Roleplay Forum: Game Master's Guide

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Roleplay Forum: Game Master's Guide

Postby Renara » Thu Aug 11, 2011 1:10 pm

So you want to start up a roleplay thread? First of all you'll need to read the Roleplay Forum Rules.

Gathering Interest
Remember, a role-play is no good without role-players! Before you post your role play's topic you should make sure you have some people that are actually interested in playing it. If you don't have any, or you want to try and get a few more members, then please post to the Recruitment thread (don't forget to read the first post!). Once you have enough members you can post an out of character topic and start getting organised.

Remember; there is no point in posting a role-play topic if no-one is ready to play, and bumping a topic asking for more members will only result in your topic being locked, so make sure you have some interest first!

Managing Your Threads
As mentioned in the rules, a roleplay can have up several threads; one for in-character (role-play), and as many as needed for out-of-character discussion. Remember, in-character topics go in the main Roleplay forum, while out-of-character topics go in the Out of Character sub-forum. There is no specific limit to the number of out-of-character topics a role-play can have, however, they should be used within reason. For example, a role-play might have a discussion thread, and a separate thread for character-sheets; please do not create separate threads for minor organisational items, or they may be merged with other threads or deleted.

If your threads are getting too big and unwieldy, then please consider locking them and creating a new one. This helps keep your role-play and discussion uncluttered. Remember to post a summary or link at the start of new threads so that people can be clear on where things left off, and re-post any relevant rules as required. Also, you are recommended to include links within the first post your in-character thread, allowing easy access to your current out-of-character threads for reference/discussion.

While you are recommended to lock and repost your topic(s) sooner, they should definitely be locked if they exceed a large number of pages, for example 30. While this is only a guideline, a moderator may lock your topic for you if it becomes too large, not to mention the topic will become very unwieldy at larger sizes!

Declaring Your Game Rules
The first post of your in-character thread should contain a summary of the game, along with any important game-rules for players. If you have re-created your in-character thread, then you should copy the rules across, and it may help to add a summary of recent events so posting can continue as smoothly as possible.

Game rules should be as clear as possible, so keep them short and simple, and try to avoid exhaustively listing every case; your users should be able to fill in most blanks with common sense. The important rules to consider are:
  • Posting Order - does your RP require users to post in a particular order, and wait their turn to post, or can they immediately respond once another user has posted? Structured posting orders can be a bit tricky to manage, but they can also avoid difficulties arising when some users are far more active than others while less frequent posters end up feeling left out.
  • Newly Registered Users - hand-in-hand with posting order in many respects, as users in the newly registered group require post approval, which means that their posts may take a short time to appear. This can make things a bit difficult as fixed posting orders can be delayed quite a bit if a post takes a while to be approved, as such you may wish to deny newly registered users in your RP, or allow them to post out-of-sequence until they are able to post without approval.
  • Action System - can a roleplayer decide upon the result of an action (e.g - damage) in their posts, or should they leave it open to their target or a games-master to decide? Try to be clear how your roleplayers should write up important actions such as combat, such that they can leave it as open-ended as possible without taking too much control of the game away from other players.

This list is just a starting point, there may be more things to look out for in future!

Enforcing Your Rules
Unfortunately we can't offer moderator tools on a per-topic basis, which means that things are a little more difficult when it comes to enforcing rules within your own role-play.

To this end, games-masters should maintain lists of who can and cannot post in their roleplay, and any users who are also to be considered games-masters within the role-play (especially if it's a large one). Games-master user may wish to post within their threads in a clearly signified manner, as a guide-line, you may wish to preface any games-master posts in bold red letters, for example:
Games Master Wrote:Games Master Notice
Please disregard ending of last post; current damage inflicted to main boss is only minor.

Use such notes to amend erroneous roleplay, issue warnings, and so-on. The BBCode for this is:
Code: Select All Code
[b][size=125][color=red]Games Master Notice[/color][/size][/b]


Remember though that most users are perfectly reasonable, and some may never have role-played before, so please consider private messaging them first to inform them of any mistakes and resolve any difficulties, as they may not have intended to cause any trouble!

If such notices/warnings etc. are insufficient, then you may ask for help from the board-wide moderators. To do this, please Report the most recent offending post using the Report (Image) button on the post, and describe the issue as fully as possible. Please do not directly PM individual moderators, as this will prevent other moderators responding that may be able to do something sooner.
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