Roleplaying Tutorials and Resources

Discussion in 'Role-Playing Arena' started by Aelin, Apr 17, 2017.

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  1. Aelin Best Waifu

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    Here you will find all the resources and and tutorials needed to participate and thrive in the Role Play Arena. If there is any tutorials that are not included and someone wants, or wants to make, you can contact one of the RPA moderators and we will do our best to assist.
    Table of Contents
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2017
  2. Aelin Best Waifu

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    Introduction

    To explain the basics of roleplaying, the first question is, what is roleplaying? The definition of roleplaying is to take a role upon yourself, to take the likeness and attributes of a person and make them your own. In context of the roleplay arena, it is to take or create a character and bring them to life in a text based environment. Simply, roleplaying is to create a story alongside others by creating or taking on the likeness of a character and writing out how they would respond in the situations provided through the story, and even have chances to influence the story in your own ways. It is a community activity where you can express creativity and be part of the process of creating a story with characters that you control and create.

    How to join a roleplay

    When wanting to join a roleplay, the first place to look would be in the OOC lounge, ooc standing for, out of character. The ooc lounge is where people post both interest checks and the ooc threads for roleplays. Interest checks do not contain every detail of the roleplay. They are meant to see if there is enough interest in a roleplay concept to warrant making a full roleplay. The OOC threads are where you will find full roleplay plots along with the signup sheets. When signing up for a roleplay, make sure that you read the entirety of opening post to make sure that you understand the concept of the roleplay as well as the rules attached. If there are any questions to do with the roleplay, or the rules, do not be afraid to ask the person who created the threads. Questions can often be posted in the ooc thread itself, or privately messaged to the creator.

    Once you have read through the opening post entirely and understand it, you will have likely noticed a section of it labelled character sheet. A character sheet is what you use to sign up to the roleplay. It will often ask for your character’s name, their age, their backstory, and other things along those lines. Filling this out lets the people who you are roleplaying alongside know a little more about your character, and can be used to help plan interactions or relationships your characters may have with each other.

    When you have filled out the character sheet, you can post it in the thread. As soon as the creator of the roleplay approves it, and the main thread is open, you are free to start posting as your character in the main story.

    My character has been accepted, now what?

    Once your character is accepted you may start posting in the main thread with the creator’s approval. The main thread can be found in either one of two places. If it is a roleplay that is based of existing media, such as a tv show, a book, or a videogame, it can be found in the main Roleplay Arena forum. If it is a roleplay of the creator’s own creation then you can find it located in the Original RP sub forum. If the roleplay that you joined has already been going for a while, it is advisable that you read back a little bit on what has been happening in the recent posts, as well as ask the creator for a rundown of everything that has happened. From there you just need to find a place that you can fit in, and write yourself into the story. If the roleplay is just starting, the creator will generally give you an idea of where you can start and it would simply be a matter of writing your character in.

    Do I have to make my own character, or can I use one that already exists?

    Depending on the kind of roleplay it is, some roleplays allow you to bring in characters that already exist in a form of media, while others prefer that you use characters you create. Often times you will find cross over rps that you can bring in characters from your favourite form of media to play out, alongside other pre-existing characters. Roleplays that are an original concept will often prefer you make your own character. Both are perfectly valid styles of roleplaying. When choosing a roleplay to join however, your preference of original character, verses existing character, should be taken into consideration.

    How much do I have to write for a post?

    The length of post is dependent on the roleplay that you join. Sometimes roleplays will request your posts be of certain length in the ooc thread. It would usually be found in the rules section of that thread, and might use words such as Semi-Literate, or Literate (for definitions see below.) If nothing is stated, generally one paragraph would be enough. You are welcome to write more if you so please and often times will see others write more. The amount you write can also be dependent on the situation. If you are unsure, you could either ask, or just follow the example of those who posted before you.


    Terms to Know

    OOC: Out of Character
    IC: In Character
    RP: Roleplay
    RPA: Roleplay Arena
    OC: Original Character
    CS: Character Sheets
    OP: Original/Opening Post
    RNG: Random Number Generator
    Metagaming: Having your character know knowledge that they shouldn’t
    Powerplaying: Taking control of someone else’s character without their permission
    Godmodding: Godmodding is making your character more powerful than it should be
    Plotmodding: Changing the situation to fit your character or stop something from happening
    Casual: Usually it refers to a writing style were there aren’t strict rules on post lengths
    Semi-literate: Refers to an expectation that people write a certain amount, usually around one to two full paragraphs
    Literate: Refers to an expectation that you post at least three well written paragraphs, if not more.
    Advanced: Advanced is a roleplay style that expects you go above and beyond normal posting expectations. Posts can be five plus paragraphs long and often have greater effort into the styling of the posts as well.



    Helpful resources

    Roleplay Arena Rules
    RPA News and Updates
    Roleplay Directory
    Unofficial RPA Discord Channel
    Graphics Shops

    Any further questions on joining roleplays, or if you just need help integrating yourself into the community feel free to contact any of the rpa staff including cstar, and Aelin Fireheart
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2017
  3. Aelin Best Waifu

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    I thought that I would make another guide for everyone who would like help when it comes to participating in the RolePlay Arena. While last time I made a guide on post layouts, how to make them and such, this time I thought I would focus on how to make your own roleplay. The following is a generalized guide of do’s and don’ts when making your own RP. It gives ideas on where to start and things to think about when making it.

