Forum Roleplay

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In many cases, Path of the Vampire is a lot like an online tabletop game, and therefore does not always mimic the same trends one might see in other MMORPGs. For one, the emphasis is less on grinding, leveling, and things of that nature, and more on roleplay. In fact, Path has a long term, overarching storyline, an expansive history prior to the game's setting. A lot of effort has gone into giving Path an immersive story, because the primary focus of the game is roleplay. If you are looking to jump into the roleplay quickly, without having to read all of the lore, you may be interested in reading the Introduction first, which gives you several basics for getting involved in RP right off the bat, regardless of whether you play a human or vampire.

There are several types of roleplay associated with Path of the Vampire. This guide will take you through setting up your character, those types of roleplay, where you can roleplay, what makes Path roleplay truly unique (briefly hinted at above), some tips and tricks for roleplayers, and some common reminders for roleplay etiquette (as in, what is acceptable in RP).

Character Setup

You may be wondering how to start your character out. Suffice it to say, it's very important that you design a personality for your character, and keep their actions consistent to that personality both on grid, and in writing (roleplay). How much you develop your character prior to writing them is entirely up to you. You can record as much information as you like in your character's 'bio' section. To edit the bio, go to the Settings page, and click the Character tab. The edit box can handle basic HTML. You may be as expansive or brief as you like. Some people favor completely fleshing out a character before writing them with other players, but some prefer to 'keep the cards close to their chest', and only reveal information in writing. Both of these options are perfectly valid. The important thing is that you stick to the character's mentality and not let out of character influence what said character does.

When making a new character, you may be interested in looking at Roleplay Curses and Powers, which are purely for roleplay, but are a great way to develop your character. Powers of this variety are purchased via RPP, which will be discussed later in this article. It is important, when you create your character, not to make them 'perfect'. Despite Path's supernatural genre, realism is very important, as it grounds the fictional world, making it easier for readers and writers to get into. 'Perfect' characters are difficult to sympathize with as they are exceptionally unrealistic, instead you should give them both faults and strengths.



Types of Roleplay

Below, we discuss the different types of RP commonly used by players of Path of the Vampire. All of these types of roleplay contribute to the game in some way, by giving other players something to read, by enriching the immersive experience, and sometimes, by moving the storyline along.

Long Form

'Long form' roleplay is also called 'threading', and consists of threads in the Description-based Roleplay section on the forum. Some private boards also have areas specifically for descriptive roleplay. This writing normally takes the form of paragraph(s), and may take anywhere from days, weeks, or months to complete. Think of it a lot like writing a story with one or multiple partners. It should be noted that location based chat roleplay (covered next), can also be posted on the forum.

Location Based Chat

Location based chat roleplay is done in particular places, which are accessible from the grid. Scattered around Harper Rock, you will find several squares which represent buildings. It should be noted that purple squares represent privately owned buildings and should only be entered with permission. Red squares are public buildings, and one may roleplay in the location chats in each of them, or on the world map, even. To access the location chats, you must hit the icon that looks like a speech bubble on the right hand side of your screen. A box will come up, which has a link saying "Roleplay Here". Click the link to access the location chat.

Location chat roleplay is the same as roleplaying on the forum, the only difference being that it's live, and usually therefor faster paced. The same rules apply. Roleplay done in a location chat may be posted on the forum, but does not have to be. Location roleplay can be posted to the forum via one of two methods. Each method has its own set of rules. You may also be interested in learning some of the Roleplay Glossary, as much of it pertains to live chat roleplay.

CrowNet

Posting to CrowNet is always in character. CrowNet itself is a website for vampires, so there is no descriptive roleplay there. Instead, responses tend to be rapid-fire, and are essentially dialogue. Just remember, when posting to CrowNet forums, that it should always be from your character's perspective. You may note a field on your forum profile for your CrowNet Handle. By default, posting to CrowNet, is seen IC as Anonymous. If you give your character a CrowNet Handle, they will be known by that handle, and any changes to it will be applied retroactively, meaning that it cannot be changed for the sake of your character hiding their identity. However, it's almost impossible to tell who the character is behind a CrowNet Handle, unless they reveal it themselves. Anything else is speculation. Bear th is in mind when using CrowNet. Though you, the player, may know who the character 'on the other side of the screen' is, your character does not. Due to the difficult nature of CrowNet roleplay, it is not encouraged for new players.

Solo/Journal

While solo roleplay and journal entries (any roleplay involving one character, and only one character), does not necessarily promote interaction, which is important to Path's roleplay universe, they still provide valuable material. Solo threads are a great way to introduce a character, if you are uncomfortable with a traditional bio. You may also use a journal thread to express what's happening with your character, or give their thoughts on something that happened in roleplay. The greatest value of the solo threads is that they offer an opportunity for a player to develop a character, if that is your desire.



Path's Unique RP Experience

As mentioned at the start of this article, a lot of effort has gone into creating a roleplay experience on Path, which is unlike any other on the web. Below is a discussion of the factors involved.

