Guidelines and Rules for Role Playing
Copied from a post by PLEASE READ! Moderator at the old forums. I have removed the name generator link for the Barrow Downs as it no longer is working.
Guidelines for Role Playing in the Prancing Pony
First of all, welcome to TORC. If you are reading this then you have shown an interest in Role Playing. This guide is meant to help you begin to Role Play, to tell you the rules and give you a few tips to make your Role Playing the best it can be.
1. What is Role Playing or RP?
Role Playing is a common thing at TORC; it even has its own forums. Basically, role playing (or RPing) is a fun way to tell a story! You get to take on a persona different from your own, and create a history and a personality for your character, and then take him/her on an adventure, or to a party, or all sorts of other kinds of things. But the thing is you very rarely know where the story will lead you or what will happen along the way. RPing is interacting with other posters, who are also part of the story. And most of all, Role Playing is fun!!
2. Does “The Prancing Pony” have any actual rules?
Yes it does.
**Absolutely NO one liners are allowed. We are trying to keep the Role Playing up to certain standards, no matter what the storyline. One liners do not advance the story, enhance anyone’s character and do not give anything back to the other players so that they can go forward. To help avoid One Liners, check out How to Avoid the Dreaded One-Liner help thread.
**RP Topics in this Forum are to be Tolkien based. This forum is for role-playing within the world of Tolkien and Middle-earth. ALL RP’s should be thought out before posting. ‘Spam’ type RPs will be removed.
**Please do not use an RP thread, RP Word Aside or OOC thread to solicit players for other RP’s, OR to advertise your RP. This includes placing “RPers wanted, Please Join, Hey *Person’s Name*, More People Needed, etc. in the title. These soliciting type things are disruptive and tend to lengthen the Thread title to abnormal lengths. These types of things will be removed. Placing “Accepting New Posters” in the OOC Thread title is admissible.
**DO NOT “bump” a Regular RP story thread, instead, make a normal post. “Bump”ing adds nothing to the story and can become quite annoying. If someone wants to reply to the thread, they will find it themselves. If you need to know where your thread is at and when it is posted to, please subscribe to the thread. (This ability is at the very bottom of the page.) This function will alert you to each post made to your thread. Having the thread at the “top” of the Forum should not be important.
**Do not set up a “Poll” in an RP thread. Polls are not relevant in this forum. Please use the Talk forum.
We appreciate your dedication to both The One Ring.com and the Prancing Pony forum. Please help us by following these rules.
3. How do I create a character?
The most important thing of all – Be Original! If someone is already using the persona of a character from Tolkien or a name that you want is taken, I suggest just creating your own … it is a much better experience. So how do you create a character? Start off by deciding what race your character is. Is he/she an Elf, Dwarf, Man, Woman, Ent, Orc, Wizard, or Sorceress? Once you have chosen that, you need a name! You want it to have the feel of a real Middle Earth name. Bob the Elf doesn’t sound too good, does it? So, if you can’t think of a Middle-Earth type name, take an existing one and edit it. Or go to the provided link below to generate a name.
Example: Finarfin – Drop the “arfin” – Add a different ending – Finlundin – Your character has a name!
Please consider limiting your name sizes down some. We have several users already that have huge names that stretch out the screens. And please limit use of extra characters like *, ~, # etc.
4. What is an OOC?
OOC stands for “Out of Character” – It is basically the place where discussions about where the thread is heading, decisions about what to do, and other non-story discussions take place. So if you have something you want to say or suggest, post it in the OOC Thread. OOC threads are commonly called “A word Aside” as well. Remember this is where story planning takes place. Some chat is acceptable but making it a chat thread is not.
5. How do I join a RP?
So you have your character ready to go? Time to join a Role Play! The Role Playing is located in The Prancing Pony Forum and in The Green Dragon Inn: Role Playing – Tolkien Influenced Fantasy. These Forums are dedicated to Role Playing and the Aside/OOC planning threads exclusively. Please find one that looks interesting to you, and that you think you would have fun in. To do this, you may have to do a little bit of reading – open a thread and start at the first post. Once you find one you may want to join, don’t just jump in!! First, check out that RP’s aside/OOC thread. There might be restrictions on the RP, or special circumstances that are very important for you to know before posting. Getting the RP’s starter’s approval to join first is the polite thing to do and it is extremely appreciated. Also, be sure to read the entire thread before making your post.
6. I’m in a RP! What now?
Now it’s up to you and your imagination, but there are some general guidelines you should follow:
*Treat others with respect. These are RP Stories, not Games. There is no winner; it’s about cooperation and collaborative writing – not winning a competition. You are trying to get along with the other posters to create a story together, not beat them out.
