magically learn the other guy’s name when they’d never introduced themselves! It’s just like, they meet up, say hey, and then go do whatever it was they were going to do without even bothering to exchange names. Then they magically know it later. Not only is this lazy and ignorant, it’s also technically metagaming.
Ooh, snap. I went there.
It is metagaming by definition; you are giving your characters information from the OoC that they technically did not receive IC. So have them introduce themselves.
(I’m done with this for now. If you have any suggestions for changes or additions, I’ll be happy to hear them..)
II-b How the Hell…?
I’m sure you get this reaction a lot when you see godmodding. You know, a character does something that is totally illogical, even if they do have superpowers, just to show how awesome they are.
The number one instance of godmodding, in my opinion, is endurance. I’ve seen fights go on for pages and pages with none of the people fighting even breaking a sweat. That’s because nobody really wants to lose. But the thing is that if there’s a rule against killing in the roleplay, the characters really won’t have much more at stake than their honor.
So why, then, is it so important to win?
Seriously, tell me!
I’ll admit right now that I never try to win fights in roleplays because, for one thing, I think it’s much more interesting to write if you’re trying to lose. Plus, I’m, uh… not very good at fight scenes… As a result, my characters are often pacifistic and will not fight unless absolutely necessary, in which case I don’t let the fight last long so nobody godmods. And I always leave room for people to dodge my attacks.
That brings me to the auto-hits and auto-dodges: sometimes people just automatically hit the other person’s character without leaving room to avoid, and sometimes people just magically dodge some basically undodgable attack.
Whenever I fight (keep in mind that I usually am trying to lose), I always say something like this:
Quote from OsakaSun »
Piper had unwittingly positioned herself in such a way that she was tensed perfectly to spring, and the personality-- not Ripper this time, mind you-- that was taking control used this to its advantage. The instant Matt touched her, her eyes cleared up and, though they weren't visible at all, her pupils had become more elliptical than circular, and then she growled and literally pounced on him.
Her hands pressed hard against his chest and, with the momentum she'd achieved from that tensed position, he'd likely be floored if he wasn't prepared.
See how I gave the person she’d attacked the choice to let it be effective or not? Now, it may have been godmodding on his part to say he was prepared, but that doesn’t matter. I left him a choice.
(He went with letting the attack work, by the way, but ultimately his character overpowered Piper/notRipper.)
Then there are occasions where people make characters designed to be cheap in battle. Take the massive monsters that spit acid and somehow also have teeth on their tongue example. Also they weigh several thousand pounds and can fit in small spaces and—
See what I mean? That’s just plain… myeergh. The thing’s only weakness was that it feared fire and, although it never did make it into the roleplay, the idea of it doing so made me think of godmodding. So please don’t make characters over equipped for battle; it’s not fair nor is it particularly fun for anybody but you.
II-c What You Didn’t Foresee was… I Had It in My Pocket All Along!
The title suggests magical objects that weren’t there before to help characters out in sticky situations, but that’s not all this subsection covers. It also touches on magical knowledge (not metagaming, though), and insertion into backstories.
Here are some examples to get you started provided by my BFF, Cha-Cha.
Quote from ChaosHarbinger »
"It was a good thing that she had prepared a medikit in case she got hurt, Laura thought to herself as she bandaged the injury. The whole works was in there, from bandages to adrenaline to disinfectant to gauze. There was so much that there was scarcely any more room in her backpack. Carefully packing it all away, she brushed back her hair and continued walking.
... *** ... ***
What a relief! If she hadn't been wearing that hardhat, the fall would have given her a nasty concussion! Still, at least it didn't mess up her hair - no protection for her hands though. They were starting to get very sore with all the scrapes they were exposed to.
As darkness closed in around her, night falling swiftly in these parts, Laura hastily whipped out her lantern and lit it, checking compass and tightening her gloves. A mountain lion roared in the distance, but Laura wasn't afraid - she had carefully sprayed lemon along her trail during the last couple of hours, the pungent smell sure to drive the creature away."
See how Laura was magically prepared for everything? This actually happens quite a bit. People, not wanting some horrible misfortune to befall their character (like death by mountain lion), suddenly bring up some never-before-mentioned knowledge or object (or weapon in the case of a fight) that would help them out perfectly in the given situation. That, my friends, is godmodding.
It’s even worse if the godmodding involves the plot or subplot. Like, let’s say somebody’s character is horribly ill with some mysterious, incurable disease. Their whole character is based of that fact, and perhaps their purpose in the roleplay is to find out how to get better.
