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OwlLover and miss heny's Guide to Roleplaying

By OwlLover, Jan 7, 2014 | Updated: Mar 21, 2014 | | |
  1. OwlLover
    Welcome to the BYC RPing Guide! We are miss heny (dubbed to MH here) and the owl thing there is Owlypoo OwlLover. Both of us were part of BYC before RPs were really popular. Since the first big RP, WingClan, we have noticed that many newbies (including us at one time) have had a hard time 'getting into it' with the sense of Lingo, the code of RPing, and the basics to make anyone's RPing career awesome.

    Now, you may be wondering: How come we think we know all (which we don't) about RPing? Well, both of us have been in numerous types of RPs, and have created a few, as well. We have been through the heartache and headaches of it all. We may not be perfect, but we do hope this guide helps. Now, if that doesn't convince you to to read these and trust our advice, then let us show you our RPing experience!

    I, MH, have been RPing since I was a wee tot, my first game online was Dark age of Camelot, a online PvP (Player verses Player game). Created in 2001 its was the first game of its kind. Over the years I played it on and off, and learned many of that type of RP lingo.

    I, OwlLover, started RPing in October 2011. Since then, I've participated in many RPs, and started the Battle of the Empires Roleplay. I now manage Run With The Pack, as well.

    This is still under construction. Heny and I will be adding to this bit by bit. So, if you see a section that's incomplete, no need to fear. It will be fixed soon.
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    Table of Contents
    Section 1: Character Realism

    • Basic Limitations (These apply to ALL characters)
      • Emotions
    Section 1.5: Personalities
    • Mary Sue/Gary Stu Syndrome
    Section 2: Godmodding
    • Strengths and Weaknesses (and how to balance them out)
    • Jack of all Trades Syndrome
    • Outside Knowledge (also known as metagaming)
    Section 2.5: Abilities
    Section 3: Fighting

    • Dodging
    • Healing
    Section 4: RPing Styles and Terminology

    Section 1: Character Realism
    Hiya, Owl here. I'm here today to talk about realism in characters, and how often it seems to be completely disregarded.

    This is one of the most common instances where I see people being so unbelievable, it's mind boggling. Everyone must be off in ya-ya land, or something. It's almost like they're trying to be so unrealistic. The reason for this, I think, is because people want their characters to be either one or both of two things:

    A) The center of attention

    AND/OR

    B) The very best.

    If you think I’m lying, or just mindlessly ranting, just look at 90% of fight scenes (although that’s covered in a later section); people are always trying to win. Or, just look anywhere else. There's more drama and OOC temper tantrums and guilting than you can shake a stick at because people want their characters paid attention to, the way they want someone else to play their character(s). Seriously, I’m not lying. Even I make drama so people pay attention to me. And I’m, y’know, the one and only Owl!

    Let's start with... emotions. Oh boy.

    Fear

    Let's say that... you're camping out in the woods with a tent, campfire, the works. You wake up in the middle of the night to some kind of a rampaging, unidentifiable creature tearing your tent to shreds, ransacking all your supplies, roaring at the top of its lungs...

    If you were in this kind of situation in real life, you'd probably be scared out of your wits. But so many RPers must either just disregard this fact, or just never been absolutely terrified before, or just want to make their characters out as fearless and brave, and can take that creature on with nothing but a pocket knife. Whatever the case, fear is rarely potrayed in roleplays, from what I've seen, and when it is, it is horribly unrealistic.

    You all know what adrenaline is, I'm sure. It's that burst of energy you get when a giant bear comes out of nowhere and tries to eat you, and when you nearly trip down the stairs. and when your stupid little cousin ambushes you out of the closet when she's visiting We all know what it's for; it comes from the flight behavior that keeps us alive when we can't defend ourselves against things bigger than us. You'd get an adrenaline rush when a giant creature ambushes you in the middle of the night and ransacks your campsite and roars at the top of its lungs.

