Guidelines for good roleplaying online

Take your time

It's better to know what you're saying and say it all at once rather than have lots of choppy little lines that clog up screens

Emote in 3rd person

Think about this. Reading lines of roleplay is like reading a book. If a book had "Alison removed my coat" you'd assume Alison was removing the coat of whoever was thinking the thought, not her coat. "Alison removed her coat" is a lot clearer.

See: Emoting

Use speech marks

Same theory as the 3rd person. Treat it like a book. Characters in books use speech marks, so why shouldn't your RP characters? Using speech marks means you can include actions on a speech line and speech on an action line.

eg. <John> "Hey Alison, how's it going?" he grins.

eg. Alison smiles back. "I'm fine David."

No editorialising

We don't know why your character is doing something, so don't tell us. If you're looking for a book, tell us you're looking for something because there is a certain look to that.

eg. BAD: David looks around the room for his copy of War & Peace

eg. GOOD: David looks around the room, he appears to be looking for something

Introduce your character

When you enter a room, mark your entrance with an emote. You don't suddenly appear in the middle of the room and start chatting - you have to say how you get there.

eg. John walks into the room

See: Emoting, Joining Channels

Leaving a room

Please remember that other players can not see where you are going, and if they wish to follow you this may be an issue. So please remember to note where you are going.

eg. John leaves through the north entrance

rather then 'John leaves'

See: Emoting, Leaving Channels

Avoid detailed descriptions

If you enter a room and drop a long description into the chat, it disrupts the flow of play. It takes up a lot of room on screens and makes people read it to see if there's anything they didn't know already. Now, once might be ok, but if you do that every time you enter a room and you keep moving rooms... there's going to be issues.

The easy way round this is to give your full description in an out of character area, usually a Google Doc - ask in the OOC room if you aren't sure. Then should something be different or important about your description, note that when you enter the room.

eg. John walks into the room, his long hair strewn with leaves and a panicked expression on his face

eg. John walks into the room with his coat folded across one arm.

eg. Angela comes down the stairs, her mascara streaked across her face

Indicate other languages

Each game should have a default language that is spoken by all characters. In most cases, this is English, but there are exceptions. When you have a character who speaks more than one language and you would like to speak in one of your other languages, you need to indicate which language you're speaking in to other players.

In a multi-lingual game, there may be rules for having your current language at the end of your nick. This primarily displays the main language you are speaking in, as no one should expect you to change your nick to say one line in a different language and then change it back.

The nick "Angela|Fre" indicates that Angela is speaking French. The reason it's at the end of the nick is so that when you say something, it's easy to see what language it's in.

eg. <Angela|Fre> "Hi John, how's Mary?"

The other way of doing this is to state language before your text. See below.

eg. <John|Eng> [Fre] "She's doing great. How are you?"

So, while John is primarily speaking English, he responds in French to Angela. This method can also be used without indicating a language in your nick.

eg. <Angela> [Fre] Oh, "I'm not too bad, thanks."

Phone calls

If you are speaking in a room, then this should be indicated even when you are communicating via a phone to someone in a different window. The person standing next to you can still hear one side of the conversation, if not the other.

Choose nicks wisely

Your nick should contain all relevant information about your character that people need to know. For example, if she's got the Striking Looks Merit. On the other hand, having a nick that's too long isn't a good idea. So there's some give and take in it. Ensure that you've abbreviated what you're adding, but don't go so far it's unintelligible.

So, if we have Marcus, a 2000 year old Ventrue Invictus vampire who has Striking Looks 2, Humanity 3 and Blood Potency 6, how should be have that in a nick? How about this?

eg. Marcus|SL2|BP6|Hum3 is fairly clear and gets the important points across.

That he's Ventrue and Invictus don't matter. You can't tell that sort of thing by looking. If he was a Changeling Darkling Antiquarian though, how would we do that?

eg. Marcus|DL|Ant is completely unclear. DL could mean anything? And he's an Ant? Wait, what?

eg. Marcus|Drklng|Antiq is better, but too long really. There's a better solution.

If the details people should know are too long, then put them in your description. Not everything needs to go in your nick after all. Better to have too little than too much. The people running the game should have rules on what they want included, so you can always ask them.

Typical nick tags:

Visitor (not your local game)
Striking Looks 2
Fame 1

IRC/Internet issues

If you are unfortunate enough to have some form of issue during a game which causes you to leave or log out of IRC. Then please re-enter the game via the room you were previously in.