Now enter character two, who falls hopelessly in love with the sick character and can’t stand that they’re sick, so they use their magical powers or incredible medical knowledge to cure the sick person. Problem solved, but subplot ruined.
Finally, there is backstory insertion. It’s just plain annoying; your character knows somebody else’s character, right? Their character goes off and then starts saying things that your character apparently said in the past. Now, that’s okay if you gave them permission, but otherwise it’s not only godmodding, but essentially powerplaying because they’ve basically taken control of your character.
This happens too:
Another example of nonviolent godmodding: inserting yourself prominently into someone else's backstory without permission.
Quote from Eochaid1701 »
"So where are you from?"
"I'm from (name of far-off, undiscovered country here). I was banished, and I'm the only one ever to make it to what you would call civilization."
"Oh really? I'm one-sixteenth (that nationality), and I'm descended from the ruling line. Technically, I should be king right now."
"Bull****. We've had democracy for ten generations."
"But it's true, I really should be king (goes there to retake control and godmods again in his attempt to do so)."
Makes you wanna bash the one-sixteenth (that nationality)’s head in, doesn’t it?
II-d What are You Talking About? I Knew that Already!
Ah yes, magical knowledge. This is both godmodding and metagaming depending on the context, but we’ll just call it metagaming for now. Pretty much, your character has not let off a particular fact about their past or perhaps even their thoughts. In no way was any of that information implied, but you made the mistake of mentioning it in your post or in the OoC, and this happens:
Perry was shifting his feet awkwardly and kept sneaking looks at Emma whenever she was occupied with something else. He thought she was so pretty, but there was no way he’d go near her… Good thing she didn’t know he was watching.
Emma noticed Perry looking at her and walked over to him. “Hi Perry!” she said.
Swallowing nervously, Perry smiled and stammered, “H-hi Emma.” She was so pretty…
“I really like you Perry. You’re so sweet. Do you like me too?”
“N-no…” Perry lied. He was just so nervous…
“You’re lying, aren’t you?”
See? Emma somehow magically knew that Perry was watching her even though the first post stated she shouldn’t have, then she knew he liked her, and finally she knew he was lying. That’s just so improbable, it’s painful.
It would have been much more entertaining for Perry to have stuttered his way into a perhaps oblivious Emma’s heart, wouldn’t it? Sounds cheesy, but oh well.
Then there’s also this:
Quote from Cha-Cha »
"It is pitch-black inside the tunnel and hiding a deadly basilisk, which would awaken the moment a light was lit to fix the unfortunate interlopers with its lethal gaze, although the adventurers could not sense it. Yet if they stayed put in darkness, the wraith pursuing them would have no fear of attacking."
"Ever wary of being caught unawares, I cast a targeted spell to restrain any magical animal ahead so that it cannot move a single muscle. Then I light a torch."
Notice how it said that the adventures couldn’t sense the basilisk, and yet the other person still cast a spell to keep it from moving so that he could light the torch and also prevent the wraith from attacking himself and his companions.
And here’s yet another example of metagaming:
Quote from Luna_Cat16 »
OOCperson1: Wanna know something cool about my character?
OOCperson1: Promise you won't do anything about it in the IC?
OOCperson1: Well, my character has asthma, but she hasn't told anyone.
Meanwhile, in the IC...
Person1: Mary suddenly fell to the ground, her hands around her throat. Her breathing was coming out very shallw and ragged, like something was constricting her lungs. "H-he-elp..."
Person2: John knelt over Mary obviously very concerned about her at the moment. With a bad astma attack like this, she could die! "Everyone! Get an inhaler, or something! She's having an asthma attack!"
See how many different ways you can metagame? I know it may be hard to not include a neat fact you learned in the OoC, but it’s much more fun for everybody if you allow the person whose character it is to reveal it themselves IC the way they’d intended to.
Section III- Character Types
Ah, the character. Not only are they the most fun parts of roleplays (for we all know that a roleplay is not a roleplay without them!), but they are often the most difficult to come up with, get right, and be realistic about. We get all sorts of things that (like everything else according to me) are spawned from the (apparently omnipresent) need to be paid attention to. We get Mary Sues, Gary Lous, drama kings/queens, defective robots, suicidal wolves, drug addicts, monsters that are actually teddy bears at heart, you name it.
It’s kind of infuriating.
IIIa- To Placate GrandEnder… Artificial Intelligence! Yay!
Most commonly found in those futuristic space roleplays that I deplore so much, Artificial Intelligence (or AI) is what you give to a robot so that it’s not a Roomba. Essentially, it is an incredibly complex series of programs that gives an artificial being (robot) free will and perhaps even “emotions”.