    Then, there's another reaction. Have you ever seen an animal get hit by a car? When they see a giant thing screaming towards them, their whole body just locks up. They can't move. We, humans, do this too. It's actually more common than the adrenaline rushes we get that tell us to run; however, I'm yet to see it potrayed in roleplay. This actually surprises me a bit, because this is much more dramatic than just running away.

    Instead of,

    Quote: Hunter watched in horror as the bear stepped out of the shadows. Azar was in danger! Adrenaline surged through his body, and he bunched his hind legs, preparing to lunge at the ferocious creature before him.

    why don't you try,

    Quote: Icy talons of fear rushed down Hunter's spine as the bear stepped out of the shadows. His eyes about popped out of his head, and he felt his limbs freeze up. He tried his best to jump forward and save Azar the entire time... but he couldn't move. His heart thrummed away in his chest, and felt as though it would leap right out of his chest.
    Much more dramatic, eh?

    Fear also makes you do things that, if you were capable of thinking logically, you would realize that they were not very good ideas. Take this, for instance:

    Quote: Jesslyn's heart raced. She was in a complete state of panic now, gasping for breath and frantically looking for a place to get out. She felt faint as she ran to the back of the tent, hoping for a back door. No luck. Seeing no other way out than go through Connor, she did just that. Barreling at him, she attempted to catch him off guard and muscle her way past. Then, just as her shoulder hit his, she realized that was a stupid idea.

    Anger

    Whoa there, Owly! We do anger just fine! Haven't-

    No. Shut up. Most people don't do anger fine, so listen up.

    Anger is not necessarily always characters screaming at the top of their lungs at one another, and then having them resort to physical blows. No. That's just one face of anger, but usually, if they resort to physical blows, there's more than just anger over an argument going on (see below).

    Thing is, people fight about stupid things. All the time. Just look at Capital Hill, if you need an example If they work themselves up to the screaming stage, and say very hurtful things, they usually feel terrible afterwards. That's called remorse.

    There's also another type of anger. You stew about something or someone for days (or months or years) on end, and hold grudges over things that happened long ago. That's called resentment, and that's usually what sparks the worst arguments (such as the ones where characters scream at each other and then wind up trying to kill one another).

    Anger doesn't have to be expressed with screaming. It can be expressed in other ways, such as a deadly silence, like this:

    Quote: Instantly, Connor roughly grabbed her shoulders. His eyes were full of murder, but he said nothing other than, "move." He led her back to the tent, with an angry, almost deadly silence surrounding him.

    Or, as this:

    Quote:
    "So I've heard," Callabine sniffed. "For your information, a Blue Moon is the most powerful alcoholic drink in this empire, and probably all the empires. It got its name because you should have one 'Once in a blue moon.' What you ate was kudnel, but that was an accident. The manager was not there at that time; his wife had a baby, and he was with her in the hospital. The replacement manager is his uncle, who does not speak a word of our language. He did not know that kudnel is poisonous to us, and they just got a new chef, who did not know that kudnel is not served in that restauraunt. And you should never call Rivven 'dogs'. It's considered an insult unless a member of their own species says it or they know you very well." She paused in the doorway and gave him her sweetest smile. "I have one question for you before I head out. Are we still going to do that training session this afternoon?"

    Illykran blinked. She's confusing me... "Uh sure?" My head's gonna die. She wants to kill me I can see it....

    "Great!" Callabine said brightly. "Now I need a drink. See you then!" And I will make you pay for what you did to me.

    In roleplays, I see characters start arguments that escalate straight to yelling, and then maybe fighting. See, so many people want their characters to win, while in reality, the smaller, weaker one would likely give up and walk away eventually instead of resorting to blows. If you're a 30 pound winged cat with hollow bones, it's more than just a little stupid to take on a 8'6", 1500 pound Centaur.

    Look at this RP session, for example.

    Quote:
    When they got to the tent, Connor shut the flaps and whirled around to face her. "Would you care to explain just what the hell you were doing?!" He smacked her hard; it seemed that all of his rage and fury seemed to be pouring out all at once.

