A Beginner's Guide to RP and CRP

Mar 30, 2019
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Before we get started I just want to reintroduce myself. For those who do not know me, I am UmbraCorpartion, also known as Soprana on the ILB discord or simply as Umbra or Val. I play Valora, the repressed, magic-wielding, gun-slinging Vampire that you know and hate. I am by no means a staff member of ILoveBacons (was briefly in the past, but that doesn't matter), so what is in this Thread is simply a series of suggestions and not demands. With this being said, please read until your heart's content.

A Beginner's Guide to RP and CRP
Introduction
Hi there! Are you new to RP? Somewhat new? An old RPer trying to get back into the fun but can't remember the basics? Well, good news! This guide is made just for you! Below, you'll find a few basics, tips, and examples to help you learn / relearn your way around the wonders of Roleplay! There are more than these three types of RP, but these are the most common here.

What Is RP and CRP

Roleplay (RP) is the act of taking on a character and using it to weave a story with others. In a way, it's kind of like a live novel that everyone involved writes with every action. Combat Role Play (CRP) is like the first, but involves using your character to duke it out with others. CRP is fairly common here, so it's good to learn how it works even if it isn't your main focus.

Basic Toolkit

Speech
Now that you know what they are, let's focus on the most basic of interactions: Speech! Most people know how to speak in RP, so we'll just glaze past this part. To indicate speech, one must use quotation marks (" "). Here's a simple example.


"Hi! I'm Mark!"

Quotations? Check. Full words? Check. It's important to use full words as opposed to shorthand words such as "lol" or "imo". While it seems natural, It could lead to some people not taking you seriously. Of course, if you have a character that's supposed to be an internet freak of sorts, then this doesn't apply. On to the next thing!

Actions


Actions can be anything from a simple smile to a back-flip into a tree. They, with Speech, are the main ways that a character is controlled. Unlike Speech, Actions are a bit harder to understand. First, let's cover how to actually form one. To indicate an action, one must use asterisks (* *). There are some that simply drop the asterisks, but using them is a bit more common. Here's an example.

The sly man walks into the building, sighing at the sight of an old foe.

Asterisks? Check. Clearly described action? Check. Another thing to make sure of in making an action is to be clear and descriptive. If your action isn't worded well, it could lead to a bit of confusion. When it comes to normal, non-crp actions like this one, it's fine to stack a few other things on top of it. Take a look at this.

The slay man walks into the building, sighing at the sight of an old foe. "I ain't feelin' it today." Shaking his head, he turns away, taking a seat at the bar.


It's perfectly fine to add in a bit of speech or even another action, but don't go too overboard. Doing too many things at one time is a big no no. Speaking of things, something the thing you want to do may be obstructed by a person or a limitation of some kind. This is where Attempts come in. An Attempt is the phrasing of an action that interacts with another character or environment that could cause something to change such as sliding past a person, trying to take something from a person, or trying to move past an obstacle placed by someone.

The girl tries to move past the crowd and up the stairs


Notice that it doesn't actually say the word "Attempt". Attempted actions can be phrased any way as long as they're understandable and imply the character "trying" instead of immediately "doing". Now that we've established what an attempt is, next is the more complicated topic of CRP.

CRP Toolkit

Whoo boy... CRP. The lifeblood of many RPers. Like RP, Speech and Actions are a key part of it, however, things are a bit different. For ILoveBacons, Permission to Kill (PtK) is active for the most part. This means that in order for someone to kill your character, you must consent to it. If you don't, then they can not kill your character. This, of course, goes for everyone. PtK is normally lifted when a character attacks another, so don't go around trying to beat up people thinking you're invincible... because you're not.

Actions

Speech is pretty much the same in CRP. Actions, however, become different and more complex. Instead of simply sitting, walking or dancing around, your character will now be shooting a gun, swinging a sword, or shooting some magic missiles (will be covered in the MagicRP Thread that will be made later). It's very important for you to describe your actions in CRP. Not only will it make it easier for the person you're RPing with to understand, but it'll help them explain their own actions since you'll be interacting with each other.