Now, I generally see two types of AI in roleplays: the Perfect and the Defective.
“Perfect” AI means that the programming is flawless and the robot acts exactly as it should. Now what could possibly be wrong with that? The thing is that humans are very complex creatures, and Perfect AIs act just like them. It would be impossible to perfectly replicate human thought process and behavior, so Perfect AI is therefore impossible unless there were glitches (there always are) that made it act more human. Essentially, I think that a Perfect AI would follow its programming perfectly. If it was made to protect something? It would protect it at all costs unless there was something in the programming that would not allow it to do so. In my eyes, a Perfect AI is not a robot that acts perfectly human, but a robot that acts as it should: like a robot.
“Defective” AI is what you get when people like killing machines. Usually, they have huge glitches or flaws in their programming that turns them into something they shouldn’t be. The thing is that all AIs would have glitches or flaws, and very few if any at all would turn out to be like the killing machines I’ve experienced. The programming for Artificial Intelligence is so complicated that it’s impossible to avoid something that shouldn’t happen. It’s just that those things aren’t usually as drastic as people seem to love making them.
IIIb- Hi, I’m Perfect!
Ah, Mary Sues. Or Gary Lous. We all know what they are, don’t we? Our lovely little perfect characters who do everything right, are super smart and super strong, and never fail to get on our nerves. Some people just don’t have the heart to give their “totally awesome” character a single flaw, and they end up being so infuriating that every other character ends up trying to kill them but ultimately failing because Mary/Gary Sue/Lou godmods their way out of the situation.
So what am I trying to say here?
Don’t be perfect. Give your character a flaw that could potentially be their undoing. Are they really strong? Make them unintelligent or have low endurance. Do they have an awesome superpower? Make it take up a lot of energy or hurt them every time they use it.
Just be careful not to throw in too many flaws, because otherwise they’ll become an attention wh*re like those characters with all the mental illnesses that always grab the spotlight. People get very bored very fast when somebody’s character is always getting captured by the enemy or getting injured or simply complaining about everything.
A good character takes time to make, but don’t be afraid to try and make one. I’m not kidding; everybody will be a lot happier and have much more fun if you do.
IIIc- …and Now Ah Keel You!
Who here hates psychopathic killers? Raise your hand. Please. Raise it now, so I can see it and yes, I can see it. Is it raised? Good.
Those characters that attack others for seemingly no reason and try to kill them and all that crap are perhaps some of the most irksome things in the whole world. They have no purpose other than to cause harm, no thought process other than “He saw the little kid and threw a rock at him, then laughed when the kid started crying”. It’s just plain annoying.
Nothing in real life is like that. Nothing. There is always something that fuels those brutal killers we here about on TV, always a reason for seemingly senseless killings in movies and TV shows. People and animals do not kill each other for the sake of killing each other, and they do not simply move on to their next victim afterwards.
It really, REALLY es me off when someone randomly has their character eat someone. I'm not talking about the werewolf that can't help but staring at you while wondering how loud you would scream if it took just one little bite. I'm talking about those one liners where a normal human character just randomly EATS SOMEONE. Superpowers, etc. or not, why the hell...?
Quote from Crappy post »
Bob went and killed someone. Then he ate the guy.
Quote from Crappy but somewhat realistic post »
Still feeling rather sick, Gabriel stepped out of the bathroom. The... thing disturbed him. Would it grow back? How long would that even take? He couldn't bear to think of could happen if anyone knew. This wasn't normal. He'd never heard of some rare disease that had a side effect of growing a freakin' tail, for god's sake!
A small groan escaped him as a boy stood in front of him. Big, mean, with an ugly face. There was no mistaking Bruce. The guy that would stuff your pants with ice and stuff you in the closet to freeze your *ss off. But Gabe nonetheless tried to push his way past.
"Hey, d*ckface! Where you going, lady?" With a grin that could make your stomach twist into a hundred knots, the Big B grabed Gabe's jacket.
In a low voice, Gabe whispered, "Hey, man. I j-j-just-"
Gabe couldn't finish, because The Big B chose then to spit in his face. "What's that, princess?"
Gabe's face felt hot, but his body was tensing. He didn't time for this. The teacher would notice his absence soon. A detention was not what he needed. This was...
"Answer me, dipsh*t!"
How... ARGH! F... Oh, if only that b*stard knew. How dare he insult Gabe! He didn't want this. He had to get back. Grrr, the little...
"I'm talking to you! A screwhead, just like your mother."
