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 The Ultimate RP Guide to the Army of Light

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Vyynn Randos

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PostSubject: The Ultimate RP Guide to the Army of Light   Fri Jul 23, 2010 11:54 pm

Color Guide
Red: Topic Title
Blue: Important Point
Green: Example


What is RP?
Roleplaying, commonly known referred to as 'RP', is the act of the creation and control of a particular character, wether the character be original or part of existing Star Wars lore.

Why should I RP?
Roleplaying is a great way to interact with people and create your very own Star Wars adventures. You'll often find yourself getting absorbed in the storyline of the RP you're participating in, and gasping at certain revelations that play out.

What are the different kinds of RP?
Forum RP is when you take control of a character through words. Imagine it as if you and your friends are collaboratively writing a Star Wars novel. Ingame RP, such as in Jedi Academy or, eventually, The Old Republic, is when the events of your storyline play out in real time. Many people prefer ingame RP, as it more closely simulates the illusion that you are 'inside' your character, while others prefer forum RP, as they have time to plan and write out their response.

There is also the 'Open' and 'Closed' RP scenarios. An Open RP means that any person can join and add their character to the timeline. A Closed RP is where only a specific number of people can join, usually mentioned in the first post.

Another is the difference between a continuity RP and a AU RP. A continuity RP is where the events inside actually affect your character persistantly, and will have consequences that stretch onto other RP's. AU, or alternate universe, RP's are where the events affecting your character are not referenced again, more of a 'what if' RP than anything else.

An example of an continuity RP would be if Vyynn had his arm chopped off by a Sith Lord, who Vyynn proceeded to kill out of anger. These events would persist me in other RP's, where I might be discharged from the order from breaking the Jedi Code, or if I got a replacement arm.

An example of an AU RP would be if AFTER the above example occurred, I participated in an RP where the Sith Lord was still alive. This would be impossible in the timeline of my character, as the Sith Lord is dead, but would be ignored for the sake of the fun of the RP.

We've established the basics of roleplaying. Let's move onto the mechanics of an RP.


THE SETUP: You cannot have an RP if there is no context. Make sure you describe the events leading up to an RP and what is about to 'occur'. This provides context for people considering joining the RP, and makes it easier to transition their character into the existing plot.

An excellant example of RP setup is by our very own Ilvos Gedd:The Lignan Affair

THE JOIN: If you notice an RP that you want to participate in, you need to incorporate a character into it. Make sure to read EVERY post so far, in order to stay relevant to the RP. A major annoyance is the 'Ninja toon', where a person will have a character magically appear out of nowhere in an RP and ruin it for the other characters. Keep it believable.

THE POSTING: The number one no-no for most roleplayers is 'god-modding', which is the act of controlling anothers character. If you get to know a person and their character better, you might be able to obtain permission to control that character to a point (in order to propel the RP along), but if you don't have specific permission, DO NOT GOD MOD.

A typical post has three parts to it: the reaction, the internalization/NPC/enviroment control, and then action.


The reaction is what you do in response to the last relevent post. For example, if Jessa bursts our crying and falls into Vyynn's arms, the first part of my post might sound something like this: 'Vyynn had never seen someone cry so hard. Knowing she could sense how awkward he felt, Vyynn held her, gentley rocking her and trying to think of something to say.'

The Internalization/NPC/Enviroment Control is where your character has thoughts, notices the actions of other non-player characters, and the environment. obviously this is a very flexible stage, in which any combination of three, or none, can occur. Be descriptive and try to keep it intresting. Example: 'What to do? Jedi weren't exactly trained in grief counseling, so Vyynn resorted to making quiet cooing noises. They could barely be heard over the crashing thunder, and at that moment, Vyynn was glad that this breakdown had occured under the shops awning instead of out on the walkway. Pedestrians hurried to get out the rain, glancing quickly over at the two of us embracing, only to turn away quickly when they realized it was a private moment.'

The action is where you independantly perform some action or speech, propelling the plot forward in the RP. Example: 'Vyynn cupped Jessa's chin in his hands, and pushed until she looked up. 'Don't worry about it, Jess,' he said quietly. 'It'll all work out on it's own'.