    Jesslyn screamed, stumbling backwards. She put her hand on her face where he had hit, then out her other hand out as if to protect herself. "I d-don't.." she stuttered, trembling violently.

    Shy-vy forced herself up, letting out a scream as she put weight on her leg, then she steadied on all three. "Connor!" She shouted. "I sent her out..." She let out the only thing she had. Death might be welcome. She felt like a lost creature in life as was.

    "You don't what?" Connor barked in Jesslyn's face. He started to bulk up when he heard Shy-vy, nearly flying into a rage. He threw a punch at her.

    Jesslyn screamed, throwing herself in front of his fist. It hit her shoulder/head with a crunch, then she fell to the ground, knocked out cold.

    Connor growled, stepping over her to Shy-vy. He looked into her eyes, his eyes full of fire and hatred.

    Shy-vy Turned on her hind legs then backed up against his chest. She closed her eyes knowing that a hit to the body would be more tolerable. He would pass out afterwards from his adrenaline drop. She had done it before to survive. Only this time she was quivering.

    Connor grabbed her shoulder roughly, and pushed her away from Jesslyn. In the heat of his anger, he wanted to kill these useless, troublesome mares right here and now.

    I had to cut out the inappropriate stuff, and the info you wouldn't understand without seeing the entire thing.

    Now, I'll admit that I didn't play Connor very well. (This happened about six months ago in real time, and I have gotten better) But you see how Jesslyn and Shy weren't trying to maim Connor? They were cowering from him. They were terrified. They were just trying to survive this violent outburst of his. Jesslyn was just some regular Centaurian mare, who had been unlucky enough to have caught Connor's eye in a crowd. Connor, on the other hand, was a big stallion who had grown up in the brutal ways of the tribe. There's no question; he overpowered Jesslyn and Shy for miles. Even though I played Connor and his anger rather poorly, I can say with confidence that this is probably one of the most realistic RP sessions involving anger and violence that I've played.

    I remember one roleplay where both the good and evil sides were crazily unrealistic. One (the good) side could call onto divine powers to help them, and the other (the evil) side grew at an obscenely fast rate. The fights were so horribly unrealistic that I don't even care to post them here. Finally, there was one last particular fight that sparked a massive dispute between the RP owner and the person who owned the evil side. The RP owner eventually gave up on the RP entirely because of it.

    The IC fights were extremely unrealistic, but the OOC argument wasn't at all.

    Sadness

    Running away and/or sobbing uncontrollably seems to be the most preferred way of expressing sadness around here, and when the crying person has been comforted, everything is alright again.

    But let's be honest here. Does that work for you? Maybe a little bit, but probably not much.

    Quite frankly, in roleplay, I take this as more of a cry for attention than playing out a grieving character.

    We've all lost someone or something close to us. I'm sure that we've all lost a pet chicken to a predator or disease at some time or another. You probably cried, and when you couldn't cry anymore, your heart just ached. That's grief, and it only gets better with time. Comfort from our friends and family might help us feel a bit better, but it's not going to vanquish the sorrow in your heart.

    Why don't we remember this when our characters are sad or grieving? Our characters are people (or animals), too.

    Bad Guys

    miss heny here. Okay, lets now talk about bad guys; the guy (or gal) or has our good guys band together. Now, many would think that bad guys are black and white, but in the RP world there are many types. There are the bad guys who have good intentions, the puppet and the puppeteer, the entertainment ones (which are usually not that serious), and the all out big bad.

    Now, not all bad guys are born evil; actually, it's normally something happened in their life (discussed below under Personalities) IE upbringing, or something that scared them. Now, depending on how this person is played he would be the Bad guy with good intentions but doesn't do it the nicest way. These guys are normally very complex, but that's what makes them fun. Now, from what I've seen, sometimes they become good, or in the end they become corrupt and, well, get killed.