    Table of Contents

    Kinds of Roleplays

    There are several kinds of roleplays and khv has sections and prefixes to go with these. The sections and prefixes here are pretty generalized, depending on what site you go to, they could have more or less in the way of categories, so I will just be going over what we have on KHV as a reference for what to use when.

    The Roleplay Arena (No sub forum) (Link)
    This is the area where you would post in character threads for roleplays that are based off of a universe of some sort. While the idea might be your own, if it takes place in a universe that you have seen in some sort of media, then it would be considered a non-original roleplay and thus be placed in the Roleplay Arena. From here you have several prefixes that you can use to categorize your rp, and you are able to use more than one if needed

    Kingdom Hearts- Since this is a kingdom hearts based forum, it gets its own prefix. Any rp that is intended to be in the kingdom hearts universe/directly involve characters and events from the Kingdom Hearts franchise use this prefix.

    Video Games- Video Games has a similar idea to Kingdom Hearts, but is expanded to include any form of video games outside of the kingdom hearts series.

    Anime/Manga- It is pretty self-explanatory but if it is based off something that is considered anime or manga, you can use this prefix.

    Movie/Media- This covers most other forms of media that we didn’t cover. If you based your roleplay off a film, television series, comic books, novels, anything in this sort of realm that is considered media, then it belongs to this category

    Crossover- Crossover roleplay’s tend to fit into more than one category because they take aspects of two things and put them together, hence getting its own category. An example of a crossover would be taking Kingdom Hearts characters and putting them inside of the universe of your favourite anime. Other ways it might cross over is if your original characters visit various universes that are normally not connected. Anything along those lines that take two or more universes from various forms of media and inspiration and put them into a singular roleplay tend to belong under the crossover prefix.

    General-
    The general prefix is one that exists if you don’t have a place to categorize it, but it doesn’t belong in the original section.

    Advanced- Advanced roleplays are ones that go above and beyond the average roleplay. They tend to expect more effort and creativity to run. Over all posts are usually longer, they are more detailed. The concept is usually more in-depth and controlled than your average roleplay. Before you post an advanced roleplay, make sure you read the criteria for an advanced roleplay in the rules section.

    1x1- If you want to roleplay with just one other person, you can create an idea or concept with your friend, or find a partner and create a thread for the two of you to post back and forth in. If you post it in this section the 1x1 would take place in an existing universe that would generally fall under one of the other prefixes as well. Again there are specific rules for this that you will find in the rules section that you should read before you post.

    Original RP (Link)
    The original sub forum is created for those people who have created a roleplay all of their own, that is not based off of anything. These are ideas, concepts, and universes that you have created or exceed slice of life type roleplays. While you can use the modern day universe as a backdrop for your original roleplay, the idea for the story must be original and creative with a proper story to be considered original.

    Advanced- Again like mentioned before Advanced Roleplays go above and beyond the normal roleplay when it comes to idea’s and post expectancy. For what exactly this entails, again please read the criteria in the rules thread

    1x1- If you want to roleplay with just one other person, you can create an idea or concept with your friend, or find a partner and create a thread for the two of you to post back and forth in. If you have posted it under the original section then it must be an original concept that you and/or your partner came up with, separate from media. Again there are specific rules for this that you will find in the rules section that you should read before you post.

    The idea

    When coming up with a concept make sure you have a good idea what you want to do with it. It is okay to have a general idea for the roleplay, however find a way to make it original. For example if you want to make a kingdom hearts based roleplay, instead of just thinking strictly the plot of kingdom hearts, at some sort of twist. A new enemy, a strange scenario, something people haven’t seen before. That will be what grabs other people’s attention. When coming up with ideas, before making them into a full roleplay, also think about plot. Free roam roleplays can be fun for a bit, but without at least some direction to them people will get bored and it will likely end up falling apart.

    It is understandable that sometime you don’t want to put all your time into a full plot if you don’t know if you will get enough people to join it. That is why there is the interest check tag. Under the OOC Lounge you can create a thread. In the thread creation there will be on option for a prefix, and you can assign it the interest prefix. From there you would give an idea what you are thinking, usually just a paragraph or so summing up the concept for the plot, what it is based on, if anything, and if you want help expanding on the idea, it is also a good place to ask for input. Interest check threads can have as little or as much information as you have to give people, but it is not a sign up thread. You will not need to include things such as rules or sign up forms. If you plan on putting a word limit or a time limit for posting on your RP, such as, 4 days in real life equates to 1 day in the RP, which is also good to mention in the interest check thread.

    Overall the plot doesn’t have to be complicated if you don’t want it to be, however without story to move things forward it will stop progressing and eventually die. The exact amount of plot you have can vary based on your RP. Some will be very plot heavy where you will be running most things, some will be more player based. However you chose to go, you should make sure you have a good idea of the direction you want it to go before you create the OOC forum. While making it up as you go can work. You at least need to have an interesting base concept to offer people in order to get them interested in signing up. Make your different from the others on the forum somehow. If you want to base it off something, then go right ahead, a lot of people like having rps based off of something, a universe that they already know and understand, but take that universe and make it your own. Roleplaying is about being creative and writing stories with the help of others, so take the artistic freedom to transform something everyone knows into something that they can get involved in and have fun with.