*Please try to use proper punctuation and capitalization. Use a Word Document to type up your post and then run the spell check program. This will give the RP a professional feel.
*Pay attention to what other posters are saying and doing.
*NEVER kill another writer’s character unless you have permission to do so.
*Keep up with the thread. It makes for a much more enjoyable time if everyone’s posts keep with the current storyline(s).
*Try to keep your posts sensible, legible, organized, and clean. This is a family friendly site. There are children below 12 years of age posting. Please abide by the TOS (Terms of Service) at all times.
*If you are going to leave the thread, write yourself out. Don’t make the other members carry your character. Use your best judgement when taking a break from your RP’s. We all take a few days away at times but if you’re gone for more than a couple of weeks, then you should, for the sake of politeness, consider writing your character out of the thread. You can always write yourself back in again later on.
*Do not do anything that affects another writers’ character without their permission. This is just common courtesy.
*Try to avoid wacky posts. Nothing is worse than all of a sudden being thrown into battle with Morgoth and Balrogs in the 3rd Age. (It has happened before.)
*Writing dialogue or describing actions for another character is permissible, however, keep in mind that the other character’s writer might not like this. It’s a good idea to ask permission before touching on other writers’ characters. Some people take it very seriously, while others won’t mind at all. Just use your judgement.
*Sometimes, due to a variety of reasons, it is necessary to move another character along if their writer has not posted in a while. (This is called ‘carrying a character’.) Hey, Real Life happens to us all! Just don’t be too drastic in actions or dialogue.
*Creating dialogue is fine, but moving other writers’ characters into a new situation can be a bit touchy, it’s probably a good idea to consult them. Please try to contact the person first through either the OOC/Aside thread or by e-mailing them.
*Do not post large OOC comments in the story thread. This will clutter up the story. Aside/OOC threads are there for a reason.
*Most of all have fun!!!
7. “What is an Inn?”
Inns are a type of Role Play where a group of characters are interacting in a specific and singular location, namely a Bar, Inn or Tavern. It is a totally “open” RP thread, no request to join is necessary and Inn threads traditionally do not require OOC threads.
Please note that these guidelines are being brought in for a trial period. We are trying to find a way to facilitate the open concept of Role Play that Inns represent, while still ensuring that this forum is not overrun by Inn-centered threads. We are hoping that the revised guidelines will help to keep a reasonable number of Inns open and running, while keeping too many multiple Inn threads from being started and abandoned and thus cluttering up the Prancing Pony Forum.
* To prevent an overabundance of Inns in this forum, only 3 Inns may be “active” at one time.
* All Inns are subject to the same guidelines that govern Role Play quality in this Forum.
* Any existing Inn that reaches 500 posts (or a few either way in order to nicely finish up a current scenario) will be locked and not automatically restarted. A request must be made to create a new thread to continue the Inn.
*“New” Inn threads must be requested first. A sticky thread is be provided at the top of this forum for this purpose – The Innkeepers Office.
* New Inns may be started whenever the number of “active” Inns falls below 3 (i.e: an Inn reaches 500 posts, or is locked due to inactivity).
* Any Inn that becomes inactive for 3 months will be locked.
* “Inactive” Inns that have been locked can be unlocked by request. However, they will only be unlocked if fewer than three other Inns are currently active.
9. I have a Problem with something that’s going on. What do I do?
Feel free to contact a moderator! If something is happening that you don’t like, you think should be changed, or you think is inappropriate, contacting a moderator VIA E-MAIL is the best course of action. Thread creators retain the right to decide what happens in their thread and can politely request changes if necessary however, they are not Moderators. You can contact any of the Moderators if you have an issue or problem or if you simply have questions on how to go about something here in the Prancing Pony:
moderators at theonering dot com
Please remember that the Moderators are here to help you in any way they can. So relax and enjoy yourself, we’ve all been ‘new’ to the boards and Role Play at one time or another!
ONE STOP LINK LIST of other valuable information and instruction threads:Jan 22, 2021 at 10:28 am
May I ask what the time frame for adding The Innkeepers Office thread will be, as currently there is no way to request the opening of a brand spakin new shiny inn.
Thank you,Jan 24, 2021 at 1:29 pm
My 2¢ would be there is an open license for an inn or three. I tried my hand once at an Inn.Jan 24, 2021 at 4:39 pm
For some reason I dont think there will be an overwheilming flood of Inn applicants?
The guidelines for Inns are listed in the above post. I did not copy and paste The Innkeepers Office because there was no way that I could grant the request to open an Inn as I am NOT a mod and therefore do not have that right or authority.
