Okay, here's the big question that I'm sure a lot of new members ask themselves: What the bling-blang is a Play-By-Post forum?
The answer is simple. Each post you make in one of the Roleplays can be seen as part of a scene in a movie. If you play games like Dungeons & Dragons or something similar, you can liken a post to one round of combat. Everyone makes their actions, then the cycle loops over again.
With that out of the way, allow me to introduce the...
Lexicon: The Encyclopedia Guildia
... (The list goes on. Use your imagination)
CS: Character Sheet
GM: Game Master. Sometimes DM, or Dungeon Master
1x1: One on one. Private RPs between two people.
IntChk: Interest Check.
*: These are used to show actions when you're not RPing.
Example: Hi there! *Waves*
I've known some people that replace these with different things, like '-' or '<>'.
@: This is placed in front of a RPer's name to show that you're talking to them.
Example: @RandomPerson: Hi there!
Charrie or "Char: Character
Siggy or "Sig": Signature
VM: Visitor Message
PM: Private Message
Spoilers: Used to hide things. I'll show you how to make this at the end of the guide.
Hiders: Even smaller than Spoilers. These are buttons that open up most text. Again, end of the guide
First Impressions: What to do before your first IC post
1: Read Mahz's Fundamental Rules of the Guild. This contains almost everything that the Mods and Admins want you to do and not do. Required reading for anyone, no matter how skilled they are.
2: Create a profile in 76.'s Roleplayer List. Okay, you don't have to, but it helps if you make one and put it in your signature. That way, people can just check it before asking you to join their RP.
3: At least glance at Shinigami Kakashi's RPing Guidelines. Again, you don't have to, but I find ShiniKa hits the high points of character creation and post writing.
4: If you want a better idea of what a Character Sheet is, look at Schrodinger's Guide to Character Sheets. This is really more for people creating RPs, but it might help.
5: Bunnay has been kind enough to write a guide to filling out Character Sheets. Go and check it out at Bunnay's Character Sheets: How to fill them out!
Joining the Community: Do's and Don't's of the Guild
1: Check your spelling. Easiest way to do that is the button shown below.
That button is the Spell Check, also known as your Vorpal Blade. Press that button at the end of writing a post, and your on-line friends will thank you for it.
2: Check your grammar. Unfortunately, this isn't Microsoft Word©, so there's no Grammar Checker. Instead, reread what you wrote. Are there any commas? Semicolons or colons? What about quotation marks? If you read half way through your post-to-be and stab you eyes out, you might want to look at Ceridwen's Proper Grammar Cheat Sheet. Actually, you might want to check it at least once anyway.
3: Don't act like a prick. Seriously, getting into arguments on the internet is just silly. If you reread your proto-post objectively and think "This guys a idiot," you might want to find a different way of writing it.
Just "walk" away. No, you won't look like a coward. No, people won't look down on you or pick on you. Just unsubscribe from the tread by going to your Control Panel and pressing the button shown below, next to the thread in question.
This is not to say you should run from any argument you happen to be losing. It just means that if the conversation stops being enjoyable, why stick around?
4: Keep your Siggy under control. No-one likes to have to scroll past miles of random *CENSORED* just to get to the next post. If your Siggy gets longer than half of the screen, think about Spoilers.
There and Back Again: Joining RPs
1: Start off easy. Find a RP you like in the 'Basic' 'Frees' section. Even if you think the writing's below you, you'll learn what people want from you. If you've come from another RP site, feel free to ignore this step.
2: Ask questions! Most GMs will be happy to answer questions you might have about the RP, the Character Sheet, the plot, whatever! If they're not... find a new RP.
3: Keep a theme, and keep it real. No-one likes Mary Sues. Period. If you find yourself talking about what you character can do more than what he/she can't, rewriting time. Also, if your character is, say, a computer programmer, most of the time he's not going to have training with a katana. On the other hand, a warrior from Camelot isn't going to know how to work a cellphone.
4: Make revisions. Until the RP starts, you can rewrite your character as many times as you want. Just make sure the changes are sensible, like finding a better picture or changing his weapon, not a total redo.
5: Begin leveling up. After a few RPs, you should get the hang of the Guild. Once you do, make a try for Casual. After a while there, if you can write 3-4 paragraphs with 4-6 sentences in each, think about Advanced.
And that should do it! Be sure to have fun wherever you go here. That's kinda the point.
Press Any Key: Technical Tips
SpoilerWhat the heck is this? And how do I do it?
Don't worry. It won't take long.
Okay, so you've seen people with fancy stuff in their signatures. Maybe they've got a picture (like me!), or a button, or a web link, or a short animation. More importantly, you want to do that too.
First off, Spoilers. Spoilers hide things. Simple, and kinda bland. A lot like a blank piece of paper that you fold in half. All you do is this:
[SPOILER]Schrodinger is Awesome[/SPOILER ] Minus the space at the end.
And it'll turn into this!:
SpoilerSchrodinger is Awesome
Spoilers are handy if you're just hiding a overly large picture, or a wall of text that people don't need to see.
Next, Hiders. These are new and exciting. They show up as a button with customizable text. What you do is:
[HIDER=Button Text]Inside Text[/HIDER ] Minus the space at the end.
Which becomes this!:
Cool, right? You can use these instead of Spoilers. They do exactly the same thing.
Moving on to images. The thing about the Guild and its inhabitants it that they don't like images as attachment. Because of that, we're gonna ignore them all together.
To attach an image to a post (for a character appearance or such), use this button here:
It's take you to a screen that asks for address. If you happen to have one for the image you want, you can just copy-pasta it into the box.
However, if the image you want is on your computer, then you can't use that button. You have to use a Image Hosting website. If you know a good one, then use it. If not, then use TinyPic. Don't worry, it's free. You just have to enter a ReCaptcha code to make sure that you're not a machine. If you are... well, sucks to be you right now.
When you use TinyPic, use the address that it give you. Just copy-pasta the address from the follow box straight into the message box:
Finally, URLs. Let's say you mentioned a game that no-one knows about, and someone on the forum asked what it was. You decide to use "Let me google that for you" as a joke. So, you've go the URL and you paste it into the message box and...
Let me google that for you
Hmm, that looks kinda... bleh. The person's gonna see that and know that you've playing a joke on him.
Okay then. You can change what the URL text says by changing it a little bit. If you do this: [url="http://lmgtfy.com/?q=Dwarf+Fortress&l=1"]Dwarf Fortress[/url ] Minus the space.
You get this!: Dwarf Fortress
Extra Bonus! You can combine the Images and URLs to make buttons! Just take the image link from before and use it for the text of the URL. You'll get a clickable image!
If anyone has anything they'd like to add, let me know either here, or by VM or PM. If it's an abbreviation, be sure to include an example from a post.