    Now, there's another type, the puppeteer. The one pulling the strings in the background. The nameless bad guy. The puppeteer I find the most intriguing because its one bad guy controlling one or more lesser evils. Now, a majority of the time they are handsome (or gorgeous), with great charisma, and have a way around them. They are manipulative, able to turn many things their way. Because of ths t they have their own challenges, after all with such skills they could become a gary-sue. But if you play them right, and the puppets (will talk about them in a few) they could be really enjoyable to RP and to RP with. Then again, they could be a pain in the tush if not played right.

    Puppets, the ones that do the dirty work for their 'owners'. Sometimes, they know they are doing it, and other times they are clueless. Depending on the RP and storyline is what role the puppet would play. Now, I imagine many people would see puppets to be idiots, but if you remember about what I said for puppeteers, that wouldn't be the case. The puppet might be a zealot member of some order, blinded by their loyalties to the truth of their leader, or a lost soul that's looking for a home. Many times, the puppeteer takes this to their advantage and uses it. Now, this is a type of bad guy that takes practices (in my mind) to play; after all, it's the character's decisions not ours, even if we ourselves are puppeteers. This is where many people have a hard time playing. For example, let's say your charcharacter was told to kill someone. Now depending on the type of person you are, you wouldn't do it. But this character would, and in some cases with glee. That's what makes puppets hard to play because they are doing the opposite of what you would do.

    While on the topic of puppets, I am going to bring up a sort of subtype, known as the hostage puppet. These people are the ones who are forced to do as they are told, or risk their love ones being hurt or killed. For example, I RP a character called Zander; he had a wife and son he loved dearly, so much he did the dirty work for Necromancer (the puppeteer in this case) but unlike some he hated doing it. Now, in the end I will say Zander still lost his wife and his son is not a very nice person, but that helps develop the person; after all, you can't have happy ending sometimes.

    Another example is Richard, who unlike Zander had nothing to lose; his wife was dead and he could never be a part in his daughter's life. This type of character has nothing to lose, making them in a sense a monster. Overtime he became callous to what happen around him; his character development was different from Zander. For the longest time he was a beaten man. Then something changed; what spark of goodness in him lead to him saving his now wife and stepchild. But unlike Zander he is still teetering to the brink of darkness that nearly engulfed him.

    These examples are to show what being a puppet CAN do to a person; in many ways they have some of the deepest developments of any character in my mind.

    Mary Sue/Gary Stu Syndrome

    *sound of thumping in the background* "Give me that!" Okay, Owl here again. I'm here to talk about Mary Sues and Gary Stus today.

    We all know who they are. They're those perfect characters who are jaw-droppingly beautiful or handsome, they can fight perfectly, are so kind, sweet, brave (having no flaws at all, really), and always get their love interest (no matter how incompatible they might be). And although this isn't always seen in Sues/Stus, it's quite common, as well; the only thing about them that isn't flawless is their traumatic past, possibly ridden with abuse, the death of their parents, losing the love of their life in a battle, or having to raise themselves...

    You get my point. Often, these characters are an idealized version of the writer. They're more common when someone is newer to roleplaying, or writing in general for that matter. I'm sure that everyone I've RPed with created a Sue or a Stu when they first started out; heck, I admit that in my first days of writing, I made Sues, too. There's nothing wrong with being new, of course; after all, every expert was once a beginner. But that's what this guide is for: To help you out.

    Now, in my (not so) humble opinion, this is a term that gets thrown around far too much. It's a bit ridiculous to jump to the conclusion that a character is a Mary Sue or a Gary Stu immediately, simply because they are attractive, or had a rough past. In fact, if it's played right, these are actually interesting traits in a character.

    Let me say that again: Just because a character has Sue/Stu traits does not automatically mean that they are one.

    But at some point, it's just too much, and a character is a blatant Sue or Stu.

