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Advanced Roleplaying Techniques and Guidelines

So you've been roleplaying on the Island for a while, eh? Here are some things to keep in mind!

You cannot tell anyone else how to play make believe.

Part of the beauty of the Island's really open community is that it attracts tons of people who are interested in all sorts of stories. The other part is that the Island's setting allows all of those people to tell their stories. If someone is enjoying themselves and their storytelling is Too Serious or Too Dark for your tastes, or their style is Too Slapdash or Too Melodramatic for your tastes.. well, that's your taste. You don't have to read their stuff or chill with them. Don't let that stuff stress you out. Don't look down your nose on something that's different from what you, personally, like to read.

If everyone seems to be having a good time, what does it matter if you think whatever they're doing is dumb or boring? Stop frowning at your keyboard and go find some people to write and play with yourself!

That said, there are some things that make lots of people quietly roll their eyes. If you're interested in playing with one of these tropes, obviously you shouldn't be discouraged or intimidated away from it - - just be aware that lots of people have crisscrossed this ground before and that the plots were not always well-received by their respective audiences:1)

  • Multiple selves, including alter-egos, fragmented personalities, male/female versions, twins, alternate dimension selves - - especially evil versions.2)3)
  • Plots where someone from off-Island is coming to kill your character, for whatever reason.
  • Fake-out deaths: the ones where your character tragically dies, everyone mourns them, and then they are magically resurrected or it turns out they didn't really die.
  • Characters that are actually demons / dragons / vampires / werewolves / gods / goddesses / etc., especially if these characteristics only come out in moments of extreme anger or sadness.
  • 'Extreme' characters who are The Most Beautiful or The Most Talented At Whatever.
  • Temporary and apparently arbitrary insanity or dangerous feral behavior.

You'll notice themes of melodrama in that list - - many roleplayers become impatient when one person keeps drawing attention to their character just to draw attention to their character. People get impatient this way in real life too, obviously. Everyone seems to have a friend who Always Has Troubles and Always Wants You To Know About It. Lots of people write to escape those sorts of people and become testy when they encounter them in their escapist world.

If you find yourself becoming testy, remember - - it's a game and you don't have to read their stuff. Or, they might not be consciously aware of the effect their writing is having. Lots of people are happy to change the direction their story is going if you offer to write with them, and lots of people also respond well to polite constructive criticism.

You are not your character.

Suppose your character is falling in love with a character named Example. (Crafty name, eh?) You chat tons with Example's writer and you both get on very well together. You both enjoy writing the romance between your character and Example.. and you're starting to privately think that you're crushing on Example's writer. Hold up, partner, and think carefully for a second. Maybe you are. The Island is a great place to make friends and build relationships.

But, maybe you aren't - - it's not uncommon for roleplayers to confuse themselves with their characters. Be really careful. What happens to your friendship with Example's writer if you both start crushing and then someday decide that the relationship is not tenable? If things go bad, will you still be comfortable hanging out on the Island? What does that mean for your other friends and stories in progress?

Another thing that roleplayers often have trouble with are in-game conflicts. If you're writing a fight with Example and it's pretty heated, remember that that stuff is all in-character - - you and Example's writer shouldn't actually be mad at each other. If you find yourself actually getting mad, take a break. The inverse of the situation also applies. If you and Example's writers are on bad terms out of character, that doesn't mean that your character and Example are fighting or nasty to each other.

You aren't your character. Be conscientious about the boundaries between you and them.

Some points of etiquette:

  • Best behavior, always, in NewHome. It's the first place people see on the Island. Be welcoming, patient, and friendly there.
  • You can control only your character's reactions - - in fight scenes, in arguments, in general. Don't dictate how someone totally gets kicked in the stomach by your crazyfast character's sweet martial art skills, or bursts into tears when your character delivers a crushing insult. 4)
  • If you're in a public chatspace, your scene is public. Regardless of whether it's for a big huge plot you've been working on for ages or not, anyone can join because you're in public - - and because you're in public, you should welcome them if they join.
  • No fighting in Outposts or on the FailBoat, please. Consensual fighting is permitted in Dwellings and on the world map.
  • If someone's jerkitude is crossing a line, go get a mod. Don't solve it yourself, send a Mod Call through the “Report a Problem” link up at the top of every page on Improbable Island.

People you can always ask for help

This is a section for experienced, active roleplayers to volunteer themselves as a resource for anyone who wants some advice or needs someone to come scene with them, or anything at all, really. Simply Distract them.

Mods, especially for resolving disputes of any sort:

  1. Alexander Quandle

Players: (Some of them might have left the Island by now)

  1. Tahvohck
  2. Fish
  3. Zoinks
  4. Kieren
Remember, kids, this is Improbable Island; if you're going to do something a bit cliche, you might as well make it funny!
Please note that if you choose to play both characters from the same time, your typing speed will be effectively halved.
And if you play them from the same account at the same time, that just adds some ambiguity to the mix.
Seriously, the other narrator might be okay with it, but unless they agree on whatever is going to happen first, do not do it.
advanced_roleplaying.txt · Last modified: 2023/11/21 18:03 by

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