My biggest pet peeve is people not reading instructions properly or ignoring what is written. Expect to not be selected if this happens.
Due to the nature of PBP format allowing people to participate during their free time on their busy schedules, the expectations is that players are available to normally post once every few days, but hopefully at least once per day.
While participating in any In Character(IC) activity, any extended absence of over 2-3 days should be communicated to the DM and other players as a courtesy on the appropriate Out of Character (OOC) thread. If the situation is such that the player’s character is doing nothing or just following along, posts stating such should be used to acknowledge that the player has been reading the other posts and is current on the events in game. Extended lapses in posting by a player can have adverse effects on the group’s enthusiasm for the game. Communication is the key on player absences; the DM can NPC the player for the duration if necessary. Holding up the game is rude and inconsiderate towards the other players.
* It will feature tactical combats and still be as heavy role-playing as the players can make it.
* Posting frequency should be about once a day normally, minimum 3 times per week
* Players should have a reasonable knowledge of PF rules, or at least be able to look things up in the SRD before asking questions
* Any absence from the game for 2+ days be communicated OOC, absence for over 7 days RL without communication can be dropped
* People should use proper punctuation, Bold for normal speech, non-bold for whispering, italics only for thoughts.
* Mistakes will be made (no one is perfect), we will fix them and move on.
1. I look at it like this: every IC post is like a snapshot of time from a scene of a TV show. Even if your character is doing nothing important, he/she is doing something. Just describe it. No one stands around silent and statuesque all of the time.
People are social, look at all of the people that cannot help writing comments and replying to forum messages with something to say. So why is it so hard to imagine what one's character would say at any given moment? It kills me that some people cannot post at least some action and a piece of dialog every IC post.
2. The point that I think many people miss is that they feel role-playing is mostly about what your character says. I will try to quickly give an example for what someone could be doing with Grog, a strong and silent type character that is an all too common choice.
Grog the BarbarianGrog follows the conversation between the gruff man and the chatterbox half-elven slip of a girl, glancing at each in turn. Finally he rolls his eyes as they continue to bicker like brother and sister once again without signs of stopping.
Some days it is entertaining, yet other days it is a distraction. But right now, they have work to do. He grunts out, "Enuff. Let's move." To emphasize his impatience, he squeezes his right hand and the knuckles crack.
He grasps his weapon tighter and rolls his shoulders, slightly flexing his muscles in anticipation as moves into position to descend the stairs.
3. Not posting does NOT mean your character is standing around with nothing to say. Not posting is not participating or playing at all. People that do that are actually negatively impacting the game. I reserve the right to boot someone out for poor participation.
4. The extreme are the ones that do not post much description of what their character does, but think good role-playing is based on how much their character says. They hold a conversation posting paragraphs of dialog without even considering the other characters might reply or react to the first few sentences. I call this monologuing, not good role-playing.
5. Some players fail to post any non-dialog at all in a post. This is an amateurish and lazy habit. Every IC post should start with the character's name in the first sentence and be written as a sentence at least. Generally a character is always talking TO someone or replying to someone. If they are not, then they are "replies to no one in particular" at least, right?
6. During combat, at a minimum, every player should be able to post one sentence for each Move Action and Standard Action. Then your character should be able to find something to say. Combat is not an excuse to stop player interaction. Heck, not even an excuse to stop NPC interaction in many cases.
Outside of combat, then you have more that 6 seconds of activity to describe, so at least a paragraph should be no problem. This is above and beyond the quips and such your character says in response to each other.
A role-playing game is a game in which the participants assume the roles of characters and collaboratively create stories, determining the actions of their characters based on their individual characterizations. The game-play (or roll-playing) aspects are how the actions are adjudicated within the defined rule sets and mechanics. The role-playing aspects are centered around the characterization.
Characterization is the way in which the players convey information about their characters; it can be direct, as when the writer simply tells what a character is like (ie. "George was cunning and greedy.") or indirect, as when the writer shows what a character is like by portraying his or her actions, speech, or thoughts (ie. "On the crowded subway, George slipped his hand into the man's coat pocket and withdrew the wallet, undetected."). Descriptions of a character's appearance, behavior, interests, way of speaking, and other mannerisms are all part of characterization.
Good role-playing goes hand in hand with good characterization and is a crucial part of making a story compelling. GMs are only responsible for the portrayal of the supporting cast (NPCs); it is the players that are ones to develop the characterization of the protagonists (Player Characters). In order to capture interest, the players provide details that make their characters life-like and individual, making them seem real.
Good characterization gives the readers a strong sense of the character's personality and complexity; it makes characters vivid, alive and believable. Good role-playing results in showing a developed persona that is not the same as the player's own personality as well.
A player adept at role-playing is continually doing some of the following:
• Directly describes what a character's personality is like
• Describes a character's appearance and manner
• Portrays a character's thoughts and motivations
• Uses dialogue to allow a character's words to reveal something important about his or her nature
• Uses a character's actions to reveal his or her personality
• Shows reactions to the other characters being portrayed by the GM and players
• Describes the environment and their character's interaction with it.
The art doing this well is to sprinkle these things throughout all of the player's posts naturally and unforced, yet avoiding the shotgun approach to put as many as they can into every post.
It should be obvious, but good role-playing in PbP requires good writing.