    The OOC

    The OOC thread is generally the first thread that you create. It is used for any out of character talking, meaning you would use it for sign ups and notices about your roleplay, ect. The OOC thread is also the first thing people will look at when signing up for your RP. It should contain all the need to know information and be presented in a nice organized fashion that is easy for people to read. An OOC thread is generally divided into several parts, or points of information. While the order of these may vary, they are all important and should all start with your plot. From there you would usually include any rules you may have about your roleplay, what some of the lore, or need to know information is, and a signup sheet. With each section I will provide examples of what I have done personally in an OOC for all of these. While my rps and examples may not be the best out there, they will give a general idea of what I am talking about in each section.

    The Story

    The first thing that you want to put in your OOC thread is your story. You want to make it interesting and to catch people’s attention. You don’t have to reveal everything that you had planned, instead think of it more like a synopsis that you see at the back of the book. It doesn’t reveal everything planned, but it gives enough information about the plot to make you want to read it. Keeping this part of the OOC to two or three paragraphs is generally a good idea. It is just something short to catch people’s attention; you need to save some stuff for the roleplay after all. If it is too short, it is likely that it won’t be enough information to catch people’s attention. If it is too long however people might not take the time to read the entire thing. They could miss details that you deem important, or find it just intimidating to see that there is that much information just for the set up. Depending on the kind of roleplay it is however that is okay. Sometimes roleplays can be classified as advanced. Generally, but not always these are original roleplays with a lot of plot and a lot of information on the world and how things work. If this is your intent for your roleplay and you are reaching for the crowd that is interested in the advanced settings, five or six paragraphs of story to start it off can be better received, so keep in mind the crowd you are reaching out to with your roleplay.

    Along you might have idea’s for how you want it to run that don’t fit in with the synopsis of the plot and wouldn’t be considered rules. If this is the case, you can add a guidelines section. Guidelines can be a good idea but are not required for any an ooc thread. Here is where you could put things such as how jobs work in your culture, or where characters would fit into the plot. You can discuss the technology that they would have or various things like that which might be questioned when someone is attempting to make a character. The easiest way to do the guideline section would be to do it in bullet point form. Just sum up the important information in a way that is easy for people to read and understand, as well as reference quickly while posting or making their characters.

    Here is an example of a synopsis I have made for one of my own roleplays. I will not claim that it is the best one out there, but it shows a basic example of what it could look like and the type of information I personally choose to include.
    The year is 3526. The earth has become uninhabitable, the humans were forced to flee. Scientists kept saying that they were going to be able to fix the world. They claimed that they had a solution around the corner, and just one more year. They kept claiming that until it was too late. They didn't have one more year anymore. While scientists were worried about pollution and the ozone, no one paid attention as the earth slowly moved off it's orbit. It was too late to change the fate of the race, the humans were on their way to extinction and quick.

    Most humans died during this time, most never made it off of earth before it became uninhabitable and eventually destroyed. The few that made it off of earth sought refuge on other planets with other races, yet were denied at every turn. The human race had so severely damaged the earth that no other race in the universe were willing to take in the toxic race.

    567 years, that was how long the remaining humans were forced to travel the cosmos, pleading the care to rulers of various planets and area's only to be turned away each time. Slowly the human race depleted close to extinction. Now only just over a hundred remained, one lonely ship full of bitter, desperate humans. Humans that were willing to do anything to get a home for their race. Whether by diplomatic means, or through the extinction of another race, they were going to get a new home. One last trip on one last ship, The Resilient.

    Rules

    The rules are an essential part of creating a roleplay. It doesn’t only give other people a basis of what to follow and do, but it also helps cover yourself when it comes to running the roleplay. Setting things out in the rules means that no one can claim that you didn’t tell them to do something. For example you can set out a timeline of when you want people to post, say a minimum of once a week. If you post that in the rules then if you go to ask someone to post, you aren’t at fault for giving them a hard time, it is in the rules. While a lot of the rules would seem like common sense, by writing them up, no one can use the excuse that they didn’t know. Some standard rules that are:
    • Time line for postings, basically how long they have to post
    • If you want a certain post length you can add that
    • The amount of characters that people are allowed to have
    • If there is magic, powers, fighting, or anything like that, what regulations you might have on it.
    • Basics such as no godmodding
    • Direct them the khv general rules
    • If you plan to have things above the pg level specify that and above pg 13 should be in spoilers.
    • Have rules about contribution, how much people are allowed to contribute to what.
    • And always at the end add the rule that you are allowed to add or change rules as it goes, because based on how people act, you may need to.
    In the end the rules are what you make them. From my experience most people are pretty good at following the rules and using common sense to know what they are and aren’t allowed to do. That being said having the rules there doesn’t hurt anyone either and can help avoid unnecessary problems.