    Where is this imaginary line, you may ask? When someone reading about this character just scoffs and mutters, "Yeah, right." The problems aren't necessarily being attractive, or having a trauma-ridden past. It's when these traits affect these characters in ways that they shouldn't, or they have these traits when they shouldn't that problems arise. For instance, say your character has a very nice figure, but they never exercise, or do anything to maintain that figure. Or, by the same token, say that your character is something like a Ruke on Battle of the Empires (they are very large Centaurs). Naturally, they are very large, and they have lots of muscles. But, even if they work a lot, they don't have "unattractive" bulging muscles. This doesn't immediately equate to a Sue to Stu, but you may want to keep an eye out. Now, there are exceptions; I personally have an autoimmune disease, and because of it, I honestly cannot gain weight. If I don't watch it, I can become underweight. But if you give your character something like this, DON'T use it as an excuse. There are many other side effects caused by autoimmune diseases that I won't get into, but I'll tell you right now that life can be hell sometimes because of it. If you give your character a disease or something, or a genetic trait such as albinism, make sure that you do your research.

    Anyways. When you write a character's tragic past, ask yourself: Does the backstory lay foundation as to who your character is now, or is it only there to make other characters and even the RPers feel pity for your character and shower him or her with attention? Be honest, and don't make excuses. It's a yes or no question.

    A very nice example of a character with a rough backstory is Callabine on Battle of the Empires. She lost her fiance a month before they got married in a patrol skirmish, she was in an abusive relationship, and finally lost her mother to a rogue Terrellian. But this wasn't written for everyone to shower her with pity and attention; it affected how she acts today. She has a prickly exterior that turns most people who meet her off. Deep down, the real Callabine is in there somewhere, but she's afraid to show it.

    i may expand on this later

    Section 1.5: Personalities

    Ah, our beloved characters. 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. But rather unfortunately, we get Mary Sues, Gary Stus, drama kings/queens... you name it.

    It's so irritating.

    Characters are people, too, and every person has their own unique individual personality. I see so many characters that are identical to one another in roleplays. It takes practice and time to have different, well-rounded characters - but you have to try, too.

    A good idea to see if a charrie resembles another is to see ask yourself: If you were writing a scene with the two (or three, or four, or how many) charries in question without writing their names, would you be able to tell them apart from one another? If you couldn't, that means either two things: A) They are mirror images of one another from a parallel universe, who were able to meet because of a hole ripped in reality, or mostly, likely, B) It's a good sign that they need some attention personality-wise.

    I'm sure we all have a base for our characters when we sign up for a RP - On the forms, we type in basic information, such as the name, gender, and if you're on a RP like Battle of the Empires, species. Sometimes, there might even be little snippets of their personalities written on their forms, as well. But our characters should run much, much deeper than that.

    We've all seen what a tree looks like. Above the ground, we see the trunk, branches, and leaves. But below the ground, it also has roots. These roots keep it in the ground, as well as provide water for the tree. I know it sounds stupid, but bear with me here. Think of your character as just that: It has a base (the trunk), things about them that make them "them" (branches and leaves), and then things below the character's surface that we don't see very often, but we sometimes see shining through (the roots). But most trees also have some kind of flaws, too. It's all connected, and it makes sense.

    I know what you're thinking: But Owl, I want to develop my character's personality as I go along! I don't know how I want to play him/her yet!

    But that's just it. If you develop your character's personality beforehand, you'll know how you want to play him or her. I do understand; RP charries do have minds of their own, and while we may create them, we still probably don't know of every single nook and cranny in their little RP charrie minds. But, we're just developing basic grounds here.

    But before you develop the personality, you should actually create their past first. Know why? Because, things from the character's past will affect how they behave now.

    "But Owl! I want to reveal their past as I go along!"