But Vyynn, you might say, you just controlled her character! And so we arrive at the topic of CaC, or 'character affecting character'. While you cannot control the actions of another character, YOUR actions still AFFECT others, much as like in real life. You cannot physically control another person into shooting you, but you will certainly feel the result if they DO fire. And so it is in RP too. You MUST be careful. The line between CaC and god-modding is an extremely fine one, but if you can walk it, the feeling of genuine connections between characters will increase immensely.

That's the easy part of RP. Now we move onto the hard (and consequently, more fun) side of RP: the details of your character.


Where to begin? Well, as a basis, this is the Army of Light. Your main character is aligned with the Republic, wether they be Jedi, Trooper, or Smuggler.

You can be any race, any planet, and culture. Your background should be unique, but don't fall into several common archetypes:

The Tough Guy: You know him. He's been through hell, and he's the biggest bad-a** this side of...well, everywhere. He's unstoppable. He's unkillable. And also completely unrealistic. Characters are rarely so one-dimensional. People are complicated.

Sam Skywalker's/Sally Solo's: The long lost cousin/brother/father/relative of a famous Star Wars character. Keeping in mind that this IS the period of Jedi Dynasties (more on that later), where it's not uncommon for Jedi to be related to each other and for relatives to be known, dipping too deeply into this treacherous pool results in your character being nothing more than a twisted parody of the character you are trying to imitate.

The Bad-A**: The difference between this type of character and the Tough Guy is in the attitude. The Bad-A** isn't neccessarily cocky. What makes him a flawed character is attached to his abilities. When designing a character, a lot of people end up trying to give their characters a unique edge, and results in almost godlike manifestation. Let's be realistic. Very few characters are as powerful as such inspirations as Obi-Wan or WIndu. Not every person can be THE BEST EVER at their talent/job/etc. Not to say that you can't be powerful, or that you can't have a unique ability, but your character will be more believable overall if you develop this, instead of showing up in an RP already 'amazing'. This is seen as an attempt to dominate other players, and is generally frowned upon.

The Psychic: He knows all. He understands all. And is ALSO completely unrealistic. This type of character shows up almost exclusively in forum RP's, where others can generally see your characters thoughts. Even though YOU can, your character cannot. Jedi might be able to sense emotions and feelings, you might be able to decipher some things from the 'sound' of a characters voice or an expression, but you can generally NOT hear their thoughts.

Superman: He's invincible! He's the best fighter in the world! This archetype ALWAYS dodges the lightsaber blow, NEVER gets hit by the blasterbolt, ALWAYS evades danger. Don't be afraid to allow something to happen to your character, or to lose a fight. If you attempt to always come out on top, you will cheapen the experience for yourself and others.

The Ex-Boyfriend: He's always calling your house. He 'randomly' shows up at your work and house. The Ex-Boyfriend tends to involve himself in every situation, even if it's blatently obvious that it would be impossible, or ridiculously difficult. This trips up the plot of the story.

Since your character will fall into one of these three categories (Jedi, Trooper, Smuggler), we'll go over some class specific things you should keep in mind:

JEDI

COMMON THEMES
-Good VS. Evil
-Aggression VS. Pacifism
-The Means Justify the End.
-Naivety
-Justice
-Redemption
-Descent Into Darkness

COMMON PERSONALITY TRAITS
-Calm
-Arrogant
-Wise
-Caring
-Adament about Justice

COMMON APPEARANCES
-The standerd biege tunic, with a brown cloak.
-Same as above, with plates of armor covering vital targets.
-More elaborate robes for higher ranked Jedi's, usually involving the colors white, green, and blue.

COMMON BACKGROUNDS
-Raised by Jedi from early age
-Discovered by a Jedi
-Sought out the Jedi after discovering Force sensitivity
-Turned from Sith


There are two very broad Jedi archetypes. We'll discuss them in terms of two very recognizable characters, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker.

Obi-Wan represents the peaceful, pacifistic archetype. These Jedi tend to be extremely polite, respectful, and wise, with expirience. They represent a more strict side of the Jedi Code, and encourage it in others. Other examples are Master Yoda, Qui-Gon Jinn, the EU version of Luke Skywalker.