    Here is an example of rules that one of the Moderators (cstar) has used for her roleplays to give you an idea of what you can do with the rules
    »Please abide by KHV and RPA rules. Swearing is allowed to be slipped here, and any sexual and violent themes that pass PG-13 rules should be put in spoilers. If things get too hardcore, it doesn't belong, and I won't allow it.
    » The idea of this RP is to explore a new world. Please feel free to contribute to it with something your family may have.
    » Please read the magic tab of lore at the very least to understand what a magic type is. Please. I have placed out specific rules for each type of magic. If you can't figure it out, message me. Skype, Discord, KHV, whatever you feel like. But if I see anyone just randomly say "water type" magic on their OC form, I'll know you didn't read it.
    » You can have up to two characters. The journey will be separating you from most NPCs you would be able to control.
    » This RP will be semi-literate in responses, but there will be optional lore reads. You do not need to know the lore to understand the plot. But if anyone wants to indulge in my world building and contribute, it's optional.
    » There is a posting deadline. This journey is supposed to have a feeling of urgency. The RP journey will be taking place over the course of a month. As such, each roleplay day will be equal to 9 days real time. It technically is seven days, but two days will be allotted for plot wrap ups. This means your commitment to the roleplay will be roughly 270 days, with possibilities of extensions bringing it up higher. Less than a year, if you will. Days can also end early if everyone agrees to end early. Days will start at 6pm EST/EDT, and end at 6pm. This can be subject to change.
    » Godmodding is a no. Powerplaying is a serious no no. And metagaming will get me super sour and I might actually make you delete your post and write a new one entirely if you do it.
    » Respect each other, yo.
    » I reserve the right to add and subtract rules as I see fit.

    Character sheets

    Character sheets will change from roleplay to roleplay to roleplay depending on the creator and the environment that the roleplay takes place in. Some character sheets will have more information than others. Instead of offering examples of what it should look like, I will offer examples of what you could add, and why you would add it for you to pick and choose from.
    • Username- Personally I don’t see much point in this one. When they post their app you can see the username anyways. However it could be useful for those who often change their username, you can ask for their main one that they use, just to keep track of them
    • Character Name- A standard essential thing to have for any character sheet. Everyone needs to know your character’s name
    • Nickname- This is just a fun extra bit of information that can be added if you want to.
    • Gender- If your character is a boy or girl
    • Sexuality- People will add this for fun, or if they intend for there to be romance in the roleplay, then it is good to have
    • Age- It is always good to know how old the character is
    • Race- If your roleplay exists as one with different races, such as werewolf, vampires, ect. You can add this as a section to your signup sheet to keep track of that
    • Alignment- If your rp has different sides that people can be on, then adding an alignment or faction section can be useful to know where they belong. If you want you can also use this for DnD style alignments.
    • Powers- If your rp is one that involves magic or special powers, then include a section it could be listed
    • Abilities- This can refer to things such as abilities when it comes to fighting, what they are good at, or you could use it to describe powers as well.
    • Weapons- If it is a roleplay that you have fighting or anything that you may need a weapon
    • Appearance- Generally there is just an image or they can provide a description. If you want you can add more details and more points for it. You can have height, weight, hair colour, eye colour, or other things along those lines, but they are not necessary.
    • Personality- While the personality you write when you make the character compared to how it ends up in the rp. Having the general idea is usually pretty good idea
    • Likes/Dislikes- If you want to add more details about the characters, you can get people to add likes and dislikes for their characters.
    • Fears- This can add an interesting aspect into an rp, if other players know your characters fear then you can plan to exploit it. The extra information can just be fun to use.
    • Hobbies- It is another option for fun, extra information that you can use on the side if you want to, but you don’t have to.
    • Occupation/job- Well people need to make money somehow.
    • Backstory- For the most part, this is another important it to include. People like to know where your character came from. That being said it isn’t the be all, end all. It just helps know why people are there and why they are the way they are. Sometimes it is nice to keep Backstories to a minimum so you can reveal it through the thread. This is one of the staples to have however.
    • Others- That is just so you can add any details that don’t belong anywhere else
    • Relationships- If you want you can put a spot for people to add who they know and why. This one isn’t commonly used but it can get people talking and planning with other people.
    • Theme- This is completely for fun if you want to give a spot for people to add a theme song for their characters.
    As an example of how character sheets can be presented, see below. This one was used for the same Roleplay that the synopsis was used for.
    ֎ Name: (What is your characters name?)
    ֎ Age: (Preferably 18+)
    ֎Appearance: (Picture is preferred but description is fine)
    ֎Rank: (Seen above)
    ֎Job: (Think of their situation and make one up
    ֎Weapon: (Be creative but practical)
    ֎Personality: (Just a general idea, I know it will evolve through the roleplay)
    ֎ Bio: (At least one paragraph please)
    ֎Relations: (Who you know and what your relation is with them)

    Graphics and Coding

    Graphics and coding are not essential for the OOC thread. That being said adding at least colour is good when making an OOC thread. Since there tends to be a lot of information, even basic coding such as colours and sizing can help break it up and not seem as hard to read. Adding coloured titles that are slightly bigger than the rest of the information can make it look nicer. Adding graphics is just for visual appeal. Tabs can also be a good way to divide up an OOC, dividing up each section instead of by titles but by tabs. If you want idea’s on kinds of styling you can do for it, I will refer you to the post layout workshop. While it wasn’t made with OOC threads in mind, it will still have useful tips that will help when working to make your thread look nice. Any coding that you could use to assist can also be found here. A wonderful example of a OOC Thread with nice coding and graphics can be found here.