    And that brings me to another critical point: Foreshadow, foreshadow, foreshadow. Foreshadowing makes all the difference in the world. Instead of revealing your character's past all at once, drop little hints as you go along, like this:

    Quote: Callabine waited for Illykran to wake up. The Rivven had brought the medicine, and Vellora had left about half an hour ago. The wind began to pick up and she shivered. Looking up at the sky, she saw that it was covered with clouds. Great. A storm's coming and I'm not supposed to move him. Well, I've got no choice. He will definitely get sick if he is lying on the ground during a thunderstorm. She reached down and grabbed Illykran's arms. After some effort, she pulled him onto her back and carried him into her ship, putting him on the cot she kept in the back. She went to sit in a bench facing the open door. She watched the storm, rubbing her arms. Thunderstorms always brought up bad memories.

    This will intrigue your RP partner and readers. They'll want to find out more about your character's past. Your character will be more interesting.

    Anyways, back to what I was saying. The things in a character's past will affect how they behave and see things today. Take this character from Battle of the Empires, for instance:

    Quote: "Huh," Callabine said. "I don't recall ever having their protection during the times when I was entirely surrounded by Drex and nearly didn't survive the encounters. If they had told me, I would have hunted the elves down. Problem solved for them and for the families who hadn't lost their loved ones yet."

    Callabine didn't always harbor this hatred for the sister species of the Centaurians. (As far as I know, anyways; she's not my character.) But, after losing her mother to a rogue Terrellian, also known as an elf, as well as losing her fiance, she blames them for their deaths. See? Things in a character's past affect how they behave today.

    Once you've developed the character's past, you should have a bit of an idea of how they'll behave. A character who grew up raising itself isn't going to be the same as one who grew up in a normal home. Although I am not a psychologist by any means, I will say this; if a person who lived in a harsh lifestyle was a sweet person before, and couldn't take it, a new personality would emerge that can. It's like learning to play a guitar for the first time; for the first week, or however long it takes, your fingers are going to hurt from pressing down on the strings. But soon, your fingers will develop calluses, and it won't hurt anymore. That's what would happen to someone's personality, and that's why it bugs me so much whenever I see a character whose parents were abusive, or something else, and yet they turned out sweet, fearless, and kind.

    Take a look at Callabine again. For a year or so (? not exactly sure), she was in an abusive relationship. Eventually, she divorced him and got away; however, it scarred her personality. Take a look at the post below for insight (I had to cut the stuff that you wouldn't understand without reading the whole thing out).

    Quote:
    Illykran sat Velorra's case down by the ramp. He was clenching his jaw. He debated on whether or not or was even worth bothering. She would show a glimpse of herself at times, then when confronted she'd shut back up. He walked up close to her and tried to be very sincere. "I have been trying to figure out why I just can't let go of this... When I look at you I see more, but you try so hard to keep me away. It makes me want to try harder. I am a reasonable stallion and you make me feel like a fool. I know that you are running away from your pain. I really do hope that you decision to leave helps you heal, helps you become who you really are." He moved that same stray hair out of her eye again. "I don't like you because your face reminds me of someone that I used to love.. in fact when I look at you I don't see her at all. I see you. I see the you before Druin and before your mother. That's who I want to be with, not this fake you. Yes... I do want to be with you I don't want you to go... I want you to trust me..."

    He had been trying to just shut it all out and let her move and try to forget the feelings he felt. But they wouldn't stop nagging him no matter how hard he tried. The more he fought it the worse it got and it had been driving him crazy. So he just put himself on a silver platter in front of her to either be accepted or slaughtered.

    "I need to know your true feelings Cal? I want to know if I am just really being a hopeless fool or if this is real? Please don't hide the truth from me... please." He placed his hand gently on her arm and held his breath.

    Callabine was silent for a long time. Finally she said, "So far I have lost everyone that I love. I don't want to lose anyone else. It hurts too much."

    See? Callabine wants to love Illykran. She wants to trust him. But because of the things that happened to her in her past, she just can't. That's why she puts on the "tough" exterior. The real Callabine is buried deep down somewhere. The Callabine before she lost her fiance, got into the abusive relationship, and lost her mother.

    That's what I'm talking about, folks. Personality in in our characters, and depth in our character's personalities.