Anakin represents the fiery edge of the order. These Jedi tend to be more outspoken and prone to aggression. They defy the more conservative Jedi at most every turn. Other examples are Kyp Durron, Jacen Solo, and pre-scarred Ganner Rhysode.

Different Jedi will have different skills and roles, but here are a few notes every Jedi roleplayer needs to understand:

Force References: While in games, different abilities within the Force are named for the sake of gameplay, lore-wise, Jedi don't tend to 'name' abilities, rather describing the effects it has on the surrondings, and on how they accsessed the talent.

WRONG EXAMPLE:
'Vyynn dodged the Sith's blows, then used Saber Throw in impale him in the chest.'
'The Sith Force choked Vyynn, rendering him helpless.'

CORRECT EXAMPLE:
'Vyynn dodged the Sith's blows, and threw his lightsaber. The blade, guided by the Force, chopped elegant circles in the air before impaling the Sith in the chest.'
'The SIth extended a clenched fist. Vyynn choked, grasping at his neck, but there was nothing to remove. The Sith's eyebrows furrowed, and preassure increased.'

Force Proficiency: You are not the most powerful. In Master Jinn's words, there is always a bigger fish. Padawan's are typically unsure of themselves and generally unskilled. Knights are competant fighters and wielders of the Force, and their power can vary depending on the intelligence and competacy of the character. Masters are the equivalent of Sith Lords, and are nigh unkillable except by overwhelming Force or equally skilled enemies, except in extremely rare circumstances. From an RP standpoint, our Grand Master Jephos Mispir would be absolutely untouchable except by Grand Master Satele Shan, certain Sith Lords, and the Emperor himself.

Force Restrictions: The Force is not magic. It cannot do everything. It is a law of nature, and has rules and restrictions. Again, these vary depending on the different abilities and Jedi. For example, Dorsk 81 and his fellow Jedi Academy candidates had to combine their power to move one, let alone a fleet, of Star Destroyers, while Galen 'Starkiller' Marek brought one out of the sky by himself, and with no physical damage done.

Force Exhaustion: This occurs when a Force-user draws too heavily on the Force, beyond their own reserves. This is actually seen in the Jedi Academy Games and The Force Unleashed. When you use an ability that requires more Force energy than you have, you gain Force exhaustion for every point of Force energy you didn't have. This exhaustion has to deplete before your Force power could recharge. From an RP standpoint, Force exhaustion takes a long time to recover from, and significantly alters your physical status as well, making you slow and tired. Remember this when your character engages in combat.

Jedi Dynasties: There are two types: in one, the 'Mastery' dynasty is a series of linked Master's and Padawan's. Example: Yoda to Dooku, Dooku to Obi-Wan, Obi-Wan to Anakin. The second would be the 'Heritage' dynasty, where the Jedi are related through blood. Example: Anakin to Luke, Luke to Leia/Jacen/Ben, etc.

TROOPERS

COMMON THEMES
-Brotherhood
-Atrocities of War
-Mistrust of Jedi
-Honor

COMMON PERSONALITY TRAITS
-Confidence
-Humor
-Determination
-Aggression
-Loyalty

COMMON APPEARENCES
-Various types of body armor, usually color coded by rank
-Body suits when off duty

COMMON BACKGROUNDS
-Naive and wanting to defend the Republic
-Veteran from a militia wanting to achieve more
-Home destroyed, want payback
-Criminal released in a contract

Troopers are unique in their unpredictability. While all are loyal to the Republic cause, they can range from being optimistic to almost dangerously sadistic. They have their own reasons for joining.

VS Jedi/Sith: You are not a Force user. What makes a Trooper deadly is that they are underestimated, and their ties to their other Troopers. While Jedi find themselves in uncomfertable positions due to working alone or with another. Troopers almost always have their squad at their back.

Spec-Ops: Once again, you can't always be the best. It's not going to be an intresting RP if every trooper is in a special unit. You can make some pretty awesome stuff while only being a grunt in the front line troops, and will ultimately allow you to paint a broader picture and engage you in more diverse conversations.

Usefulness: Most Jedi don't have the skills you have. Pick locks, slice computers, repair droids, etc. Find a specialty, and other characters will adapt to you. They also don't have the numbers you do. One battalion might have about 2 Jedi attached to it.

