How To Successfully Create a Roleplay Board
For the entirety of this guide, I will assume you already know the basics of role-playing. If you do not, I suggest reading Tash's Role Playing 101 article to help you get started. But if you do, please read on!
Role-play is a wonderful outlet for creativity and a great way to make new friends, but it can be intimidating at first. After you’ve joined and played in plenty of role-play boards, you will start to come up with your own ideas for RPGs and possibly wish to create your own board(s). You may have done so already, and if you didn’t get the result you hoped for, I’m here to give you a few tips.
This is one of the most vital steps when starting up your own RPG board. If you’re not prepared, it will be harder for you and other users to enjoy the role-play. All it takes is a little time in advance to make sure you have everything you’ll need.
Know what your roleplay is about. Because if you don’t know, how are others supposed to know? Ask yourself questions such as “What is the setting for this role-play?” “When and where does this take place?” And if you have a plot for your role-play, add as many details as you can. “What does this mean?” or “Could this be confused with something else?” are two great thought-provoking questions to aide your role-play.
Have your beginning statements written in advance. This would mean your Setting, Plot, Introduction, and Rules if you have any. It is important, but not always crucial, to have this pre-written so that others won’t have to wait 5-10 minutes for your next post.
Be ready to deal with multiple opinions and difficult people. Everyone has their own opinion and way of going about things, and you should be ready to manage them. That isn’t to say you must control everything (because that will just scare people away) but instead be helpful and in control if someone were to get angry or problematic. It’s just a game, after all.
Appearance has everything to do with how well your role-play board fares. I know this sounds vain and hollow, but it’s the truth. Think of it like this: your thread (board) is a produce stand. You want people to buy your produce, so you make sure that it’s tidy and pleases the eye, right? Likewise, you want people to come and enjoy your RPG, so make things look nice.
Grab the reader’s attention with a clean, snazzy title. The title is what brings people in, the advertisement you might say. So you want it to look nice. Simple is usually best when it comes to titles, so try to avoid an abundance of brackets, symbols, and unnecessary words.
At the same time, you want to have enough information in your title to let the reader know what’s inside.
[plot] Fantasy Roleplay [semi-literate]
Brackets are nice for adding information about your role-play, and you can also use a few symbols to spice it up. Just use quality over quantity.
Note: If you’ve already made role-play boards before but they haven’t worked out, you may be tempted to put in the title “please join, no one ever does” or something to that effect. This is a big no-no because it tells the potential role-player that your boards weren’t interesting enough to join or that you have little experience in RPG.
Is your font Eye Candy or an Eye Sore? It’s a fact: if your font is obnoxiously bright/large/unfinished or if it’s just plain unreadable, others won’t be so inclined to join. You don’t have to be a font expert to make your font great. If you have trouble making fonts, ask around on the Avatars/NeoSignatures boards for some help. The cleaner, cooler your font is, the more likely you are to keep other role-players interested.
Sometimes boards may flop even though they had great preparation and a flawless appearance. This doesn’t mean you failed. What your role-play is about and how it is written can be just as much as a turn-off as an annoying font.
Spell-check is your new best friend. For a foolproof introduction, double check your grammar and spelling. Most people don’t mind a few misspelled words or mismatched tenses in a sentence, but if you have a copious amount of technical errors in your posts so that nothing seems to make sense anymore, this can seriously hurt your chances at successfully running a board.
Don’t be afraid of length. Though some people dislike lengthy posts, most will appreciate the thought put into what you are saying. This does not mean add a whole bunch of long words and unnecessary descriptions. Just avoid cutting important edges to shorten your posts, and you should be golden. Remember: detail is satisfying, but too much can make you sick.
Out Of Character (or OOC)
Be friendly. It is good to get to know who you are role-playing with. Doing this creates a warm environment and makes others feel better about the role-play.
Keep it short. Too much out-of-character speech can distract from the real reason why you’re there, which is to role-play. It’s good to talk to people (see above) but do not start up conversations that are not related to the RPG.
Flamers, Kirbies, and just not nice people. They do exist, and you may occasionally get one or more in your board. Basically, they are there to shake you and your board up, cause trouble, or start an argument. If you do have someone like this taking up your thread space, politely ask them to leave. If they refuse, get strict and tell them to leave (but getting angry won’t solve anything, only make them happier). And if nothing will get them to leave, you will most likely have to close that thread and create a new one. If there are already others joined in the role-play, invite them to the new thread.
When the role-play comes to a close, you will have made new friends, learned new things, and had a wonderful time. But the fun doesn’t have to end here. Keep in touch with the people you role-play with, so that the next time you create a board, you’ll have friends to back you up.
You’re on your way to becoming a great role-player! The most important thing to remember is to have fun, because that is the real goal. And your finished result should be a bright future in the RPG world.
If you have any comments or questions, please feel free to Neomail me!