    Other

    There are some other things that you can also include in your OOC thread, depending on what is needed for the situation of your roleplay. If you created your own universe, you might want to add a section for the lore of it. Have helpful information about your culture, important land marks and backstory to your universe that you didn’t want to include in the story. If your roleplay works with magic and powers and you have ideas on how that should work, then you can create a section about the magic and what it does. Other examples of sections that are added could be rank or jobs, if it is in such a place that would run on a system like that, such as a star ship. You might want to consider including a list of accepted characters in the first post as well. These are just a few examples I can think of off the top of my head, but as you make your RP, you may run into information that you want to include that doesn’t fit into any of the above categories. That does not mean it doesn’t belong in the OOC however, it still can be included. You should also include links to your main thread, and if you want, you can include a link to a chat room.

    Currently the site allows you to double most over a certain character limit, so if you want to include some sort of additional changing information to your ooc, you have the option to create a second post below as another way to divide things. It is good to use a second post for something that you would be editing regularly, for example if you have a mission system. It makes it easier on you to do the editing, and can be used to separate the things you need to know before starting the roleplay, and things you will need to keep up with during the roleplay. It can be a handy function to utilize if you wish to add something above and beyond the standard roleplay set up, and add your own stats or mission system to your roleplay. For example here I made a Soul Eater roleplay with a mission system. The missions I added in a separate post to make things seem less crowded and make editing easier.

    Making the Main Thread

    The main thread doesn’t usually take as much time to make as the OOC thread. The main thread will introduce the story to the characters and open it to start the posting. You do not need to restate what was in the OOC thread, but instead offer a post with setting and time information, where the characters will be starting and what they should be doing. Just set the scene for the other players and perhaps post as your own character as well. You do not necessarily need to step into the action right away, but it is a good idea to set out a reason for the characters to be together so people can post and start interacting with each other. It is up to you and based on your plot how you want the roleplay to start, the main thing to remember is providing a setting and starting point. The only other thing that should be included in the main thread is a link to the OOC thread. This is helpful for not only the roleplayers, but the staff that moderate the forum.

    Running the Roleplay

    While running the roleplay, there are a few things that you should keep in mind. During the process of running it, let the roleplay evolve and change over time. Yes the original idea might have been good, but as time goes on, you grow, the RP grows, and the RPers grow, allow that growth. Allow the members of the rp to give input and help create plot as you go. While ultimately it is your RP and you have final say, roleplaying is like a cooperative writing experience, there should be room for others to add opinions, it is more fun for everyone. Members may come and go, don’t get discouraged about that, sometimes life just gets in the way, keep moving forward. There will be times you will have to put your foot down and enforce your rules, be prepared for that. It can be hard to call people out on things, and easy to just go along with what they are doing, but if it doesn’t fit or wasn’t allowed, say something. Even if the rule being broken doesn’t bother you at the time, you can’t just let it pass because more people will start trying and it can get in the way. It may never turn into a problem, but it is easier to face it from the start than let it grown and have a bigger issue on your hands later.

    Roleplays are allowed to end. It is actually a big accomplishment when a roleplay is brought to an end, don’t be afraid to let that happen. If you have gone through the plot that you had in mind, be willing to bring it to a close. When you drag out an rp without an end goal, it easily can get boring or slow. Take advantage of the fact that you got your rp to the end of its plot and wrap it up. From there if people are still interested you can created a sequel rp with a new plot line. Start fresh and let new people join it, it is just as fun as continuing the old thread and can bring a sense of satisfaction.

    Conclusion

    While this looks like a lot of information to take in, in the end creating your own Roleplay comes down to being creative and being willing to work with others to make it happen. If you have a good idea and let others contribute even in small ways you will find people who are willing to join your roleplay and give it a try. A lot of the tips above are just ways to make it more visually appealing to people, as well as make it easier for them to follow. If you organize your ooc thread well it is less intimidating and easier for people to read through. The important part isn’t how pretty the thread is or how much information that your character sheet includes, it is about making a story with other people, having fun with it, and making new friends along the way. If you accomplish this, then no matter how long the roleplay lasts, or how many people joined it, than it is a success.
     
  4. Aelin Best Waifu

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    1,377
    [​IMG]
    So I will layout some basic layout styles for you, and then I will go over what is good and bad about each style, and how to make them. These are mostly my own styles and no one has to follow them, be creative and make your own. Roleplaying is all about being creative even with how you choose to set up your post. I do however ask that you do not take any of my layouts that I lay out in this thread. If you still need help after just ask. I will be happy to help you more or make one for you. Also my layouts are far from perfect and far from the best out there. I have slowly been learning and improving myself. Each and every example is a post I have made in the past as I worked though these stages.Now lets get started. P.S. If the bottom two examples seem dark, they were made for a light forum skin.

    Karina glared up at Flora. She didn't care to talk to her. She wanted to be left in peace. She picked up her music player and replayed the song she was just listening to. She looked back down giving Flora the idea to go away and leave her alone. It seemed the other dude was still talking about whatever he was talking about. She hadn't listened to one word of his thing and didn't care to know what he was talking about. Even if she was paying attention there was a good chance that most of what he said would go in one ear and out the other anyways. There was no point.