My guess is that an innkeeper would have the responsibility to oversee their Inn to make sure the people who frequent their Inn abide by the main guidelines of the Pony.
Truth be told, I’m not sure who the mods are anymore, perhaps you could ask Jonathan (as I did when the guidelines were transferred over) concerning the Innkeepers Office and the procedure for requiring a ‘permit’ and if they are still required.
In the beginning of the old board there were no guidelines or permits for Inns and it wasn’t until there was a sudden influx of new posters when the Movies came out there was a problem.
Therefore I would have to agree with Arrassuil on the idea of an ‘open license’ perhaps for now. I don’t foresee at this time that there will be an overwhelming number of Inns created, and if it does become a problem it will become the responsibility of the moderators or Jonathan to put the Innkeepers Office with the guidelines back into effect.Jan 24, 2021 at 5:55 pm
Ah, here I was being all assumptive of you being a MOD now.
I might just start the inn under the guise of asking forgiveness rather than permission, then 😉
If anyone with any authority notices this, though, I will point out this forum does *not* come up in the forums drop-down menu. That should be corrected.Jan 25, 2021 at 7:33 am
Well said Hunter… I just mentioned three as it was the limit, so I assumed the first three could be opened on a first-come, first served basis?Jan 25, 2021 at 3:55 pm
Further suggestions regarding Creating A Character and Introducing Characters :
If you have a hankering to create a character that would be, in Tolkien’s world, an Antagonist – eg. an orc, goblin, troll, Nazgul (and to an extent Easterlings, Southrons and Corsairs) and you want to introduce that character into an RP, it is very, very important to do some preliminary work:
First on the character itself – think carefully about the character and can you justify that character’s presence in the story.
Second on how you plan to introduce or inject that character into the story – perhaps you need to collaborate with the other writers to assist the character’s inclusion.
Third, describing your character and your ideas fully to the other writers and see if your character will fit.
Why? Because antagonistic characters are antagonists! They create tension, conflict and are regarded as dangerous, the enemy, etc.
If you have a happy Inn, with comfortable characters inter-relating and all of a sudden a troll walks in, what do you think will happen? If you’re being true to Tolkien’s world, there would be lots of blood, screaming, people jumping out of windows to escape and the troll would be smashing things up. Because that is what trolls do. You also need to explain how and why the troll got there, etc., etc because trolls don’t just wander around and into inns.
This sort of scene or action may, or may not, be welcome in the thread you want to join. Ask first and dialogue with the other writers/players.
And I encourage RP writers to be fearless and honest with such requests: state your preferences. If no, say so and say why.
If you are on the receiving end of a ‘no, thank you’ be respectful of that and go back to the drawing board, think of a different character, maybe or start your own RP.
If you are not staying true to Tolkien’s world and the troll character you want to write is a reformed troll that wouldn’t hurt a fly (like Benny the Cave Troll of ages past), you need to describe this to the other writers. However, you also need to ask yourself: Is the RP I want to drop my reformed cave troll into not staying true to Tolkien’s world?
If so, and the RP is not ‘true-to-world’ (it is a whimsical take on the Tolkien universe, let’s say), then a pacifist troll walking into an Inn would be a fun twist.
If the RP IS staying true to Tolkien’s world, however, your reformed troll may not fit and forcing the character in could be seen as disrespectful to the thread, to the other writers and to their efforts. You may find no one engages with you or your character, which is awkward and uncomfortable for everyone.
Writing antagonist characters can be fun, but they have a place and role to play in a story. It takes more responsibility to write an antagonist because of the weight of an antagonist’s actions. They are there to disrupt and provide the obstacles for a protagonist to overcome and for an RP writer, that means you’ll be discussing, negotiating and plotting your antagonistic character’s actions all. the. time. Ideally. 🙂
I encourage you to explore antagonist characters, just do so with care and consideration for the RPs and the RP writers you are looking to join, and join with.Nov 5, 2021 at 2:46 am
True. I have created and written a fair few antagonist (aka ‘enemy’) characters over the years, though most of their stories have been postwar 4th age so they functioned during the ‘peace’ of Aragorn and Eldarion. The art of group roleplaying is to have characters fit into the storylines. Some don’t get that.Nov 11, 2021 at 6:39 pm
Very well stated Bardhwyn. It is very hard to write antagonist charaters, I’ve tried it and the problem I had was how far to you dare go and what lines not to cross. I was never sure how well my characters turned out and if they helped ot hurt the story.
And Arassuil, “The art of group roleplaying is to have characters fit into the storylines. Some don’t get that.” very well said. 👏Dec 2, 2021 at 8:07 pm
Thanks, Hunter and good to see you and Arassuil here on the boards!Dec 4, 2021 at 6:33 am