These rules are not meant to restrict your creative writing, but to provide guidelines and opportunities to enhance your writing and role-play experience. The object is to build up a character within our role-play system so, in theory, the older your character is and the more role-plays the character has participated in, the stronger and more powerful the character becomes.
The second objective of these rules is to help make each of you a better writer and role-player by providing assistance and opportunities to participate in varying levels of role-play.
- 1 Posting Rules
- 2 Character Rules
- 3 Action Rules
- 4 Magic Rules
- 5 General Notes and Suggestions
Anyone may start a role-play (RP) post in Titan's Palace Rantings forum. There are two types of role-play posts: Open RPs and Closed RPs. It is recommended that you write "(Open)" or "(Closed)" in the title of the RP so that others will know whether or not they can join in.
Open Role-Play Posts
Open RPs are always welcome. Anyone can start or join in an open RP. Open role play posts are good for people looking to gain more experience.
Closed Role-Play Posts
Conversely, Closed RP's are by invitation only. This means if you want to join in but were not invited, you cannot participate. These types of role play posts are generally posted by the more serious RPers.
If you have a RP post that's obviously a closed RP and someone who was not invited makes a post, please let a moderator know so the post can be removed. In the meantime, it's advised you continue your RP as if the person had not posted.
All RPs posted in the Grand Hall are considered Closed RPs, with the allowed characters being any character accepted into the Titan Roleplaying Group. The events in these RPs are considered canon in our clan's and clan's characters' histories.
Length of Posts
A single post should encompass approximately five minutes of "game time". This is not a strict rule, but more of a general guideline. A "five minute" rule of thumb allows other players to interject their characters' reactions to your or previous players' posts, and ensures that something of substance was added to the story (see the following section). Obvious exceptions to this guideline include posts made by the story's Game Master, particularly those posts which involve scene-setting and exposition through NPC dialogue.
This time need not be contiguous from the previous post, but only within the context of your own character. It is expected that the time in posts will overlap, and the posters should account for this when they are writing (e.g., using phrases like "while" or "before" the previous posters were acting).
Long Stings of Short Posts
Any possible long strings of short posts in a story should be done through email then posted as one big post. This is to alleviate problems of two, three, or four pages of just one line of dialogue per post (most commonly found with character dialogue in new players' posts).
Short posts are frowned upon in Titan RP because they generally do not contribute to stories. If you are engaged in a conversation with another player, and your character is asking questions, it is recommended that you get together with the other player via email. As an alternative, you can post a general outline of what your character talked about with some dialogue, leaving it up to the other player to respond.
"How do I make my posts longer?"
A lot of people don't realize how much depth there is to each character. Every character has unspoken thoughts. What your character thinks is just as important as what they say. The internal battles characters face can even be as interesting as the main story line. There are also little actions that can help distinguish personality too -- like fidgeting, grumbling, scratching one's head, etc. Reactions to things other characters have posted also help lengthen posts. You can draw upon other senses as well. If another character is dirty, they probably also smell. Your character can react to the other character's smell or the smell of an object. Little things like this can make your character more three-dimensional and improve the length of your posts.
In-Character (IC) and Out-of-Character (OOC) Rules
When you write, you are either posting as yourself or as the character. Text written from your character's point of view is considered in-character or IC. These are things that your character says or does based on what your character knows.
When you write as yourself (the author), you are posting out-of-character or OOC. Posts made out-of-character are usually coordinating posts, compliments, or posts made by you in other areas of the forum. Out-of-character posts in active story posts often distract from the roleplay, so it is recommended a separate thread be posted to help you coordinate your out-of-character thoughts with others' or post comments on a particular story. You can also send a personal message (PM) if you'd like to comment on someone's post.
To avoid confusion, we strongly recommend all posts be written from an in-character perspective, with out-of-character notes posted in a separate thread specifically for that purpose. If necessary, it is permitted within the Palace Rantings forum to append out-of-character comments at the end of a post parenthetically, i.e., prefixed by "OOC:" and contained in parentheses. Within the Grand Hall, all posts are to be written from an in-character perspective and any out-of-character notes will be deleted by a moderator when they are encountered. A separate thread for any out-of-character commentary will be placed within Palace Rantings, so that non-participants may also discuss these stories.