    "Those people have never been trapped here." Colton responded in a groggy, scratchy voice. "At least when I find a way out of here we can say we have been through hell and back. We can be proud of that." Colton commented, still holding onto hope that one day they would get out before they die. Colton curled up slightly tighter to keep himself warm as he spoke with Alarick. "The doctor might be smart but he has nothing against us when the three of us actually work together, we just need the right moment." He stated. He knew he spoke of escape before and it only made things worse for him, but he wasn't about to bow to the mad doctor who had made his life a living hell.
    [​IMG]
    "My apologies, but lunch won't be ready for another hour yet. You will have to wait until then like everyone else." Adelina told him as she danced around the kitchen, going from one end to another preforming various tasks for everything she had going at once. Her gold gown flowing behind her as she did so. "If you wish to eat sooner, perhaps you can help me with the preparations, however that is not required of you." Adelina spoke calmly and gently, not faltering as she continued to cook, seemingly not minding Hunter yelling at her. "If you do not wish to help please step back out of my way, lunch will be in the dining hall in an hour. You will be fed there." She continued on, hoping that the man would listen to her.
    [​IMG]
    ╔════
    »A question crossed Jayce's mind as the angel finally caught up to him, just how much trouble would this stunt get him in? As far as he knew, no one found the grove in the wall all the way up the stairs, he was safe from that for now. However he nearly seriously injured another student before destroying a tree out of blind rage. Given it was him doing it too, he doubted anyone would hold back on the punishments. That however was a matter to focus on when he didn't feel like he could faint at any second.

    »Jayce was unable to get far before he was stopped by the boy putting a hand on his shoulder. He was about to just pull away and keep going, when the pain started to subside. Slowly it seemed like all the injuries were healing. It was enough for Jayce to stop for a moment to get get the healing. At least that way he could get away when he needed, or so he thought. Even as the wounds started to heal, most of them at least, the weariness remained. He had still run himself out of energy thanks to his corruption and felt like he could pass out any moment. It was annoying to even think about starting to walk. Of course this hesitation gave time for his angelic roommate to start lecturing him once more.

    »"What is the point of trying to make friends. In the end they will only hurt you anyways. Besides who really wants to be friends with a fallen. I am impure piece of crap that isn't enough to be a demon but rejected by angels. At least this way no one will stab me in the back... or whip me." Jayce's voice was low, and had a mixture of sadness and just tiredness in it, but for the most part it was pretty monotone. The emotions barely gripping the outside of his words. What he doubted was not himself, but everyone else. He didn't trust them, and for a damned good reason.

    »Jayce glanced over at the boy who had just healed him and noticed how weak he was too even asking them to slow down a bit. Jayce halted and looked at the boy, serious look on his face. "Better not be thinking of passing out on us. I am on the verge of it myself, thanks to that damned corruption. And I doubt minnie mouse over here could carry one of us, let alone both. Keep walking, staying still only makes you more tired. And maybe if you make it back to the school I will tell you my name." With all that said, Jayce turned back and pushed himself to keep walking before he himself passed out. Wouldn't that be embarrassing.
    ════╝

    @Aelin FireHeart


    Caleb kept a safe distance behind Blake as they walked. If the rest of his gang hand only survived the initial weeks of the outbreak... This was all a mess and this was what he had to live with, there was not turning back time. No changing his mind about agreeing to join Blake. However seeing her now he could wager that she wouldn't have taken no for an answer. It was better to go willingly then end up like one of those poor bastards that they were now tracking down. Besides when Blake wasn't pissed off at him it was rather fun hanging around with this group. Sure he might have been cocky and flirtatious towards some, but for the most part, in reality he didn't like most people. It was fun to watch them suffer. He himself however had to learn to conform to what Blake wished for this group. Accept the fact he was a lesser in the group, though he hated the fact. He would as soon claw and murder his way into a higher position if he had to.

    Caleb supposed that he should be grateful that Blake paid any mind to him after how pissed she had been with him only moments before. And for that reason he was suspicious of her motives. Wondering how much he should watch his words. Her voice, her expression were unreadable. He couldn't tell if she was testing him, looking for a reason to leave him for the zombies, or if she truly wanted his opinion. Given that she was claiming to be a god, his opinion probably didn't matter much to her, meaning the first one was the most likely answer. He didn't let his own worry cross his face as he carefully thought about the answer. The saying that his gang had stuck to was "Fear no death." He might not have been part of that gang anymore, but he still played the part. He acted like he didn't fear death for the most part, though it wasn't true. He wouldn't be human if he didn't fear death. Instead he learned to control the fear, not let it take hold of him.


    "Given that neither of us had any luck, I doubt any of the other poor bastards had any luck."That was the easy question that they both already knew the answer to. He had minimal experience tracking humans, generally members of other gangs who were asking to get hurt. And well Blake claimed she was god, so if she really thought that highly of herself then she should have been able to find them. Something he would never express out loud. That would just be asking her to pull the trigger on him.

    "As for if we should keep going, lets see. I have 15 bullets left for my gun and a knife. Assuming the others fared as well as I and we split up again, I would say we have another hours and a half before we will be risking running too low on resources, and then it will start to get dark anyways, meaning we will have to be more careful about moving back to camp. We haven't found them yet, another hour probably won't make that much of a difference. In my... humble...." Caleb barely choked out the words. He hated belittling himself for the likes of her. Given he was on her bad side he shouldn't risk his usual swagger right now, meaning he had to do this, though it visibly hurt his ego.