    (K, I'm starting to feel less like a RP Guide writer and more like a preacher. Moving on!)

    Section 2: Godmodding
    Weaknesses and Strengths
    Characters need weaknesses to balance out their strengths. If they have far more strengths than weaknesses, you're godmodding. And no, a small soft spot on the character's shoulder doesn't count. I mean weaknesses! Characters need them!

    Your character can't have a huge variety of strengths or abilities to make them ready for every situation. They need to have areas they aren't good at. They should have a theme with their abilities, so that it makes sense. If their abilities are all over the place, not only is it very silly, it's godmodding.

    For example, take my character, Riku. After being in a ship accident, he can now control fire. He's had this ability for a long time now, so he's pretty much a master at it. He can create fancy curls and spirals with it, and all that other cool stuff. BUT, there's a catch. Even when he's not using his pyrokinetic abilities, he's still very weak to ice and water attacks. And when it's too cold, he can't use his fire abilities at all. See? There's a theme.

    Basic Limitations
    All characters have these, no matter what. The vast majority of characters are living creatures, too. They have stamina and energy used for activity, and they feel pain. A character can't just ignore a wound; it hurts! They aren't immortal, either. They have to fall, and eventually die if their injuries become too severe. And if they fight for too long, they have to get tired. If they're in too much pain, they won't be able to focus. Characters have endurance, a tolerance for pain, stamina, energy, willpower, spirit and morale, and everything human we have. And don't just say, "My character doesn't have all that! He's a god!" No. It doesn't work that way. Having a god for a character is godmodding to the biggest extreme. Where do you think the name came from?

    Despite what many people seem to think, love does not give someone endless energy and willpower and pain tolerance and stamina and yadda yadda yadda. If a character sees someone they love (e.g. their daughter, parent, husband, wife, mate, etc) badly injured, of course they're going to react. But it does not give you an excuse for your character to surge through the battlefield and kill every enemy in sight within 12 seconds. It may be empowering, but by no means does it give your character an endless supply of kicka**.

    Section 4: Fighting
    I considered putting this under "Godmodding," but there's so much that needs to be placed here that I figured that it might as well have an entire section of its own.

    I've been RPing for two years, okay? During that time, I've participated in countless RP battles, wars, and skirmishes. And if they've taught me anything, they've taught me this: Very few people want their characters to lose.

    But the thing is, if the RP in question has a rule against killing without permission (which the vast majority of RPs in GJF do), the characters won't have much at stake, other than their honor. (But that's why I've recently allowed killing without permission on my RPs, but whatevs, I'm veering off topic)

    So then, why is it so important to win?

    Seriously, tell me! I just want to know!

    There is a big difference between playing a "tough to beat" character, and playing a "favorite" character. I don't know why people are so against having their character lose a battle or two, but whatever the reason, it is extremely annoying. It's more than just annoying; if your character cannot lose a battle once in a while, the plot will not go anywhere. I have seen RPs die because of this nonsense. Nobody wants to RP fight with somebody who has to be the victor all the time. If we know who is going to come out on top in the end, what's the point of fighting in the first place?

    Take a look at the Pokemon Anime, for instance. The show might be interesting at first, but as the show goes on, it gets repetitive and just irritating to watch. We know after the first three times that Team Rocket is just going to be sent blasting off again sometime during the next episode. We know after the first two leagues that Ash is never going to win. That's what really killed the show for me: It was so predictable that it became boring.

    And that's exactly what will happen to your RP if you cannot lose a fight once in a while.

    How the Heck...?

    "How the heck" indeed. You probably have a similar reaction when you see somebody godmod in a fight. You know, when a character does something totally illogical and bends the laws of physics just to show how awesome they are.

    A big instance of godmodding I see a lot is endurance. Characters can have these huge fights with other characters, and they can still fight for hours on end as though they just drank a redbull and joined the battle. It's kind of infuriating. Another instance of where people don't want their characters to lose.

