*original post written by Rainbow Chaser 12/2003*
*revision by RC 8/2007*
**Also, newcomers should read the history, rules, and stickies, and familiarize yourselves with roleplay by reading some of the posts that are here in the RP section**
Rainbow Chaser's Guide to Better Roleplaying
Part I: Terminology
[[ Roleplay ]] In a personalized term, roleplaying is the use of creative minds and one's own extent of ideas and vocabulary to construct a plot using characters of any gender, species, color, or element. It is an ongoing story book with multiple authors and plots.
[[ Private; P; Closed ]] Means private Role-play. The only people to be posting in the thread are those involved or with out of character permission.
[[ Open; O; AW ]] Means All Welcome, so the topic is free for anyone to jump in on.
[[ OOC ]] The abbreviation for Out of Character, meaning that no roleplaying is involved, and the character's creator is speaking to the public on general terms and not with the character. This is often a tag used before or after the actual roleplaying post to designate specific details or make comments.
[[ IC ]] In character, meaning that the character you are using is speaking, acting, or performing all activity that falls under roleplay, excluding conversations of reality.
[[ Powerplay; Godmode ]] Some might describe it as being indestructible or overly powerful. But to break it down as I see it, it might be properly said to be the unfairness of spars, battles, or wars. Immortality is not possible in most wolves, nor is it fair to say that you have no faults. Every character should be somewhat realistic in that it has it's strengths and weaknesses. A description of a true Power-player's character might be as follows:
:: Faster than the speed of light with an impenetrable pelt of steel and sinew and top-of-the-line, unbeatable senses. He can see through things, read minds, and control all the elements.
That is... not acceptable. I mean, you have the free will to do such things, but I can assure you, it's not the popular way to Roleplay or make good first impressions.
An example of a powerplaying post is as such:
:: Wolf 1 hits Wolf 2 in the side, knocking the air out of him and clawing through his tender flesh.
This is controlling how Wolf 2 reacts. No one possesses the right to determine how the opponent responds or moves, especially in battles. The proper way to correct this would be the following:
:: *Wolf 1* He moves toward Wolf 2 swiftly, striking out and attempting to harm him with his claws.
:: *Wolf 2* He dodges the attack, but cannot elude the small scratch along his shoulder.
In this example, it was an even and fair deal. Wolf 2 was able to decide how he would react, and Wolf 1 was polite in allowing that. In any manner, powerplaying is frowned upon in most communities unless both parties agree on some powerplay actions if it aids in the process of furthering the thread.
[[ Elemental ]] Elemental creatures hold the ability to control certain natural elements found on Earth. Fire, water, ice, earth, wind, night, shadows, and snow are a few examples. For elaboration on the Elementals of Wolf Web, take a look at the Wolf Web History section.
[[ Dire Wolves ]] The dire wolf was once a living species of lupine, somewhat larger than the average timber wolf. Most of the time, we refer to Dire Wolves as the Evil Wolves, and many have wings, black fur, long fangs, spikes, or whatever. However, not all dire wolves are evil, because in general terms it is a species of wolf, and thus not subjected to being entirely malignant.
[[ Race ]] I refer to race as what side a character takes. For instance, a Light Race means that the character is good or perhaps even related to angels and such. Evil Races are those pertaining to the dark side. Neutrals can be a mix of Light and Evil races, or just a wolf that chooses not to take sides.
Part II: Length & Description
The basics of being a good roleplayer include, first of all, the desire and devotion to actually participate in the plots going on. If you don't have fun roleplaying, then don't partake in it. Don't ever give up. If you're a beginner, we have absolutely nothing against you! We're glad you've come to perhaps learn and increase your experience. Putting forth the effort to try and learn from mistakes and from other experienced members is a key to becoming successful. For those who find use for it, here are a few guidelines you might use to increase your descriptiveness and length in a post, as well as the potential to get more views.
[x] Use a spell checker to make sure your posts are legible and able to be understood. Always be sure the names of the characters you are interacting with are spelled correctly, as that can sometimes be irksome.
[x] A thesaurus can be helpful, so as not to become literarily redundant with word usage, but don't go over the top or people may not enjoy reading the posts.
[x] Try to create a sense of poetic flowing of the words. This is usually achieved with experience as long as you keep trying.
[x] Look up words you don't know that you see lingering around. It'll stick with you, and add to your vocabulary.
[x] Be socially active and helpful when possible. We love to see people willing to lend a helping paw.
[x] Re-read any of your posts to correct grammatical and spelling errors. Double-check words if you're not sure you have used them correctly in a sentence.
[x] Use punctuation! It's hard to understand what's being said and done when the sentences run together. You don't have to correctly punctuate everything as long as you end each sentence, using commas to combine some of the shorter ones if possible.
