|Posted by Ember on June 28, 2013 at 4:25 PM|
Hey guys! It’s Emberheart and Sunkenskull back for another Monthly Meow, the newsletter that is never an actual newsletter! Yes, Sunkenstar is helping me write these things now. Maybe they’ll be on time for once? Only time will tell. Anyway, onto more important things! A lot has happened this past month, a plague of black-cough hit Moon Clan and killed many warriors and Lightstep. There was a lot of drama centered around the many not-so-loyal toms and she-cats of the city and other mate-related problems. Another baby boom is upon us: Nightbird just gave birth to 7 kits, Pearlwater, Darkwhisper, Redwind, Frostflower, Littleberry and Starbird are expecting.
This past month we also welcome many new members and added a new page to the site, the Information page. If you think there is anything else we should add to that page, leave a comment. There were a few changes to the rules, but we can now say goodbye to the unspoken rules that no one really knew existed, but we still got annoyed when people broke.
Okay so our main topic in this Monthly Meow is (drum roll please?): Common roleplaying mistakes.
Ember and I have noticed a lot of our new members and our not-so-new members are still struggling with role playing etiquette and how to roleplay in a way that furthers the storyline without taking over. Of course, we don’t mean to be rude with any of these entries or say that we have never done any of these things, we aren't attacking you guys or trying to make it seem like we’re angry with newer members, all of us have made these mistakes before and we simply want to help you Several of the common problems we’ve noticed with inexperienced (and experienced) role players is that they:
1. Create flawless or 1 dimensional characters. Guys, it’s a lot more fun to have characters that aren’t defined by just one thing. Sooner or later (though most likely sooner) that character will become hopelessly boring to play, and until you get bored of it it’s going to annoy the people around you. This can present itself as cartoonish villains and heroes or even dreaded “Mary-Sue” characters. Another annoying thing that can happen because of this is when people make their characters focus only on finding a mate and having kits. We find this very repetitive and hard to fully roleplay with that character unless you are the mate. If you are the mate, it can become impossible to do anything because the other character is so attached to yours that everything you do must revolve around them as well. Really, it’s more interesting to have a variety of different characters that aren’t romantically dependent and otherwise worthless both to the plot in general and to other characters. I mean you can have like one or two characters that are just total flirts but please, don’t make a plethora of cats just with that one trait.
2. Make a character which only interacts with characters you yourself have made. It puts up a wall with you and the other role players and we begin to see your posts as taking up space. We are here to roleplay TOGETHER, not watch you play on your own. It’s healthy to go and play with other member’s characters once and awhile.
3. Rush their character’s subplots and the main plot. Chill out, these things take time. To have a well-developed plot takes some time, a good plot that takes time always beats out a rushed, one-dimensional plot. Same goes for subplots, they work out a lot better if you take your time.
4. Trying to completely change the plot so that your character is either the savior of the entire forest or the main and/or only villain. First off, this is just inconsiderate to your fellow role players, you aren’t giving them a chance to contribute to the story that centers around yourself. Second, it causes the current plot to become very difficult for everyone else to stay with. We like to have one central plot so everyone has something to post about. Don’t get me wrong, I’m perfectly fine with having several side plots going on at once, that’s what makes the site interesting. As for the main plot, if you have ideas on how to significantly progress it you should send them to Emberheart before putting them into action. She will never give you a flat out “No.” and is rather open minded about the plot. Here are things she looks for in possible plot points:
• All members can contribute.
• The plot does not rest on the shoulders of only a few members or characters.
• It makes sense with what is currently going on. (No forest fires in winter, characters rising from the dead.)
So, if you have an idea for how another battle could take place between Night Clan and the forest clans, or how the allegiance between the forest clans could be broken, she’ll be a lot more willing to put the plan into action than if you want to completely change the current plot.
5. Powerplaying and godmodding, this is one of the most annoying mistakes and also one of the most common. No, your character can’t kill a bear, talk to Star Clan at will, have any sort of magical powers, catch an insane amount of prey, etc.
6. Take the duties of the medicine cat/deputy. We haven’t had this issue very frequently but there are moments when some of you like to take chances. Let’s make it clear for those of you who are curious, warriors do not have the knowledge or training of Medicine Cats, nor authority over other warriors. Now if you ask nicely for the position after being active for a while, not breaking any major rules or minor rules often, or Ember and I see you would make a nice fit for leader. Sure, we’ll talk.
7. Mistaking their characters for themselves. Just because a character is angry with your character, does not mean the role player behind that character feels the same way. If a character criticize something about your character it is not an attack on you.
8. Likewise, complaining when something happens to your character that you do not approve of. For instance, being banished for something they did, having a mate abandon them, etc. The bottom line is this: you are not your character. If someone else’s character does something to your character that you don’t like, they aren't doing it to you. They are simply playing a fictional character interacting how that character would in a situation with another fictional character.
9. Having characters know things that they have no way of knowing. For instance, knowing of the death of a cat in a different clan despite never hearing the news. Just because you, the role player, know something, doesn’t mean your character does. This is often a result of…
10. Trying to be involved in everything. Your character can’t magically know when something is going on, on the other side of the forest, they can’t automatically know that when a character is going hunting when they are actually going to see someone. This is another that is fine every one and a while, but only then. We do want you to be involved in the plot, but part of that is not being involved in every single little part of it. You should let characters figure things out for themselves, not always warn them about something. It makes it all very flat and the plot hard to develop as everything bad is always discovered immediately before it can actually affect anything.
11. Playing characters that don't belong to them. This usually happens for our members who I’m guessing have written some stories of their own? It’s natural to make cats around you pay attention to your character or make them react immediately in your own post instead of waiting for someone else to respond. But that’s how role playing is. It’s like we’re all writing one big story together and we want to control what our own characters do in that mighty tale.
12. Double posting. We have a rule on this and it’s supposed to be a very strict one at that. We don’t enforce this rule just because we want to watch you do our bidding, but it’s so the forums don’t get cluttered. So if you don’t mind, please put any “unnecessary posts”-this means posts that don’t include any actual roleplaying in them-in parenthesis “()” at the top/bottom of your post. Ex:
(Hey did you just see the duck on the roof?)
Joe likes soap very much and English muffins.
13. Create a ton of characters they never use. Need I say more? Start with 2 or 3 and slowly build up your characters.