Evolving Storyline

Path has a constantly changing storyline, which progresses largely via Chapters, which are integrated roleplay and grid events, used to focus on certain aspects of the plot. The outcomes of chapters may greatly change the way in which the game is played, and how roleplay develops. You may also influence the game (both in and out of chapters), by submitting Impact Threads

Benefits of Roleplaying

Roleplaying, aside from having the potential to progress the storyline, also nets a player RPP. RPP, or roleplay points, can be used to do a variety of things including:

RPP is gained based mostly on wordcount, so the longer a post is, the more RPP a person gets, on that character, for their post. Exchanging RPP improves one's RP Level, which is tracked on the leaderboards. Thus, the RP Level leaderboard gives a pretty good idea of which characters are roleplayed most, and who is contributing a lot to Path's writing.

$Note: Roleplay powers are not the same as Powers, which are purchased with PXP.

Random Roleplay Loot Drops

You can get random lootby posting forum roleplay anywhere you would get RPP. The quality of the items received varies. The items will automatically appear in your inventory after you post. You will be notified if you got an item, after you hit the 'submit' button to put up a roleplay post.

Roleplay Action Rolls

You can 'roll' to test your character's stats against various obstacles and other characters, in an array of actions and situations. You can use this feature, for example, to see if your character is strong enough to break down a sturdy door, or nimble enough to dodge a projectile.

All results of these tests are posted automatically by the Storyteller account, directly after your post. This makes it so that everyone can see what you attempted, and if you succeeded or not. As these posts are made by the Storyteller account automatically, they cannot be removed, so there's no hiding your failures!

You can use this system by going to post a reply on a roleplay thread (full reply page, not quick reply). Here you will see two drop down menus underneath the space where you type out your post. Set your options on these drop downs, and once you submit your roleplay post the Storyteller will let you know if your character succeeded or failed.

Note: you can only test your stats against other characters who have already replied on the roleplay thread in question.

Roleplay-Initiated Battles

You can attack any character who has been in a roleplay thread with you within the past week. Both the attacker and the target characters must have made a post in the same thread, or the attack will not be possible.

To initiate a battle against a character, simply click "attack" under their character's avatar on the thread in question. If you click to attack them in another thread, that thread will be treated as the combat thread instead. This is important because the Storyteller account automatically posts in combat threads to say when a fight has started, and will also post again to say when a fight has been won.

These battles are not necessarily 1 vs 1. Any other character involved in the same thread can click to attack either party at any time to jump into the same fight on either side.

The battles themselves are simply skirmish fights. You can progress through these battles live, or you can take turns hitting and using powers whenever either of you is online. Scheduling is entirely up to you to figure out, but it is not necissary to complete the battle (will just take longer). As this is a roleplay-centric game, I do recommend taking your time to make your move. Path isn't built for live fighting, and that kind of fight often comes down to who has the faster internet connection.

You can flee from the encounter at any time by walking through the door marked as "flee". However, this will be entered into your character's memories as them having fled from a fight (from a roleplay perspective), and will mean they forfeit the battle.

The loser(s) of the battles are forced to retreat from the thread in question after roleplaying the battle (unless the victor(s) say otherwise).

Path Hardcore Ruleset

Note: This forum gives 150% the base RPP amount.

The Path Hardcore Ruleset board comes with its own special set of rules, which must be adhered to, when playing on that forum. The rules can be found here. Though mostly used for events, sidestories, and such; a player may post at any point to the Hardcore Ruleset forum, if they use the provided guideliness. The primary things to remember, when posting there, are:

  • The Hardcore forum is for players who don't mind giving up 'power' over their characters, by allowing for a certain amount of randomness, or by opening them up to be RPed with anyone.
  • The RP Dice Roller should feature prominently when seeing if a character can do something. This ensures that characters have a chance at failing.
  • If a fight breaks out, the 'losing character' as determined by dice roller or grid battle, should politely bow out.
  • The one who starts the thread is the unofficial GM.

Private Forums

Private boards are boards which cannot be seen by everyone on the site. Every major Clan has a private bloodline board which your character should be sorted into upon creation. If your character started as a human and was later turned, they will need to be removed from the human board, which should add them to their relevant clan board. Private boards still abide by the Path of the Vampire Rules, they are just places for groups to talk privately.

Private boards generally include:

Information about how to get a private forum, if you are interested, can be found here. Boards can and will be archived if they go inactive. In-activity is determined by the Development Team and is currently set at 182 days (6 months). Refunds will not be given if your board goes in-active and is archived (and you will need to pay an administration fee of 10 karma to bring your board back). Clan boards are the only boards that are exempt from archiving due to in-activity.




Tips and Tricks

  • It is important, when writing for Path, to abide canon. If you wish to immediately jump into RP, see the Introduction. For several articles related to canon, see here. Be sure to familiarize yourself with the linked content!
  • Take a look at the Role Player Tips for a little helpful player-written insights into roleplay.
  • When possible use a text editor such as microsoft word, word online, google docs, etc to determine word count and to help with potential spelling, punctuation, and other grammar errors.
  • For help with repetitive words in roleplay, you can go to this website and paste the text in to see which words you use to much.
  • If you have problems with punctuation in writing, please go to this website and look up definitions of what punctuation should go where.
  • If you do not have Microsoft word or some other writing program in order to help you check your spelling, please go to the Open Office and download. This is a free program which mimics mirosoft word but is free.
  • For help with certain languages you can always use Google Translator or check the forum Tips and Tricks thread for other players who don't mind helping with language translation.