    "...We should call it a day and deal with those who haven't gotten away, pick up the search tomorrow. Some that aren't too broken might think they also have a chance of escape. Can't let them get too full of themselves. Caleb commented as a bit of a wicked grin crossed his face. He ran his fingers through his slicked back hair as he thought of the fun he could have back at camp. The chick-a-dee that had escaped seemed more like Blake's personal toy. Though it hasn't stopped him from making her sing for him once or twice, however for the most part he knew better then to have too much fun with her. As for the other birdy, his blue bird. He was looking forward to hopefully finding her soon. Perhaps he could have some good fun with her. That was if Blake didn't decide to be cruel and send him on a patrol or something to keep him away from his fun. He wouldn't put it past her either. Still eventually he was sure he would be able to have some fun with someone and he looked forward to that greatly.

    And I’m wondering why I still fight in this life
    [​IMG]


    ‘Cause I’ve lost all my faith in this damn bitter strife
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    ►Location: Street
    ►Company: Blake
    ►Thoughts: Who can I make sing for me tonight?
    ►Wearing: This

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    @Aelin FireHeart

    Example 1
    So example one is very basic. There is no coloring or one solid color. The useful part of this layout would be for roleplays that people separate into groups, or go on missions. The owner of the rp could easily assign each group one solid color for them to use, and then when looking back at posts, the people in the group are only looking for a singular color. If the groups are all together, then you can remain white and you know that you aren't on a mission but instead just have a downtime with everyone there to interact with.

    The downside of having this sort of layout is, that when others are looking for a specific persons post, and are scrolling through a full page of posts, there is nothing unique about it, that would point it out as the right character. The post would be easy to miss mixed in with others. And lets face it, who doesn't like making what they do look pretty.

    All that is required to know for making a post like in the first example is how to change text colour. Usually I would type my entire post first, then highlight it. From there it is just a matter of going into the colour picker (the circle shape, fourth from the left) and selecting the color you need.

    Example 2
    Example two is still pretty basic of an example, however it adds in unique colors for your character. There is a base color so people know it is your character that is being posted as, without having to look for your user name. The other helpful part about that, is if you have multiple characters and put them in two different posts, it is easier to pick out who is who. Then when you change the colour for the speech as well, it makes it more noticeable. For those replying to your post, that is very helpful. More often than not what people will need to go back and check a couple times when replying to your post, will be what your character said. Make that more noticeable, and it is more pleasant for everyone.

    The cons of this layout is that is still very basic. While it is still easier to pick out and reply to in comparison to Example one, it still isn't that pretty and there is only so many color combinations out there, it still can get missed or mistaken as a different post.

    Again this layout is really easy to put together. Like the first one I highlight the entire post after typing it out and select the base color I want to use for it.Then I will go back and highlight each set of quotes where my character is talking and select a colour for that as well. Easy, done, and it doesn't take too much time or effort, but effective for making your post stand out a little more.

    Example 3
    Example three through five will be the layouts that you will likely be using more. So instead of listing cons of it. I will list what I did and why, then have a how to do it on them.

    With this layout I added an image to it. Nothing special, just a image I got off of google, and I used photoshop to put her name on it. That could be done in any basic picture program, even paint would work for something like that. What is effective about doing this, is that it not only instantly identifies your character, but it also provides a reference to what your character looks like. It makes it easier for other players to describe the girl coming down the hall that their character had not seen before. And over all it just makes the post look nicer. If you are posting as more than one character, banners will provide as a good divider, a clear way of showing one post ended and another started.

    On top of the addition of a banner, in this example I also changed the colour of the characters name that I am interacting with. There are days that people will come on and have a lot of posts to read, highlighting the name of the person you are talking to just provides the tired eyes a way to quickly pick up what is most important to you. If it does not have your characters name, perhaps you just skim that post that night and can go back and look at it properly when you have more energy. However if you quickly spot your characters name, or color used to refer to them, then you know to put extra attention into looking at that post.

    To make this lay out, it is pretty much building on what you did before with the color, just also adding in a color for each person you talk to, preferably close to their own post color. Each different character you refer to should have their own colour. The picture is easy to make. While I use photoshop, to make a banner like that one, all you need is paint. You can take an image, add words and resize it. I usually keep the sizing proportional, or else the picture sometimes get cut off or skewed in some way. For a standard banner it should be no wider than 500 pixels, and no higher than 400 pixels. I center it I simply went to the tool bar on the top of the text box and selected center, and then hit the insert image button and pasted the url of my photo. I suggest either using Photobucket or Tinypic to upload your images. Always use the url for direct layout, so that would be the one ending in .png or .jpeg (or whatever other image type you might be using.)

    Example 4
    Example four takes much of the same things as example three but makes them a little more pretty and a little more complex. I started to do a lot more with my banners in this one. Again I personally use photoshop and make my own banners, but if you want to make something more fancy and don't have a program like gimp or Photoshop, you can always check out the graphic shops on KHV, post a request thread, or ask me or a friend to do it. If you want to make your own however there are plenty of online tools to use, I would suggest Picmonkey. Making the banners themselves is a lot of trial and error and just takes practice to make them how you would like. You get better as you go along and slowly learn how to add different effects.

