Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Forum Games

For a slight change of pace, and also because I've almost missed my update again and I don't have time to make this a normal critique, I want to talk to you about forum roleplaying. The kind where there's no dice, just a bunch of people writing characters together on forums. I have a great love for this type of roleplaying, I've honestly been doing it for half my life and I love seeing a story come together.

Reading the blogs made me start thinking about it, as the blogs are a very similar type of thing in that you make a character and interact with others IC. It's just a bit bigger, with the blogging and the email and the commenting and sometimes even IMs and such.

But I'm not talking about the blogs here, that's not what I'm here to do at all, no matter how fun they are. I'm here to talk about Forum Roleplaying. Just a few things a tabletop roleplayer needs to know if they want to try it out.

First, fights. As a tabletop gamer, mostly combat is something you expect on a regular basis-though how often that is depends on a lot of things. Many a tabletop gamer has crossed to forum land and been thrown by the lack of combat. Forum RPing, unless otherwise stated, tends to avoid combat because it's messy to deal with via writing and honestly the majority of forum RPs are in settings where fighting would be rare anyway.
If you DO get into a fight, be courteous. Do not assume your strikes hit, and do not dodge everything they throw your way. Just because there's no dice being rolled does not make you an unstoppable god at combat. Unless you have a really good reason for completely trouncing someone, you probably won't, so take that into consideration.

Secondly, sex. Depending on the forum, there's a chance you can sleep with other characters. If this is a mature forum, you might even be able to play out an explicit sex scene. Don't be a dick who just goes around looking for sex. Seriously. Just like in the real world, if you just walk around wanting to bang, no one will want  to have anything to do with you.

Thirdly, interactions. I don't know your tabletop style, but what I do know is that there are a surprisingly large number of tabletop players that get by on glaring about and looking mysterious, occasionally offering threats or suggestions. DO NOT DO THIS ON A FORUM. You need a solid, three dimensional character. One that will interact with other players, and do so in a way that adds something to the story.

Fourth, and this would be first if I didn't have the vain hope that you would all already know this one, grammar. If you cannot write using the basics of good spelling and grammar, get the heck off of the internet and go back to third grade. Seriously, guys. My little cousin writes better than some of these idiots. And she's twelve.  If you need to, run it through a spell checker before you post. It's easy and makes a huge difference.

As a side note, and this is just me ranting, not part of the critique, but I'm getting kind of irritated with how jumpy I've gotten reading this Slenderman stuff. I'm going to start laying off, I think, see if it helps. I don't like losing sleep over this.

Back on Friday, with another, hopefully more normal update.

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