Roleplay Etiquette

There are a few very simple guidelines to ropleplay etiquette. Many of these are either Rules enforced on the forum, or they are issues which have come up in the past, which require a little bit of consideration. The idea behind adhering to the etiquette, is to ensure that everyone enjoys the roleplay experience, and gets something out of it. The last thing anyone wants, is for another player to feel frustrated and simply leave. Please abide the following:

  • Don't Power Play. Power playing is controlling other people's characters, in character. This means you should not write how a player responds to something your character does, or write another character's actions for them. It should be noted that people who frequently write together may blur the lines here some, due to player trust. However, if you write another character's actions, the player has a right to request you change said actions. There is some wiggle room for this, when it comes to fights, which may be determined by RP Dice Roller or grid battle.
  • Don't god mode. God moding is writing your character as invicible, or unbeatable.
  • Don't write your character as having Powers which they don't have.
  • It is considered impolite to represent your character, to other players, as more powerful than they are. While a character may have high opinions of themselves, consistently bragging about how awesome your character is can be a huge turnoff to other players.
  • Don't pester people who play human characters to sire their character under your character, if you write a vampire.
  • Don't be rude to other players.
  • Don't use text speak except for when applicable: Such as CrowNet etc.
  • Be patient. Whether you are doing long form descriptive RP, or location based live RP, please be patient. Pestering other players for posts is considered exceptionally rude. in most cases, a person will reply when they they have time. Real life always comes first, and it is best to assume that something has come up, in real life, which requires their attention, rather than assuming they are deliberately ignoring you, your character, or your RP.
  • But also don't vanish without a word. If you have to be gone for an extended period of time, you should let other players know, especially if their characters are involved with yours. Communication is key!
  • Also note, you have no obligation to roleplay with anyone you don't want to, or engage in storylines or plots which make you uncomfortable. The only exception to this pertains to the Path Harcore Ruleset board, which was covered previously in this article.
  • Never use OOC information IC in any way. The best example I can give is...just because you can see someone’s name hanging over their head in the game, your character wouldn’t know that character’s name unless it was revealed to them in-character, by that character, or by someone who knows them.
  • When joining an established roleplay thread, please try not to radically change the mood or themes of the thread without permission from the thread's first poster. Additionally, you should ask them if there is a post order.
  • Don’t try to make your character the center of attention all the time. Be polite and share attention with other characters. You aren’t the only one there to have fun, give everyone their turn in the spotlight.
  • Stick to RP traits and curses your character possesses. RPing isn’t about who can make up the most perfect character, it’s about the personalities of the character. Any character that is ridiculously powerful or has a perfect personality is going to be fairly boring to RP with and will end up being mostly ignored by others. If you’re writing your perception of perfection and others don’t agree, you’re also more likely to be upset if others do not perceive your character in the manner you wish them to be perceived.
  • Don't harass people OOC or in PM because no one responded to your character the way you think they should have. Let everyone play their own characters the way they see fit, and they will allow you that same privilege. Harassing other players over their characters’ decisions is unacceptable. If a player sees your character and wants theirs to react to yours they will. You don't have to coerce them to. That said, there is nothing wrong with polite requests for RP.
  • Use proper grammar, punctuation, and spelling. If players can't read what you are trying to convey to them chances are their character can't or won't respond. Sure we all typo, and none of us are perfect, but we are writing a story. If you have to write it all down in notepad first and then copy paste after spell check, do so. You can do this with some scenarios which you commonly encounter.
  • Never assume someone will react in a certain way just because you think they should. Always give others the chance to react in their own way, and don’t get upset if the reaction isn’t what you expected. Any action you perform on someone else’s character, no matter what the action might be, should be phrased as an attempt. By making an attempt instead of just doing it outright, you give the character’s player the chance to consent to the action or avoid it if it’s something they’d rather not have happen to their character. Not allowing the other player to react is a form of powerplaying/godmodding.
  • Remember to have fun. We are all here for a reason and all enjoy rping in one form or another; the more we enjoy it, the better it is for everybody. The main thing is to have fun and if in doubt then ask a question by pm or skype rather than assume the answer and not ask it.




Archive Forum

There is now an archive forum filled with older posts that have not been replied to in a while. The link is on the top of the forum screen (as well as the link back to the main forum).

Just be aware that going into the archive will sign you out of the main forum. You can sign into the archive forum in order to read posts on private boards you had access to at the time of the last archiving, but all posting and PMs are disabled while on there.

Archiving is not currently automatic, as we are still making sure that we haven't lost anything. However, in general it will happen once a month when things are ready, but we will not archive roleplay unless it is older than 6 months (3 months for most OOC posts).

Journals and bugs never get deleted from the main forum. Once the archive is merged with the current forum data (to create an updated archive) all settings are carried over, which includes forum access permissions and updated board settings, etc.


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