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15 December 2007 @ 08:59 pm
Beginners Guide For New Role-Players  


Alright, considering that some people I know who are considering this RP (and others) have never really role-played before, I figured I'd make this guide for new role-players who happened across this community and wanted to join, but simply didn't because they were intimidated by the application or the community itself or role-playing in general.

I didn't make this guide to make any newcomers to role-play seem stupid -- so forgive me if the guide seems like a "Here You Go, Idiot - Now Apply" sort of tactic, because it's not.

So, the first question in your mind would probably be "Which is easier to take on first? An OC or a FC?". That question can be a bit hard and it depends on whether or not you think you can handle an FC. Let me show you the pros and cons to both.


Original V.S. Fandom

Original Characters (OCs)
::Pros::
- The background, personality, and looks of the character are completely in your hands.
- More often than not, more comfortable to control and easier to manage.
- As time goes on, any ideas to expand their background and flesh out their personality and quirks are all in your control and, as long as they're within comprehension, can be applied at almost any time.
::Cons::
- You have to make the background, personality, and describe the character -- not fun for a mun (that would be you) who isn't good at that sort of thing.
- People who aren't used to making characters up may end up making their first character a Mary-Sue or Gary-Stu/Marty-Stu, otherwise known as a character who changes to fit the situation, is essentially 'perfect', is never really affected by anything, and is unbelievable because of the way he/she acts. For a more detailed account on what a Mary-Sue is, go here. For Gary-Stu/Marty-Stu, go here. Trust me -- you want to try avoiding these character archtypes like the plague. Some of us can't avoid them dipping into some of those categories, but as long as you can make it more original and save it from complete sue-dom/stu-dom, then you'll be alright.
- You have to either edit your icons for the character in some sort of way that shows that your character isn't the fandom character it shows OR you'll have to draw your own icons. Not fun for the inartistic/lazy mun.
- Some muns may become obsessed with their OC to the point of near insanity. And no, I'm not kidding.

When I first started role-playing, my first character was an OC. Granted, I've had the character in mind for years upon years and have written and re-written his background and personality over and over throughout the years, but I found RPing an OC as a first choice to be a lot easier. There were no heavy expectations of me, people eventually became interested in my character's background and what happens to him, and all I had to do was make sure he didn't turn into a Gary-Stu mid-way in the RP. So far, so good.

Fandom Characters (FCs)
::Pros::
- Already established background, personality, and looks.
- Finding icons for them is a lot easier as long as they're a well-known character or part of a somewhat popular series, anyway.
- Don't remember something about the character? No problem! Just re-read the manga, re-play the game or re-watch anime they come from. Or just use Wikipedia.
::Cons::
- Other fans of the series tend to have high expectations of muns who RP their favorite FC. This could lead to people being quite obnoxious and pretty much going all "UR DOING IT WRONG!!!101one!!".
- You can only rely on the background written for the character for only so long before you have to come up with your own stuff. At least the personality and such is still there to fall back on, but if you come up with stuff that would make your character go OOC (out of character), then you'll likely have fans of the character wanting your head for it.

Now, don't let what I said about fandom characters scare you. You'll never know if you can play a FC until you try it. For example, I play as Haruhi Suzumiya on a different role-play community. I am scared to DEATH of playing her wrong, ESPECIALLY since she's such a popular character from a very popular anime, but I'm going to keep playing her anyway, since I'm a fan of her character and I want to do her justice by representing her correctly. If you have a motivation such as that, then you shouldn't worry too much, as you are your best critic and if you do something that you know that FC wouldn't do, you'll be among the first to notice it sometimes.

Now that you know the difference between the OCs and FCs, lets look at the application itself.

Applying

Mun Data <--- This, of course, is information on you. I'm not asking for your social security number and your credit card, but I do need to know a little bit about you.

Name: (what you wish to be called by the other muns here) <--- Just as it states. It doesn't have to be your real name. For example, I have three handles I go by -- Kyio, Aiko, and Rion. None of those three, of course, are my real name, and the third came from people not knowing who I was and simply calling me by my OC's name. People may end up calling you by your character's name as well, so don't take offense if people don't call you by the name you put here.
Age: (I don't discriminate by age, I'm just curious~) <--- as it says, I'm not going to not accept you because you're under 18. I just need to see how many people here are indeed over or under 18 so I can figure out whether or not I should make a 2nd log community for any R-rated or NC-17 logs the older muns might want to play out.
Personal LJ: <--- this is the LJ account you use normally. To display it as a link, put lj user="YOURACCOUNTHERE" in brackets (You know ... "<" and ">") and it'll show up that way.
E-mail: <--- Since I don't have MSN and YIM hates my computer and wants to kill it slowly and painfully, I may have to contact you by e-mail if something comes up that you need to be informed about.
AIM/MSN/YIM/SKYPE: (please specify which handle name is for which) <--- Just as it states.