Write As Your Character
One of the most commonly broken (usually unwritten) rules of role play is confusing what you (the author, OOC) knows from what you (the character, IC) knows. If you're reading a role play in which another character's thoughts are being written, you (the author) knows what they're thinking, but you (the character) doesn't know. If something is happening in the tavern, but your character is out on the street four buildings down, then they probably don't know what just happened in the tavern without asking another character who was there what happened.
The "language" or grammar used when writing posts is important to making the role-playing experience enjoyable to all. The following are some guidelines to help make our stories understandable.
The most important rule when posting is to refrain from profane or vulgar language, unless it is an important part of a character's being. We are striving to make Titan and Dragon Court very much a "living world", which means that its characters are not restricted to the sterilized "fairy-tale" stories that one sometimes sees. This means that characters will occasionally swear, make lewd remarks, or engage in sexual activities. However, since we do understand that children to read our forums -- we have had members as young as 11 in the past -- we ask that such things be done circumspectly, or at least kept to a minimum. The exact parameters of what constitutes profane language will be defined by the RP Council, but we also provide the general guideline to keep posts on a PG-13 level.
Posts should be written using third-person omniscient narrative mode, with the poster's own character as the focal character. Using this mode consistently makes the roleplaying read much more like a story, and the shifting perspectives add flavor to a world with many active participants. Under no circumstances should posts be written using a first-person mode, though characters' thoughts can be expressed. If you choose to do this, the common convention is to put a character's thoughts in italic text.
For all intents and purposes, Queen's Common (the native tongue of Titan and the Dragon Court; also serves as the lingua franca of the planet) is equivalent to English. All posts and dialogue should be written in English. Modern English words may be used in narration to describe objects and concepts that might not exist in the setting of Dragon Court. However, posters are encouraged to use invented words or "foreign" words in dialogue for flavor, if they fit the character's speech mannerisms. Other languages, such as Dwarven or Elvish, need only be identified as such before writing dialogue, and it is the readers' duty to determine whether their characters are able to understand those languages. If the dialogue is not intended to be understood by the reader, Tolkien's invented languages may be used for flavor. The preferred Elvish language for this purpose is Sindarin and there are many resources online to assist you in translating. Common languages (and their real-world analogs) that the denizens of Dragon Court speak are: Queen's Common (English), Dwarven (Tolkien's Dwarvish), Elvish (Tolkien's Sindarin), Goblish, Halflish, Orcish, Hie Brasilian (Roman and Greek), and Shangalese (Chinese, Japanese, and Korean).
No character actions of another character cannot be done without the permission of the owner of the character in question.
The basic definition of god moding is to make your character invincible or give them god-like characteristics (the eponymous "God Mode). This could be either during offensive attacks or defensive actions your character makes.
God moding on an offensive action would be something akin to your character performing a move so jaw-droppingly awesome that no one can hit her. A good way to take a strong character or a powerful and awesome move out of the realm of god moding is to give them some weakness or vulnerability. For example, if your character performs a move called "The Kiss of Death", wherein he is able to slow time to throw a poison dart with such accuracy and precision that he can hit a moving target anywhere he wants, his weakness could be that he can only perform the move if he remains completely focused. This way, an opponent could write up a distraction. For example, an opponent could blow in the character's ear to prevent him from performing "The Kiss of Death".
If your character is facing a skilled opponent, but manages to dodge every hit, that could be considered defensive god modding. Even the movies have started letting the heroes like James Bond take a few hits. It isn't god moding to allow the hit to be minor, but sometimes letting the other person win can lead to extraordinary fun.
Just remember it's not interesting if your character is invincible. People generally don't want to role-play with someone who is constantly pulling maneuvers that are super-spectacular or who can't get hurt. When you write, make sure you consider your opponents -- leave them a few options to strike back and you'll have more exciting fights in your role-play posts.
General Notes and Suggestions
- No character actions of another character cannot be done without the permission of the owner of the character in question.
- Any possible long strings of one story should be done through email then in one big post. This is to alleviate problems of 2, 3, or 4 pages of just one story
- Make sure you identify whether you are In Character (IC) or Out of Character (OOC), especially if you are not participating in the story.
- Open RPs are welcome. They don't have to be done through email because anyone can join.
- Refrain from improper language unless it is a necessity or part of an In Character monologue.