Posting Standards and Etiquette: Updated 2002.11.05 errors/omissions

 



There are many things to keep in mind when roleplaying on the AMRN. Following these guidelines will ensure that all posts are easy and enjoyable to read for everyone. Do not deviate from these standards unless you have permission from your GM.

Standards of Style

Write in a third person perspective narrative style, in past tense. Don't use first person perspective or 'God mode' perspective. While both of these are common in tabletop role-playing, experience has shown that third person narrative is the best for online gaming. Here is what you should do:

3rd person narrative: Joe walked over to the windowsill where he had spotted the delicious looking apple pie. Making sure that no one saw him, Joe snatched the pie and ate it.

Here are examples of what not to do:

1st person narrative: I go to the windowsill, and make sure no one sees me. Then, I'll take the pie and eat it.
God mode #1: I'll have Joe go to the windowsill where he spotted the pie. If no one sees him, I'll have him take the pie and eat it.
God mode #2: Joe will go to the windowsill where he spotted the pie. If no one sees him, Joe will take the pie and eat it.

When your character speaks, use quotation marks and write exactly what is said. Don't use simple narration (paraphrase) unless absolutely necessary. For example:

"Hey you! Get out of here!" Joe shouted.

rather than:

Joe shouted to the figure to get out of here.

In addition, please don't leave 'blank spaces' for other characters to reply. Here's an example:

No blank space (correct): "Hey Joe, let's go and take that pie over there by the windowsill," whispered Moe. Waiting for Joe's answer, Moe quietly crawled forward a bit to get a better glimpse at the pie.

Blank space (incorrect): "Hey Joe, let's go and take that pie over there by the windowsill," whispered Moe. (Joe's reply) "So what're we waiting for?"

Etiquette

Don't roleplay other people's characters or NPCs played by the GM. You only have control over your own character and perhaps minor NPCs. You have no control over what other characters say, act, or think. Playing other people's characters may cause undue friction between you and the other player(s), not to mention the GM.

Additionally, please keep in mind that if one character says something bad about your character, that doesn't mean that the player is saying something bad about you. The game is much more interesting when there is tension between characters, but please try to keep these in-character emotions from spilling over into the out-of-character realm. (It's easier to avoid this if your character is not exactly like you, but this is not a requirement, merely a suggestion.)

Text Formatting

There are many ways to format text with the Discus boards, and this can lead to a variety of different ways of indicating the same thing. For consistency's sake, please follow these guidelines.

In general, your posts should be in white text. Colors are used only in specific circumstances, described in greater detail below.

Typical prose, such as

He walked into the building, tipping his cap at the ladies.

does not need special formatting, except perhaps a \b{} or a \i{} to emphasize a particular word.

A character's thoughts can be represented by the use of italics, gray text, or both. Do not use quotation marks (") around the thought.

I wonder where everyone is, she thought, scanning the room.

When you wish to reference another character's speech, do not use the \quote{} command! The game boards should read more like a book than a forum. Please restrict your use of the \quote{} command to out-of-character situations.

To indicate in your post that you are responding to something that another character said, you may either quote the other character directly, using italics and quotation marks:

"Well, well, well," the instructor said, making him jump. "If this isn't the sorriest group of cadets I've ever seen." Vince's eyes flashed at the comment.

or you may paraphrase, or refer back to the original post:

At the instructor's insulting remarks, she flushed crimson, anger boiling inside her.

However, do not directly quote the prose that another player has written (anything that doesn't fall between quotation marks)! This is plagiarism, because it looks like the work is your own when it really isn't. If someone before you has very vividly described a scene and you don't think you can describe it as well, focus on something else instead of just repeating what the person who posted before you said.

When your character sees something on a poster or a PDA or a computer screen, you may use colors to differentiate this text from the rest of your post. You should also use the \indent{} tag.

He flipped open his PDA and hurriedly scrawled out a message to Mika.

Hurry up! We're going to miss the opening act.

Then he resumed pacing.

There are other rare cases when using colors might be acceptable. If you're unsure, just ask your GM.

Helping the Pace of the Game

As a player, it is partially your responsibility to keep the game moving. You don't have to wait for the moderator to post to a turn when you're not in a combat situation. The moderator is only there to resolve major events that require mediation. So long as what is happening isn't going to change the face of the world, or isn't combat, don't wait for the moderator. Just continue roleplaying! You are encouraged to develop your character's relationships with others. Forge friendships, find a lover, argue, create rivalries, go out, see the sights! Experiment! Just don't do anything that will change the nature of the game without your GM's permission.

No GM appreciates a player who doesn't post frequently. Some GMs even impose posting time limits in order to keep the pace up. If the game is lagging and you are able to post, do it. And don't just post to yourself! Try to interact with other characters to keep things exciting.

Grammar, Punctuation, and Spelling

Please proofread your posts and check for grammar, punctuation, and spelling errors. It's hard to read a post that is poorly written. GMs have the right to remove a character from the game if the player is unable to communicate clearly and effectively in written English, so try your best. You don't have to be perfect, but you do need to at least make sure that other people can understand what you're trying to say.

Final Notes

If you have any questions or problems concerning these guidelines, don't hesitate to post on the General Discussion board. Your Admins and GMs are always willing to help you.

For help with writing, please see this website: http://webster.commnet.edu/grammar/index.htm



Originally written by Mute
Expanded upon by
Illusion