    There's a reason I don't enjoy RP fighting outside of Battle of the Empires. Outside of it, I don't like to fight for very long when battles do happen, simply because at one point or another, somebody almost always crashes the party and godmods.

    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. That's almost as infuriating as characters who have endless endurance.

    Whenever I fight, I always try to say something like this:

    Quote: Kodiak spat out a mouthful of fur and blood beside him. He grinned with a look of pure malice and hatred in his eyes, and a second later, he lunged forward again. This time, he aimed for his ears. If West somehow managed to escape, Kodiak would try to give him a permanent scar.

    Perhaps I was godmodding by saying that it would give him a permanent scar. (In my defense, torn ears don't usually grow back.) But that's not the point. I offered the person who played Kodiak's opponent a choice.

    Unless you're in a roleplay where stating the injury inflicted upon the other person's character is allowed, always give the other person a chance to dodge it. And even when the rules permit it, at least still give them a chance to dodge it.

    (For anyone who's wondering, they let the attack work. The fight didn't really end, though; Kodiak eventually just chose another opponent.)

    And don't say that someone else's attack is weak! I actually consider this character controlling, unless you state that it hits them weakly or something. And don't counter what someone says their character is.

    And Normally I Do This, But...

    Here's another infuriating thing that happens so often in fights that it boggles my mind. A character, who has next to no experience with fighting, or has a hindering weakness (e.g. deafness) surges into the battlefield... and completely pwns a much more experienced and stronger character two seconds in.

    This is so, so unrealistic.

    It's another result of people just wanting their characters to win. Realism and logic is just thrown out the window in favor of making sure that their characters don't lose. But really, guys. if your RP has a rule against killing without permission, what have you got to lose?

    I remember one fight on a RP of mine a few months ago. My character was the daughter of the alpha male of the evil pack, and had been rigorously trained from puphood to be very strong. And by rigorous training, I mean that she was forced to swim in subzero water to fetch sticks and other very harsh training methods. So reasonably, she should have overpowered most of her opponents, but the controllers of the characters she fought didn't seem to want their characters to lose. She fought one character who hardly ever fought and was smaller than usual... and, defying logic, he completely pwned her. I had had enough, so finally I just had one of my characters who was stronger than her send her out of the fight, and I closed the battle shortly afterwards.

    Usually when this stupid crap happens, I don't like making a big fuss about it, because I'm afraid of hurting people's feelings. But you know what? If you don't care about how I or your RP partner feels about this, don't expect them to be concerned about your feelings.

    Not only is this very unrealistic and godmodding, it is draining.

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Comments

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  1. Frindizzle
  2. OwlLover
    Good idea. I'll add that soon.
  3. Gertrude McFuzz
    Another idea: Section on romance. I find a lot of people (not trying to criticize) rush the romance and leave out all the things that make the romance…romantic.
  4. chickenboy100
    I love this, thanks for making it!!!
  5. OwlLover
    I will... if heny and I can ever come around to finishing this lol
  6. iluvorpingtons
    You should make a guide for starting RPs if you ever have the time to! I was thinking of one, but I don't have nearly as much experience as you two and my RPing skills aren't the best. So many RPs start out...well...badly when they're put together in a rush.
  7. OwlLover
    This is still being worked on, btw. We- or I (dunno if heny's on board anymore)- still have lots of stuff to add. Check back soon
  8. OwlLover
    Indeed, they have minds of their own. There seems to be a force in the universe that controls how RPs and RP charries turn out; you can get in touch with it, but you can't make all the decisions.
  9. Gertrude McFuzz
    This is great. But one thing you might want to add is this: 1. You should never make your character do something they wouldn't. 2. In my opinion, you can't really make a character. You may think you've made them, but in my experience, you always find out who they are, not create who they are.

    Personally, I love to write, and I've found my characters to real somehow. You can't control them.

    I hope that doesn't make me sound crazy...
  10. iluvorpingtons
    Amazing! This guide will definitely help me improve my RP skills. Thanks, Owl and heny!!

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