    I also began using some alt symbols in my post to organize it and make it look cool. You can find lots of different symbols and things around on the internet and such that could work, I found a small list that I use myself for it. If these aren't enough then you just have to do a quick google search to see what else you can find. However when you use these symbols make sure you are using your number pad with num lock on. If you don't do this it won't work. That being said all of these symbols can be copied and pasted as well for your use. I try not to go too crazy with the symbols and special things just because it can get looking more cluttered than stylish. Just because you can use them doesn't mean you always should.

    The next difference with this one, is that I was a little more adventurous with the colors. Instead of simply sticking to the colors provided in the colour picker. I went and found other colours that I wanted to use, along with their hexcodes. The site I like to use for this W3Schools. When you select a colour off their pallet, it then provides you with a range of shades of the same colour. This is useful when trying to figure out base verses speech colour since if you simply want to use different shades, you won't get the colour slightly off and it look weird. Colouring your post like this however will take a slight bit of coding on your part. All you would have to do is at the start of the section you want one colour place the code [color=# ] after the # you would put whatever letters and numbers correspond with the colour you want. When you are done with that color then you close it like with a [ /color ] (minus the spaces.) The other part I changed is that I bold the speech as well so it stands out a little better, and thoughts can be the color of speech but put in italics instead of bold, making it easy to tell apart.

    The coding for the post would look something like this:
    Code:
    [color=#132639]Jayce looked at the boy, a serious look on his face.[/color][color=#2d5986][b]"Better not think of passing out on us."[/b][/color]
    And finally since I am already putting a lot more work into the colouring of things, instead of highlighting the names that I interact with, I simply tag the person. No fancy coding needed for that one, just @theirusername

    Example 5
    And last but not least, the most complex of the layouts. So for this one I used a side banner and had the text running down the side of it. To do this I had to do more coding for the banner, so instead of just inserting it like you did in the other two, you take the url and place it between this code: [imgl ] [ /imgl] (Minus the spaces.) If you start typing right beside the code, than the post will go down along the side of the image and wrap itself around it neatly.

    The body of the post is pretty much the same as I did in example four, little difference in that part of things.

    When you get down to the bottom I started adding quotes from songs. Things that I think fit him. What I did for that is actually quite simple. I resized the text which can be done through the tool bar at the top of the text box, or through a code [size=sizenumber][/ size] Then I simply added bold, italics, underlines, or strikes through the words at random times to make it look cool. The image between the words can be inserted the same as any of the banners at the top, nothing really special about it.

    Below all the fancy text and pictures however is a helpful resource. I used the alt symbols from earlier to make a little box around the area for the information I choose to provide for my character. Generally a good start for this information is providing location, company, and thoughts. Some people choose to provide outfit as well, but I have never seen an rp that requires it. The important part about this area is that it is separated from the rest of your post, easy to find. It sums up your post into what is needed to be known for people who might be approaching, and it helps make sure that you don't have two groups of people next to each other, talking and they don't know that they are there. The location bit is very helpful for roleplays that are open in where you can go. When people aren't grouped together in one place, it is good to know where other people are, and who they are with. It just makes interacting that much easier. To create that little area only takes the same skills that you used in previous layouts, so I won't go into detail.

    If you wish to add an outfit to your list of things, I suggest using Polyvore to create your own outfits the way you want them. You can save and link outfits pretty easily from the site, and it gives you lots of options. The reason people add outfits into their posts is so that when you again go to describe a character, you don't have to rely on your banner image for what they might be wearing. Sometimes the outfits in the banners are not practical for the situation, so then you have something else to go off of. This again is not required.

    And once again I used tagging in the end of the post so the people you are interacting with get a notice that you have posted for their character.

    So this type of post will have a lot more coding and before posting might look a lot more like this:
    Code:
    [imgleft]http://i65.tinypic.com/mr5z5g.png[/imgleft]
    [color=#662200]Type type type[/color]
    [color=#cc4400][b]Talk talk talk[/b][/color]
    
    
    
    [align=center][color=#333333][size=24]And[b] I’m[/b] [u]wondering[/u] why [i]I [/i]still [strike]fight[/strike] in this[b] life[/b][/size][/color][/align]
    [align=center][img]http://i68.tinypic.com/2n9vrt0.png[/img]
    
    
    [color=#8c8c8c][size=24][strike]‘Cause[/strike] I’ve [i]lost [/i]all my[b] faith[/b] in this[i] damn[/i] [strike]bitter[/strike] [b]strife[/b][/size][/color][/align]
    
    
    [align=center]▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬
    [color=#331200][b]►Location:[/b][/color] [color=#802d00][i]Type[/i][/color]
    [color=#331200][b]►Company:[/b][/color] [color=#802d00][i]Type[/i][/color]
    [color=#331200][b]►Thoughts:[/b][/color] [color=#802d00][i]Type[/i][/color]
    ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬[/align]
    So there is all the options that I had on had. You can cut and combine any number of these things for your layout. You can take something like example three and add in the last part of example five in to make it your own. Whatever works for you and works for the roleplay that you are in. Other examples of layouts I have made are here. If you want to take a look you can. Again please don't steal them but I can help you make your own instead.
     
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