ADDITIONAL TIP: Read the 'Republic Commando' novels and play the game. Then change a few details and the skill set, and you have a decent trooper. Happy reading/gaming!

SMUGGLERS

COMMON THEMES
-Denial of high moral values
-Discovery of humanity
-Mercenary Intrests VS. Rewardless Humanitarian Efforts
-Love pursuits
-Payback/Debts

COMMON PERSONALITY TRAITS
-Arrogance
-Lucky
-Excellant Piloting
-Knack for troublemaking
-Scoundrel like behavior

COMMON APPEARENCES
-Whoooooo's scruffy looking?

Smugglers are probably the most intresting type of character to create. Unlike the Jedi and Troopers, you have almost NO restrictions on character creation, beyond that you have to explain what eventually motivated you to assist the Army of Light/Republic. What got you into smuggling? Maybe your a father with bills to pay, a street urchin brought up as a criminal, or a murderer trying to get his conscious clean.

Ships: Smugglers tend to own their own ships, and the ships tend to be highly customized. Make sure to use them in context with your story appropriately.

Companions: Every good smuggler has their first mate, and you should too. This results in interesting posts, as both of the characters are controlled by one person.

Now that character creation is complete, we can finish this with the MOST important part of RP: the writing.

You don't have to be Timothy Zahn to RP. However, a certain basic grasp of the English language is required, as well as appropriate grammar, spelling, and formatting. If you pount out what your thinking and press 'Post Reply' before editing, you'll probably end up with something like this:

'vyyn smeld rakghouls near and he turned his lightsaber on and killed them after he took an eevator up and met jessa who said vyyn we have to find the sith lord'

Nobody wants to read that. You might even get ignored if you continually post replies such as this, which is not wanted by either sides. An extra minute or two will result in a post more along these lines:

'Vyynn could smell the stench of the rakghouls as they attacked. Drawing his saber, he cut them down quickly. He activated the eleavtor and ascended to the upper levels, whose doors opened to reveal Jessa, standing impatiently. "Vyynn', she scolded. 'We have to find the Sith Lord.'

Obviously, you should try to make the post a bit more descriptive. But I think the point is made. THE TWO THINGS you should never forget to do:

Capitalization: Sets the pacing of the story and help the reader/roleplayer understand where the nouns and the beginning of sentences are.

Periods: Shows where the end of the sentence/thought is.

If you have any suggestions, or think I missed anything, please post below so I can add it and help make our forum and ingame RP's a little better. Check back periodically for updated information!

-Andre
'Vyynn Randos'

_______________________


Quote :
"Secret, shall I tell you? Grand Master of the Jedi Order, I am. Won this job in a raffle I did, think you? 'How did you link that, how did you link that, Master Mispir?' Master Jephos links these things. His job, it is."
-Jephos Mispir

Quote :
"If the enemy is going to kill you with your own weapon, they should have have to beat you to death with it because it's out of ammo."
-Vyynn Randos
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Ilvos Gedd

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PostSubject: Re: The Ultimate RP Guide to the Army of Light   Sun Jul 25, 2010 1:10 am

Very nicely done, Vynn; I applaud your efforts. I've never seen someone break down the precise mechanics of making an RP post before, but you've done a spectacular job of it. And thank you for the compliment, by the way.

Your character summaries and archetypes to avoid are also excellent, but I would like to make a few suggestions. With authors who tend to like their characters rather than embody them, the archetype below is common; you might consider adding it if you feel the description is appropriate.



The Mary Sue / Gary Stu: Where the Superman is physically perfect, the Mary/Gary Sue/Stu is mentally and emotionally perfect. Such characters are always virtuous no matter the situation, always choose the morally correct decision even at great cost to themselves and their loved ones, and are never tempted by pain, pleasure, or power to do something that isn't right, no matter how minor. Everybody is tempted during the course of their lives; resisting temptation is one of the classic plots for a hero, but so is making mistakes with a cost, short or long term. Example: if executing a helpless but evil person would save someone you love, you would be greatly tempted despite the moral wrongness of the deed, and so would any realistic character. but not a Mary/Gary Sue/Stu. Likewise, no one is immune to torture or seduction; the very best of us fail under pressure, and legends are forged from how we climb back from our mistakes, so it can really help with storytelling to let your character succumb on occasion if the circumstances are right for it.