[x] Avoid slang usage and netspeak in both IC and OOC conversations... It gets rather annoying sometimes. Lol, rofl, stfu, wtf and such are okay, but 'u', 'y', 'r', and 'ur' are abbreviations for three and four letter words. Honestly, is it really that complicated to type a few more letters?
[x] Elaborate! Be descriptive in your posts! What is your character doing, seeing, feeling, thinking, tasting, smelling, hearing? The best way to ensure length and descriptiveness in a post is to, in your mind, actually become the character and see through it's perspective.
[x] Inspire yourself with music or images, maybe even poetry. Whatever provokes your creativity for a certain character, use it! It helps.
[x] Challenge yourself with a word minimum. If you really want to add length, set a high word minimum for around 800 to 1,000 words, and don't stop writing and describing things until you reach that amount! Use a word processor with Word Count or find one for free online.
[x] When all else fails, use imagination. Not much to describe about your character? Let something totally random happen in your post. If you can't describe yourself, describe something else! Show us how you perceive another person's character, or throw in a random animal/object for it to observe. Detail the frenzied actions of a nearby squirrel searching for acorns. Exercise your mind!
Part III: Character Creation
Phase One; The Wolf > Species
So many interesting breeds -- realistic and mythical -- to choose from! It is all right to be just a plain ol' timber wolf if you want, but with so many other subspecies and outrageously attributed made-up breeds, you can always find a way to add creative idiosyncrasies and markings to your wolf.
For so-called 'normal' wolves, depending on the look you want them to have and the climate you may establish for it, there are a variety of subspecies to choose from. For instance, if your wolf has a sketchy accent and likes hot weather, you may consider making it a Mexican wolf.
An awesome reference for typical wolf behavior and a list of the known subspecies, check out Lioncrusher's Domain. For information on the different, fictitious and historical breeds of Wolf Web, be sure to visit the Wolf Web Library, created and maintained by Dani/Shinny of Wolf Web with information on species made by other members.
The Wolf > Coloration & Modification
At Wolf Web we are pretty accepting of any shape, size, or color wolf you can throw at us. If you're going for a realistic approach, though, try to stay within bounds of the normal range of colors for whatever species you are roleplaying. Otherwise, feel free to throw in wings, spikes, bangs, indigo highlights, piercings -- whatever you like. You can elaborate on whether they were born with these traits or if they came to them through time. Just don't go too wild; some people get annoyed with extreme, cluttered attributes or extra appendages.
Phase Two; Personality > General
Creating a captivating personality can be difficult. Try for something different in each of your characters so there is difference and diversity. This will not only increase your roleplaying potential (because you're roleplaying out new things and will teach yourself to switch from one mindset to another) but it will also draw in others who will be intrigued at the effort you put into each one. So give them quirkiness, or a mind so deranged it's almost funny. Come up with catch phrases for them; an example of this is Wolflover's Necrosis wolf in the Evil Wind Pack, whose saying was "Oh hell nah."
Personality > Balancing the Powers
Creating an interesting character can be tricky at times. We all want to lavish our darling creatures with new powers and strengths. However, adding weaknesses can be just as fun and even humorous. It balances things out. Not to mention, if you have a stern character that is generally strong in most areas, adding a strange and uncommon weakness (i.e.: fear of lightning bugs) can be interesting and adds diversity and comical content to your posts.
Everyone knows how to act out their own strengths. But playing off of weaknesses can be just as interesting. Be creative! If humor just isn't your thing, then there are other more serious fears and drawbacks to use. Use a search engine to browse for unique phobias and perhaps mental or physical conditions that would hinder the character. There are no limits to what you can do when you put your mind into it, so spend just as much time on the downsides to your characters as you do on the places where they excel.
Phase Three; History
Almost everyone has, at some point, made a history branching off of the usual abandonment or separation saga. This is, essentially, the most challenging part of character creation. Histories can be as simple as a wolf just one day deciding to wander around, to as complex as life-changing events that influence and explain their general temperament.
Some people like to start blank. Roleplay from the birth of the character and add history as you go, like I did with my beloved Rainbow Chaser. Be inventive. Add drama and humor, give details as to why they left if that's the path they chose. Did a sibling harm them? Were they ashamed at being outranked by another? Had they failed a task set by the alpha? Or, create a thrilling scene all on your own. A valley caught by wildfire, or an unfortunate ordeal of trampling during an elk hunt. The extent of your own creativity and imagination is all you can use for this part of creation, which is what makes it the most stressful part at times depending on how open minded and apt for new ideas you are. It's not something that can be learned or taught, but rather it is a matter of what you yourself can come up with in time.
((Stickied for refrence, and locked. PM a moderator to add on