Roleplayer Guild is one of the fastest growing play-by-post roleplaying communities on the internet. We try to create a roleplaying community as freeform and user-driven as possible with our simple structure, approachability and simple rules. This guide is intended to quickly get you to where the action is and dive right into the roleplaying.
For the purpose of expediency, we've presented information on the roleplaying sections, moderation and other useful links in clickable tabs that hold more information. Just click one of the tabs to get started.
What is Roleplaying (RP)?
A role-playing game (RPG) is a game in which players assume the roles of characters in a fictional setting. Players take responsibility for acting out these roles within a narrative. Actions taken within the game succeed or fail according to a formal system of rules and guidelines.
In the Guild, rolelaying is a collaborative effort between multiple authors to create a story. The roles, the plot and the structure of the roleplaying differ between the threads, which are administered independently by individual members of the Guild -- if you want to run your own roleplaying thread here, you can do it.
Getting Started: The Roleplaying Sections
Free Roleplay - No standards. For roleplaying involving one-liners, few-liners, speed-posting, and for anyone who doesn't want to worry about standards.
Casual Roleplay - Some standards. Roleplay here if you enjoy writing at least a paragraph or two, character development, and some depth. Casual RP is more laid back and lighthearted than Advanced RP but more moderated than Free RP. It's a good middle ground. No one-liners.
Advanced Roleplay - Elevated standards. Advanced RP focuses on longer posts that include character development and elaborate plot development. Minimum 2-3 paragraphs per post.
We also offer some niche roleplaying forums:
The Arena - Combat-centric roleplaying duels and various other types of fights.
We also have 'interest checks' that function as a means of advertising one's roleplays or finding someone else's roleplay.
Interest Checks - A section for brainstorming new ideas and presenting them to other roleplayers. Every section has their own specific interest check (as a subforum of the above sections) also.
Roleplaying sections are arranged according to writing standards, rather than genre. This is largely so roleplayers can find partners that are compatible with one another and to simplify navigation. For example, someone that likes to speed post or post very quickly in an exchange with other roleplayers might want to go to the Free section while someone who wants something that involves more intricacy and longer posts might consider the Advanced section. Casual exists on the middle-ground between these two.
The Arena exists for combat-driven RP, such as duels and other types of adversarial combats, while the 1x1 section encompasses many different standards. (It is also easier to get an RP started here, because you have less players involved) Some players tend to venerate one section or the other as being the better section but you should choose the RP category you feel is right for you; if you are unsure which section is right for you, you should talk to a moderator or a comrade.
Joining an RP: Interest Checks, Out-of-Character and In-Character
Interest checks exist in every category of RP as a means of advertising a new idea for an RP before committing to writing out more than a synopsis. The interest checks are a means of testing the waters and recruiting players.
The typical roleplay starts in the interest check section and moves over to the Out-of -Character (OOC) threads, which also exist in every category of RP, where the plot is further discussed and developed and where players communicate with one another. The idea is that a person posts their idea for the RP and that other people respond by posting, in the thread, that they are interested.
The person in charge, known as the Original Poster (OP) or Gamemaster (GM) will then post an In-Character (IC) thread in its respective category, where the roleplaying actually happens.
Interest Check --> OOC --> IC
It is entirely possible to join an RP in the OOC, or even after the In-Character thread has started, but the most consistent way to do it is to do it through the interest checks -- while you can submit a character to the OP/GM of the thread, they make the final decision whether or not you can roleplay in that thread and are within their rights to reject submissions or ask players to leave -- this doesn't happen very often, because word gets around when people abuse that authority.
The Guild has two official contests each month: Artist of the Month (AOTM) and Writer of the Month (WOTM). The contests have their own appointed managers who organize each contest by that month's theme. At the beginning of the month, AOTM and WOTM present a thread with guidelines, required components and other restrictions that contestants are to abide by in the course of the competition. Members who wish to enter have roughly two weeks to submit their work via private message (PM) to the contest managers. Entries are listed anonymously and the voting opens up mid-month.
Voting is public so as to prevent members from voting on their own entry and in an effort to prevent tampering (which is a bannable offense and taken very seriously). Members have the chance to vote and constructively critique entries. After two weeks of voting, the contest winners are announced. Winners of the contests get their work showcased in the Hall of Fame thread for contest winners and get a custom user title.
(Note: Custom titles are a one-time thing. Choose carefully if you do win, because if you change it after the mods award it, it reverts to a normal custom title. Of course, you can always go win another contest if you want another custom title...)
Contests are held in both the Casual and Advanced categories, each with their own standards. Members who win an Advanced contest are barred from competing at the Casual level.
The Gallery and Graphics Shops
The Gallery - A place for the users of the guild post their original work for others to check out
Shops and Requests - A section where artists can advertise their availability via Graphics Shops or a person looking for artwork can advertise their request.
The Gallery is a section of the forum devoted to sharing the original work of members outside of the RP threads; short stories, artwork, poetry and other original works are posted here. It also includes a subforum where a user can not only post their own original work but also request work be done for signatures and avatars (which can be changed in the User Control Panel.)
A Graphics Shop is essentially a thread started by the artist where a request can be made of the artist. The artist is within their rights to turn down requests, of course. By the same token, a person looking for artwork may make a request thread in the Shops and Requests forum.
Rules, Moderation, and Staff
Fundamental Rules of the Guild - The Tao of the Fonz, or common sense guidelines for having a long and productive tenure at the Guild as well as the official rule set
Staff Listing - A listing of people that are in positions of authority here on the Guild
Suggestions/Problems Section - The Suggestion/Problems Area is a good place to post concerns about the rules and ideas regarding the running of the Guild in general
The Guild does not have a huge number of rules, because the founder wants the Guild to be a fun place. What rules there are exist out of the realization that certain things are highly disruptive to the mission of the guild; porn, spamming the roleplays and being mean to other people are fast track ways to get banned here, though usually it is with a warning, first.
The rules and regulations exist for a reason, and that reason is to keep the site running smoothly and effectively -- the moderation here is generally very low key, and out of your face. The best way to contact them in the event of a problem is to hit the 'report' button (it looks like this: on the bottom left corner of a post.) This system highlights the problem thread to the moderation staff and is best used to make a rule violation known or to request a post edit/deletion of someone else's post in an RP that you are running.
You should be aware of the rules when you post and report -- make sure that your reports explain what the problem is in a degree of detail. The truth is that the moderators get a lot of these (primarily from the Out of Character Section) but try to give higher priority and a quicker response in situations involving roleplaying threads, such as when they are being spammed. Basically, if you see a situation in one of your threads, report it and relax -- the moderators try to be on as often as possible, but they have real lives. They will get to it as soon as they can.
The Comrades are members of this community who volunteered to greet and help new arrivals with any questions they may have about the Guild or roleplaying. They also will answer any of your Guild-related questions and help you find your way around the website. Comrades are happy to assist you with any roleplaying-related questions. You can PM or stop by the 'Ask A Comrade' thread.
Other Useful Links
The Guild Chat - A real-time IRC (Internet Relay Chat) channel where guild members gather and a useful way to get to know some people. The Guide to the Chatroom is a good resource fof first time IRC users.
There's a lot of advice here and a lot of articles to read, but the reality of the rules and regulations boil down to this piece of simple advice: Just be cool (like the Fonz) and remember that this is a hobby. For further information, you can ask any of the Guild staff or anyone with an italicized name; these people are Comrades, recruited by the Guild to serve as official greeters and information sources for new members.
If you have further questions, please feel free to contact a comrade.