If it meets with your approval, I would also advise adding the following to the Jedi roleplaying tips section.



The Dark Side: Every Jedi encounters the Dark Side eventually, and every Jedi is tempted. Most don't give in, but these are extraordinary times; the Republic stands on the very brink of annihilation, the Sith are a major power in the galaxy again, and the Jedi cannot preserve peace if there is no peace to be found. Example: Perhaps a bit of dark power springs from the fear a young Jedi experiences as a pro-Sith terrorist threatens a hostage, allowing him/her to snap the terrorist's neck at range and rescue the innocent. He/she has to wonder: if drawing on the Dark Side just a little saved someone's life, maybe he/she should use it - just a little bit, of course, like before - the next time such a desperate situation comes up. But, like so many substances that are destructive to the body, the power of the Dark Side feels good. Once that young Jedi starts using even a little, no matter how good her intentions, she begins to take pleasure in it, justifying it more often. It becomes an addiction, and, like any addiction, it's hard to admit that it exists and even harder to beat it.



I would also like to recommend that the following be added to the list of trooper roleplaying tips.



True Grit: As a trooper, you don't spend your time in gardens meditating on the will of some invisible power. Your life unfolds in the trenches, a mixture of grime and blood staining your armor. Unlike Jedi, you don't balance training in war and philosophy, instead focusing exclusively on combat. You are taught to persevere in the very worst situations, to endure the most terrible physical and mental pain and discomfort. Example: Even the greenest recruit is trained to know that, if he/she is ordered to charge across a battlefield with laser blasts flying all around and almost zero chance of survival, he/she will do it, and will not quit no matter what unless ordered to retreat. Experience in battle hones this grim determination, an asset most Jedi (being concerned about individual lives and all that hooey) would find impossible to match.



Of course, Smugglers are my personal love, and it bodes well that I was greatly, greatly impressed with their section. I do have just two minor suggestions, however. First, under "Common Appearances," you might add "-Wild West-inspired clothing", which covers everything from vests like Han wears to Dash Rendar's leather pants to the ever-popular Mal Reynolds-style "Duster" coats to Chewie's bandoleer, and potentially "-Showy, gaudy attire" for a more Lando or even Xizor-style outlaw. Then again, I'm not sure about either of those; given that smugglers can run the gamut of appearances, that might just propagate stereotypes and mess with individuality. I leave it up to you. Finally, I suggest that the following be added to the Smuggler roleplaying tips section.



Code of Honor: Most Smugglers wouldn't call it something as antique as a "code of honor," but all heroic criminals have a few lines they won't cross, and most Smuggler heroes share several basic guidelines. They don't kill helpless opponents. They don't harm children (some actively protect children). And they don't betray their friends. These are givens for Jedi and Troopers, but for Smugglers they're what separates them from common thugs and murderers. Most also have a few specific guidelines for themselves. Example: Han Solo was kicked out of the Imperial Academy because he stopped his superior from beating Chewbacca. Later, when offered a lucrative job transporting slaves, he flatly refused based on principle. Sometimes Smugglers break their codes, and it's a big deal when that happens. Example: Han Solo betrayed Lando Calrissian and an alliance of other Smugglers to support the woman he loved. When he needed help with Jabba the Hutt, his former associates abandoned him. Lando, once a close friend, didn't even talk to him again for three years.



Once again, phenomenal job. I hope people will read this and take it to heart; the reminders about punctuation and capitalization alone were enough to kindle a warm, fuzzy feeling in my heart. Keep up the good work, and let me know what you think of my suggestions; I'm happy to discuss them either in this thread or via PM.

Edit: some of those suggestions are real blocks of text, I just realized, and I wouldn't be surprised if a couple of them need a paragraph break to be legible; I'm used to reading and writing dense paragraphs rather than splitting them up, though, so I can't really tell. Also, I have a tendency to use rather archaic diction; if you feel it needs cleaning up to be easier to understand, I'll gladly work on that.
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Ocerus Skyborn

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PostSubject: Whoa   Tue Nov 23, 2010 10:36 pm

Whoa thanks this helped me a lot.
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