Gabe finally snapped. "GET THE HELL OUT OF MY WAY YOU F***ING *SSHOLE!"
"Or what?" The Big B was sure that the little wimp would- no, could never fight back. After all, he was like a god in the school. A huge, smelly god that would endlessly torture his subjects for his own amusement. Too bad that he was so incredibly wrong.
I had to cut out the inappropriate stuff, and info you wouldn't understand without seeing the entire thing.
But see? Gabe's mind is like a hurricane, he has lots of sh*t going on, and he happens to be growing lots of hair, having random toothaches, and did I mention the fact that people are looking less like friends and more like something that doesn't have a thick hide to tear through? It's that sort of thing where veins flash like strobe lights, you can't help but block off escape routes, and your buddy smells like your favorite restaurant when you haven't eaten all day.
It really makes me go WTF when a character randomly eats/kills someone.
And while I'm talking, a police officer once told me that when a man starts to cry, that man is probably going to get violent. Just a random bit of info for you to use.
Stuff like what happened with Gabe isn’t only for eating people; it’s for a lot of things involving violence. Killers don’t just walk up to somebody and shoot them in the face or decapitate them or whatever. They select their target for a reason. Maybe it was somebody who bullied them in school, maybe it was somebody who they had a deep grudge against, or maybe it was just a girl that said no when they asked her out. Either way, there is always a reason for violence.
After selecting their target, they often make plans. These plans take a long time to formulate; usually the killer doesn’t want to get caught, so they follow their target around and select the best time and place to strike.
Afterwards, there is guilt. Remorse. You don’t just kill a person and think nothing of it. I am not a murderer, but I can imagine what it would be like to have killed somebody. They would have nightmares about their victim(s) coming back from the dead to get them. They would be paranoid of getting caught. They would regret ending a life. The dying screams, the pleading, and the look in the eyes of the person they killed would haunt them to their dying day.
You can’t just walk up to somebody, stab them in the face, and move on.
You just can’t.
END OF THE GUIDE
And before you ask, yes, I' ve read this guide long time ago ( ). The author devoted a whole lot heck of her free time to write everything down to help users of the Sporum be better Roleplayers.
UPDATES: Flavored the guide up a bit.
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" Because things are the way they are, things will not stay the way they are. " - Bertolt Brecht
Kind of a sad truth huh? Well at east it will be seen by RP'ers who actually want to improve their skills. That should do the community some good.
I'm already rethinking all my posts before. How unrealistic they were... Anyway, there is a bigger problem here: N00BFL00D. But this is actually caused by the popularity of minecraft. That's the risk of the minecraft forums. But the guide is awesome.
dang this is so cool, thanks for posting this, I have completely done some of this before and its great to read about it and learn it without running the risk of getting hated forever for being a godmodder because you didn't know it before.
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Time to update the ol' rpg test.The ones I get the most are Tactician, Cleric, and Paladin
After looking at numerous Rps i am disappointed by the literacy here (Or lack of).
So we must hope that changes, although it seems fairly ingrained.
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It has been since time immemorial that man has looked to the stars in wonder, so I ask you, how can going to them be anything but an extension of a will older than any of us? It is our very nature to discover, and to lust for knowledge, you accept this but doubt the nobility of working to the stars?
There is also one problem not mentioned here: people doing too many actions in one post. This is not godmodding; the actions are often justified and done on proper scale and timeframe, everything seems real and fine.. except that no other characters act during that time. Again, this is not godmodding, as it doesn't make the poster's character appear stronger, it makes others appear weaker.
This is made worse by the fact that experienced roleplayers also often do it in tries to make their posts more detailed.
Yeah, I also agree with this one. Too many actions. But hey, it' s really hard to come by everything you need to cover in a guide, so, it still is really, really good, even without including some stuff. But the guide gets updated every now and then, and if I find any update, it will post it.
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" Because things are the way they are, things will not stay the way they are. " - Bertolt Brecht
Having a dozen things rolling at once is what I do. But that's because I shoot for civ, strat, and political RPs. I'd quickly stall if I concentrated on one thing, as most of the things I do may span many hundreds of posts and it may not be necessary to make posts about it at times.
So I get multiple things going that I may talk about in a single post, while using multiple characters who are put into that position to act as my window. It's always been the way of the political RP for me.
After all, everybody deserves some time, to think what to do next, and such stuff. I personaly prefer to post more posts, in which posts I describe one or two actions. If the RP has been inactive for more than 24 hours, I might also double post and do a lot of things to take players back to action.
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" Because things are the way they are, things will not stay the way they are. " - Bertolt Brecht