The below has been replaced by thew new member guide
What is Roleplay? How do I roleplay?
Paraphrased from the Roleplay FAQ:
Can you explain Valucre in three sentences?
Valucre is both the name of the forum and the name of the planet that hosts most of the roleplay. The different continents and areas are represented by named boards. You basically pick an area you want to play in, like a city or a forest, create a thread in that area, and you have a roleplay thread that you can invite people to or advertise in the Water Cooler.
What if I'm a total newbie?
You'll probably want to visit the Tavern of Legend. The ToL is watched over by staff and appointed ToL Mentors, and is a great place for new members to write and roleplay meanwhile they get accustomed to the site. There are usually a lot of pages in the tavern of legend thread but since it is a static setting you don't have to read all of those pages, just the last few posts to see what's going on and then you can hop right on. Since the Tavern of Legend is limited to members that have been on the site for 3 months or less, it's also a great place to fraternize with other members new to the site.
Roleplay Based Approach (Action)
If you want to get directly into the roleplay and read up on the lore as you go, then visit the water cooler. The Valucre Twitter also has curated interest checks and events. A number of members have had some success in making characters new to the world, so they can learn about Valucre as they roleplay.
The Water Cooler is where members post advertisements for their Valucre roleplays. Quests, artifact hunts, plot-lines created by members, by board leaders, 1x1, group roleplays. You name it, that's the best place to either find it or to let people know you're looking for something.
If you're itching to write right now, aside from the tavern of legend, any of the threads listed in the Open Roleplays is a thread looking for people to join. Open Roleplays is an aggregate list of all the threads that are tagged as Open. Tagging a thread as Open is a conscious decision on behalf of the thread creator to announce they want more people. If you see something you like, jump in.
Lore Based Approach (Research)
Keep this in mind: the lore is here to enhance your play and immersion, not to create obstacles between you and the page. If you're feeling overwhelmed by the amount of lore, start by writing in the Tavern of Legend, and read the lore at your own pace.
Valucre is the name of the in-character planet. On the Valucre planet there exists major continents: Terrenus, Genesaris, and Tellus Mater, each of these hosting a number of nations and territories within their borders. You can learn more about Valucre the planet and its nations in Valucre - An Overview. Most people pick a location they find interesting and roleplay in a specific section/continent of the site until they get more familiar with the world. Then they branch out. In the Overview article you'll find links to the articles for the various nations, to the Mild Powers article, and the Ask Me Anything threads so that you can ask questions directly to board leaders.
Do I have to read all of the lore to be able to play?
Nope! Valucre is a planet. If you want to roleplay in a forest or a mountain, you'll want to know a little about that setting so you can describe it accurately, but you don't need to know about the history, culture, language, and so on, of every country or nation that makes up the planet.
Very often members make characters new to the world of Valucre and set them to explore through roleplay so that they can learn about the world as players at the same time their characters do.
What if I want to play something outside of the Valucre canon?
We have something for that too. The Alternative section. In Alternative, you have nearly unrestricted freedom. You'll still need to follow the Code of Conduct, but you'll be able to create any fictional world or internal rules that you want, or play in areas that don't exist on Valucre.
What if I have more questions?
The Valucre FAQ was written for those members who are new to the site but not new to roleplay and answers Valucre specific questions. If you have any questions you can contact administration via the Contact Us Form. If you have questions about the different locations you can contact board leaders directly or post in the relevant AMA