When writing a CRP action, it's a good rule of thumb to divide it into two separate actions. The first action could be used to do one thing, such as move, dodge, take the hit, block, and so on. The second action could be used to punch, shoot, stab, and so on. Think of them as Defensive/Offensive actions. The order can be flipped depending on the situation of course. Here's two examples. Which one is correctly done?


The gunslinger fired a shot at the man's knees, then dived behind the crate.


The gunslinger fired a shot that hit the man's knees, then dived behind the crate, avoiding incoming gunfire.

If you said the first was right, you'd be... well... right! The action states that he attempted to hit the man's knees then take cover in hopes to avoid getting hit. The second action forced an outcome. The man was hit and he avoided getting shot before it even happened. This is known as god-modding, or forcing another's character to do exactly what you want through your action. That's one of the three deadly sins of RP. While we're here, let's go over them.

Three Deadly Sins


Godmodding: Controlling a person's character without their consent, forcing an outcome to happen without time for retaliation or input.

(Adam grabs his hand and slams the guy's head on the table, cracking his skull open.)

Powergaming: The act of having your character survive any and all danger despite the circumstances. Powergamers often RP to "win" or simply have the most powerful character despite rules. It's just bad...


(His armor withstands all of the attacks, barely scratched. He then pulls out his super laser, blasting everyone in the area.)

Metagaming: Using knowledge that your character doesn't know in order to get ahead. This can be a bit difficult to spot given the nature of how RP is conducted, but is still frowned upon. An example of this is knowing a character's name without them telling, knowing a person's weakness without any reasoning of knowing it, or knowing where a person is despite not following them or being told where the are.

Charge Times / Cooldown Times


Some characters have a great deal of weaponry or power behind them, allowing them to do some serious damage. To curb such power, the concept of charge times was created. Charge Times (often shown like this: [1/3]) are the amount of posts a character must prepare a spell, item, or weapon in order to use it. Cooldown Times are kind of the inverse, being the amount of time one must wait before using an ability again. Charge times and Cooldown Times are often attached to powerful / complex things to add a sense of risk/reward to the situation. "Should I stick with my basic plasma bolts, or charge it for an extra kick?". A sort of Megaman situation for simpler explaining. Here's a better example.

The robot extends his arm, building up a great deal of energy within the arm cannon. [1/2]


Pretty textbook. Explained action? Check. Charge Time indicator? Check. While it's not always necessary to put an indicator, it's a little easier for others to identify how long an attack took to launch. Make sure to give your attacks appropriate times. The strong an attack is, the more time it needs. It may not seem entirely realistic in some cases, but it helps encourage balance and fair play. Please not that even with a powerful, properly charged attack, it still should be considered an attempt. Even something focused can miss.


Character Creation

While I don't want to get too far into it, creating a character is often one of the more complex, free-form parts of RP. There are a few things to note when it comes to creating a character.
  • Balance your characters. A character may be powerful, but they must have plenty of weaknesses that curb their strength.

  • Give your character a set of values and goals. It's not really necessary, but it's something that helps move a character forward.

  • Leave room for growth. Yes. You want your character to be the very best that no one ever was. While they can't exactly be the 'best', it's important to allow a character room for growth, both in power and in mentality. There's nothing more refreshing than watching a character grow. I speak from experience.

  • Beware what you do. RP is a living beast. You'll get what you put in. If you play a hero, get ready to be challenged by a villain. If you play a villain, get ready to be challenged by a hero. If you're a criminal, be ready to get locked up. If you're security, get ready to get shot at. If you can't take the heat, then don't touch the stove.
Well, this was the guide! It's super basic, perfect for all those starting out. You may have seen the mention of Magic in there. Sooner or later, I'll be uploading a simple Magic guide to aid our future mage rpers find their way in this twisted world. Until next time!

(my examples don't have asterisks for some reason)
 
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