Post Formatting Tips and Tricks! (article)

This Article, Post Formating Tips and Tricks is written native to the MW play by post boards rather than the wiki for the purpose of providing precise examples of how the formating will look and be coded.


As always, presentation counts as a Player and a GM. Taking the time to write out a beautiful segment of flavor text will fall short of its potential if it doesn't look good as well.



-White Space
Use lots of "white space"- put breaks between every paragraph. This will ease the eyes of your readers and make your large block of text less overwhelming.





-Pictures
Use pictures, but do not substitute them for good writing. Do not to post images larger than about 600x600. GIMP is a good free tool for resizing images. If you need someplace to host images, try TinyPic, also free and easy to use.







-Mood Music
Including a link to mood music in opening scenes can do wonders for your players' state of mind while they read the post. Put such a link at or near the top of the post like this: Mood Music

-Mood/Foreshadowing Text
When opening a scene, ending/beginning with a notable quote in italics (possibly from an in-game NPC) is a great way to foreshadow.
"Deep in the mortal unconsciousness is a pervasive need for a logical world that makes sense, but the real world is always one step beyond reason."
-Lord Arid Von Audrite, Legendary Tormauz Wizard


-Choosing text color
Choosing bright colors for text can prove difficult on the eyes, especially for large blocks of text, and is not recomended.

Consider using a subdued color for text if you need one at all.


Some GMs may mandate certain colors indicate certain spoken languages or may or request each PC use a different color for speech.



-Private Tags
Private tags are a handy way to leave notes for yourself, or to pass information to one or more players without revealing it to all. In contrast to using a separate private thread for such purposes, a private tag keeps the information with the relevant post. It's useful for things like a creature's current damage and conditions, and the results of some types of checks that not everyone succeeded at.

-Inflection:

These are by no means mandatory but are fun and offer another tool to help others understand your character or NPC.


*Size 1 font: Indicates whispering

*Size 5 font: INDICATES PRIMAL SCREAMING (this can be done with any emotion but is typical with anger and hysteria)

*Bold: Indicates a stress in volume. Ex. "What the HECK!?!"

Italicize: indicates unnatural tonal change, used to express additional sophisticated character animations. Ex. "That's what she said."; "It's a Loooooooooong way down." NOTE: Singing is done in all italics, yeah! Italics also double as Telepathic Communications!. The difference should be denoted within the text narratives.

Example: Telepathic Communications
Laryiem stood in awe for a moment and it was then that the goddess spoke within her mind, but now her voice echoed with a mad cackling in the distance, clearly supernatural in origin.

You've defeated the Baali, Blessed Laryiem, and taken up the sacred mantle of the Keepers. You will stand as a beacon of faith, champion in the face of those that would stand against your princess. Those that would stand against you will suffer the wrath of sickness and decay, they will fear you as they fear their own mortality.

As she spoke, the tendrils of the plague angels grew closer to her, now occasionally making contact with her hair and lightly brushing her extremities, though being careful to watch the reactions of the princess, making sure they did not overstep their bounds...


*Underline: Indicates the word is not stressed with tonal inflection or volume, but rather with body language such as hand signals, facial expressions, arm waving, etc. "Every single time, she always does this." Bill's fist pounded on his desk with each invocation.


-Nice and Tidy

*Make use of the various tags you have in your panel.



Wynn

Wynn knew he had made a mistake by staying any longer outside after he learned about martial law being imposed. When he caught the two templars out of the corner of his eye, he realized that they were too close to make a run for it. He made up a quick story.

Please forgive me. I am trying to find my friend.
Wynn's lying through his teeth.
We got split up last night when the fighting erupted. We were supposed to meet back here if anything happened. Maybe you've seen her around here?
Not able to think of anyone else on the spot, he proceeded to give them a rough description of Feindra.

Dice Roll: 3d6
d6 Results: 5, 5, 5 (Total = 15)
Acting skill 11



Note in the example, the fieldset blocks this speaker off from another, which is especially helpful when switching between NPC's talking to each other without confusing who is speaking (which can get confusing for just plain text unless you end every sentence with "X or Y said"). The portrait helps identify the character with a visual, the name links to the character sheet (for easy reference) and the speaking text is offset by a non-offensive color, while effective use of OOC mouseover is used to point to why the acting skill was rolled and italics are used to indicate dramatic pronunciation.

CODING EXAMPLE OF ABOVE POST
[fieldset="[IMG]YOUR IMAGE.jpg (try tinypic for file hosting)[/IMG]"]
[URL="A LINK TO YOUR CHARACTER SHEET"][SIZE="4"][COLOR="DarkRed"]YOUR CHARACTER NAME[/COLOR][/SIZE][/Url]

YOUR NARRATIVE TEXT

[COLOR="Blue"]YOUR IN CHARACTER SPEECH[/COLOR]

[ROLL="YOUR ROLL DESCRIPTION"]YOUR DICE[/ROLL]
[/fieldset]


For more information about BBcode, please go HERE.

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