[ Character Data
Name:
Gender:
Fandom:
Time in fandom when transported to Cystia: (For example, before or after a major event or time in the anime/game/manga/light novel they come from)
Is this character part of an on-going storyline between yourself and another mun? If so, give a very brief summary as to their relationship so far:
Brief Background: (You don't have to tell me their life story, but I need to know at least the basics, as I don't know a massive amount of fandoms)
Brief Summary of Personality: ] <--- everything in the Character Data piece of the application is self-explanatory.

Log and Journal Samples
First Person Sample: <--- A first person entry is very much like a journal entry. Things like "How could it be raining in this place if it's covered by a dome? What are those androids doing?" or something along those lines is considered First Person. These entries go into your character's journal, where people will respond to their thoughts or questions. You can also direct a question to another character or ask a general questions (Ex. "Who here is from Japan?") that anyone can answer. Most of the actual role-playing takes place in first person entries.

Third Person Sample: <--- A third person entry is a lot like writing a story. Things like "-Insert your characters name- was walking through the forest. The sky looked peaceful -- something he/she appreciated after the horrible situation he/she was put through. -Insert character name here- wondered aloud to his/herself, 'Will I ever get out of this place? I wish there was some way I could ...' There was no way that he/she could think of, and who knows if there ever would be." are considered Third Person. These entries go into the log community. Don't know what the format for a log is? Well ...

Log Format

Who: <--- Here you put the characters involved/to be involved in your log. Make sure you contact the mun and/or know for certain that it's alright for them to be in that log. No one likes being forced into things, so avoid doing things like that. If you want your log to be open to anyone and everyone, then say 'Open to everyone'.
What: <--- Quite simple. This is a sentence (can be incomplete) about what's going on in your log.
When: <--- Does the log take place after a certain entry from a certain character? Does it take place after a specified event? Say so here.
Where: <--- The location of the log's goings-on. It's good to know where the characters are going before they get there, just in case there's something about the area that that character would simply not want to be near or ... something along those lines. Either way, it's important to know the location.
Rating: <--- Even logs need a rating. PG is a rating that tends to be used the most often. If there is a substantial amount of cursing, violence, or sexual themes in the log, PG-13 is a better rating. R and NC-17 are reserved for gory situations (please to be avoiding doing that, as some people can't handle that sort of thing or may get freaked out by it) and yaoi/yuri/het between characters.
Warnings: <--- If something that may be considered offense or something along those lines happens in this log, then state it here. (Ex. "Might get a little bloody", "Yaoi/Shonen-Ai", "A lot of cursing"). If you can't think of any warnings, 'N/A' or some blurb about the nature of the log (Ex. "Ridiculously cute") will do as well.
Summary: <--- A short, one or two sentence summary on what's happening in this log. (Ex. "Johnny's bored, so he decided to wander about the forest, not realizing what lies in wait there ...")

-Place an lj-cut here that contains the full background of your log. For example I apologize in advance for using such basic names and making the log example sound lame:

There didn't seem to be much to do. This definitely wasn't the way Johnny liked to spend his time.

"Forget this. I'm looking around that forest across the way. There HAS to be something to do there."

Packing some general things with him, Johnny made his way out the door, away from the housing complex, and into the forest, unaware of all the warnings Erika and Don gave out the day before.


At this point, if Erika and Don were in the 'Who' section of the log, they could respond to and interact with Johnny in the forest. Suddenly, I sound like a 1st grade teacher, man, I am so sorry ...

Things To Remember

1) IC =/= OOC. It's simple. Anything a character says to your character is said to your character and not you. Please don't get offended when a character calls your character a sissy-bitch or something, because that's not YOU they're talking to -- it's your character.

2) Godmodding will not be tolerated in any RP without the permission of the mun. An example of godmodding is as follows: "*grabs character, throws him to the ground, sits on his chest, takes out a knife, stabs him repeatedly, gets off, and leaves* ... take that, you bitch!" <--- THIS IS GODMODDING. DO THIS REPEATEDLY AND DEFEND IT AND NO ONE WILL FORGIVE YOU OR WANT TO ROLE-PLAY WITH YOU. You have to give the other character time to react to the first few actions, so the correct way to do this would be "*grabs character and throws him to the ground*". And stabbing a character shouldn't be done without warning -- warn muns ahead of time that your character has some major issues and is prone to sudden acts of violence, or else they'll likely get a little ticked if their character is suddenly ... well ... shanked.

========================================

That's the basics of applying to a role-play community and being able to function in one. In any role-play community you join, be sure to read their F.A.Q. and their rules, as they may be different from one RP to another. I'm sure I missed something as I tend to be a scatterbrain, so any questions any new role-players may have can be left as a comment here. All comments are screened, so don't worry about anyone else 'knowing you're new' or anything along those lines -- I especially won't ostracize you just because you're new, as everyone was new to this at one point or another.

I hope this guide has helped some of you in one way or the other! Have fun role-playing on Livejournal! ♥