What is roleplaying? What is play-by-post roleplay?
Roleplaying is the playing of a role. Play-by-Post roleplay, which is the term for roleplay on a forum, is a form of round-robin writing. In short, threads are housed in their relevant location (Terrenus roleplay in Terrenus, Alterion roleplay in Alterion, etc) and members post to those threads. Writing (as well as pictures and sounds or music) is the medium of our game, which distinguishes PBP roleplay from table-top games (D&D, Warhammer, etc), video games (WoW, GuildWars, etc) and LARP.
Our game pieces are our characters and the setting is the world of Valucre itself. Players create threads with their characters and other players reply to those threads with their own characters (or as the setting, or as NPCs, and so on). Collaboration is key and is also a distinguishing feature of roleplay. If you want to control all aspects of a story, all characters, all plot movements, short stories or a novel is probably what you want to write.
Valucre is where you come to write with others and contribute to a flowing tapestry of story that is in constant flux, continually added to by the community. Creation and creativity are the names of the game.
Where do I play?
On the forums page, everywhere from Terrenus to Tellus Mater represents the virtual space of Valucre. They are the continents and territories which are written about in the Lore. If you want to play in Dougton, Terrenus or Orisia, Genesaris or Draco South, Elendaron, you would make a thread in that board. Once your thread is made, you can post there, others can post there, and you can advertise in the water cooler or make it a closed thread.
How do I play?
- Create a character.
- Choose a roleplay and learn the setting.
Create a character
You can have the character in your head or you can make a sheet. Sheets are optional.
Though optional, some members find sheets useful for tracking information, especially if they make multiple characters. If you do on a sheet, post in the profile database. Characters must adhere to Mild Powers, which is determined by post content and not character sheets. Mild Powers are the major limitation to be mindful of on the site, and otherwise you can use whatever race or abilities that won't break the MP threshold.
When thinking about a character, here are some things to consider, whether in your head or on a sheet:
- Appearance: What they look like. Basics, things other characters would notice at a glance such as hair and eye color or visible scars, will give your partners relevant details without being repetitious.
- Skills/Abilities: Critical information for tournaments and combat roleplays, but usually unnecessary. A short list of skills/abilities will help you keep your character within reasonable limits of knowledge and power.
- Occupation: Their job. Usually ties in with the above.
- History: Just enough to give your character substance, so it isn't as if they came out of nothing. Anything longer written pieces would be better placed in Creativity Showcase, where our members often display their poetry and prose.
Choose a role play, know the setting
Valucre's lore is immense. Many are tempted to read as much as they can, which is great. That's why it was written. But keep in mind that Valucre's lore is a work which has been added to over a period of over a decade by hundreds of members. Don't get scared off by thinking you have to read the history of a continent to write in one of its forests. Just read about that forest to get started.
The lore is there to enhance your writing, not to get in the way of it.
Do you want to start or find a role play? Go to either the water cooler, to read and post advertisements for role plays and plots, or the Open Roleplays page to see what newly created Open threads have been added.
Now there's nothing left to do but post. The two fundamental things to keep in mind are:
- Have fun
- Put in some effort. Your writing doesn't need to be flawless and no one expects it to be, but people respond better and with more effort themselves if they see their partner is putting in effort as well. You don't need to read every scrap of lore out there but knowing some detail about the forest or town you're in adds realism and depth to your post.
Where you post is a matter of preference. Everywhere from Terrenus to Tellus Mater represents the fictional world of Valucre, which you can read more about in the Overview Article underneath the Lore Tab. Once you find a place you want to play in, locate the closest board in the forums, and post to your heart's content. With a character you'll be able to actively participate in quests, artifact hunts, events and more.
Valucre isn't a chat room so don't expect instant replies but posting within a timely manner ensures that players stay engaged with a story and that the story goes through its logical conclusion. 3 days is the standard wait before someone is skipped. If you get skipped don't feel offended. In terms of keeping a thread alive, it's better to let a skipped player come back after a turn than to halt the story completely. Set post time expectations early on in the game so there's no confusion about who gets skipped when.
Writing is a flexible hobby so someone that gets skipped once or twice can easily come back and someone that gets skipped too often can easily be written out of the plot. Also remember that your character's history doesn't depend entirely on thread completion. If a thread stalls before it finishes your character can still conclude their business in the thread, gain experience, and jump into another story.
These aren't the only options but the most common orders we've seen develop:
- Strict: The default. 1234. 3 cannot post until 2 does, and 2 cannot post until 1 does.
- Loose: Each person can post at any time but only once per round. So, 1234 one turn can be 2143 one turn and 3214 the next.
- Nested: Example using 12345. 1 approaches 3 and they engage in a dialogue. 2,4 and 5 have one posting order meanwhile 1 and 3 have another. This order is particularly useful in large group threads.
- No order: Self-explanatory.
Valucre Role Play Glossary
- AFV: Away From Valucre. Used when announcing long absences.
Auto (AKA powergame): Taking control of another character or inflicting damage on another character without the owner's permission.
- Depends on degree and context. Writing someone out of the thread because they're inactive is generally accepted. Dictating another character's reactions is generally frowned upon. People are fine with an innocent handshake but not if it turns into a Judo flip.
- Canon: The body of Valucre's lore. The end result of years of effort and collective, creative contribution from the board leaders and all of the site members. Read the Canonization Guide for more information.
- Flexible time: Flexible time is the concept that your character can participate in multiple threads so long as you keep track of your character's subjective timeline. Threads can't happen in different locations at the "same time", but one thread could come before another, and you only need to keep track of which is "before" and which is "after" for your character.
- Godmodding: Creating a character, item, ability, etc with no weaknesses, flaws, or limits or that easily deflates plot conflict.
- IC: In Character.
- Mary Sue: Common literary term to mean a perfect character with no weakness.
- Metagaming: Taking information you know as a player and applying it to in-character action despite a lack of grounds for your character to know that information.
- NPC: Non-Player Character - Any other character in the game world, such as a guard or a bartender. Some NPC's require special permissions to control. It is more acceptable for a player to NPC a bartender than it is to NPC a mayor.
- OOC: Out of Character.
- PC: Player Character. A character controlled by a player.
Readymade (AKA shake-n-bake): A story element (character, item, setting, etc) quickly put together for story purposes rather than taken from existing canon.
- A readymade village is not a legitimized piece of canon, hence has no map placement or sub-board, but players are free to create villages for plot purposes.
T1: Valucre's turn-based fighting system. Learn more about the constraints of abilities and the rules of T1 in the Mild Powers article.
- Collaborative: Choreographed to various degrees, from completely scripted to loosely plotted. Also known as "T1 Story".
- Competitive: Unscripted combat. Requires a third-party judge to settle differences objectively. Note that administration does not enforce character death.
Edited by supernal