**Updated** August 2007
January 2007: There are NEW Guidelines now in place for "Inns" in the Prancing Pony. See Point #7 below.
August 2007: Added "List of Useful Links" at the bottom.
Guidelines for Role Playing in the Prancing Pony
First of all, welcome to TORC. If you are reading this then you have shown an interest in Role Playing. This guide is meant to help you begin to Role Play, to tell you the rules and give you a few tips to make your Role Playing the best it can be.
1. What is Role Playing or RP?
Role Playing is a common thing at TORC; it even has its own forums. Basically, role playing (or RPing) is a fun way to tell a story! You get to take on a persona different from your own, and create a history and a personality for your character, and then take him/her on an adventure, or to a party, or all sorts of other kinds of things. But the thing is, you very rarely know where the story will lead you or what will happen along the way. RPing is interacting with other posters, who are also part of the story. And most of all, Role Playing is fun!!
2. Does "The Prancing Pony" have any actual rules?
Yes it does.
**Absoutely NO one liners are allowed. We are trying to keep the Role Playing up to certain standards, no matter what the storyline. One liners do not advance the story, enhance anyone's character and do not give anything back to the other players so that they can go forward. To help avoid One Liners, check out How to Avoid the Dreaded One-Liner help thread.
**RP Topics in this Forum are to be Tolkien based. This forum is for role-playing within the world of Tolkien and Middle-earth. ALL RP's should be thought out before posting. 'Spam' type RPs will be removed.
**Please do not use an RP thread, RP Word Aside or OOC thread to solicit players for other RP's, OR to advertise your RP. This includes placing "RPers wanted, Please Join, Hey *Person's Name*, More People Needed, etc. in the title. These soliciting type things are disruptive and tend to lengthen the Thread title to abnormal lengths. These types of things will be removed. Placing "Accepting New Posters" in the OOC Thread title is admissable.
**DO NOT "bump" a Regular RP story thread, instead, make a normal post. "Bump"ing adds nothing to the story and can become quite annoying. If someone wants to reply to the thread, they will find it themselves. If you need to know where your thread is at and when it is posted to, please subscribe to the thread. (This ability is at the very bottom of the page.) This function will alert you to each post made to your thread. Having the thread at the "top" of the Forum should not be important.
**Do not set up a "Poll" in an RP thread. Polls are not relevant in this forum. Please use the Talk forum.
We appreciate your dedication to both The One Ring.com and the Prancing Pony forum. Please help us by following these rules.
3. How do I create a character?
The most important thing of all - Be Original! If someone is already using the persona of a character from Tolkien or a name that you want is taken, I suggest just creating your own ... it is a much better experience. So how do you create a character? Start off by deciding what race your character is. Is he/she an Elf, Dwarf, Man, Woman, Ent, Orc, Wizard, or Sorceress? Once you have chosen that, you need a name! You want it to have the feel of a real Middle Earth name. Bob The Elf doesn't sound too good, does it? So, if you can't think of a Middle-Earth type name, take an existing one and edit it. Or go to the provided link below to generate a name.
Example: Finarfin - Drop the "arfin" - Add a different ending - Finlundin - Your character has a name!
IF all else fails and you can't come up with a good name, here is a site that is a name generator The Barrow Downs. Please consider limiting your name sizes down some. We have several users already that have huge names that stretch out the screens. And please limit use of extra characters like *, ~, # etc.
Please note: Per the newly amended Terms of Service: While alternate User ID's are permissable in the Prancing Pony for Role Play character purposes, the original owner of the alternate ID must indicate their ownership of the alternate ID in the OOC thread. Any use of alternate ID's for purposeful deception will result in the immediate suspension of posting privileges for the owner ID and all the alternates.
4. What is an OOC?
OOC stands for "Out of Character" - It is basically the place where discussions about where the thread is heading, decisions about what to do, and other non-story discussions take place. So if you have something you want to say or suggest, post it in the OOC Thread. OOC threads are commonly called "A word Aside" as well. Remember this is where story planning takes place. Some chat is acceptable but making it a chat thread is not.
5. How do I join a RP?
So you have your character ready to go? Time to join a Role Play! The Role Playing is located in The Prancing Pony Forum and in The Green Dragon Inn: Role Playing - Tolkien Influenced Fantasy. These Forums are dedicated to Role Playing and the Aside/OOC planning threads exclusively. Please find one that looks interesting to you, and that you think you would have fun in. To do this, you may have to do a little bit of reading - open a thread and start at the first post. Once you find one you may want to join, don't just jump in!! First, check out that RP's aside/OOC thread. There might be restrictions on the RP, or special circumstances that are very imporant for you to know before posting. Getting the RP's starter's approval to join first is the polite thing to do and it is extremely appreciated. Also, be sure to read the entire thread before making your post.
6. I'm in a RP! What now?
Now it's up to you and your imagination, but there are some general guidelines you should follow:
*Treat others with respect. These are RP Stories, not Games. There is no winner, it's about cooperation and collaborative writing - not winning a competition. You are trying to get along with the other posters to create a story together, not beat them out.
*Please try to use proper punctuation and capitalization. Use a Word Document to type up your post and then run the spell check program. This will give the RP a professional feel.
*Pay attention to what other posters are saying and doing.
*NEVER kill another writer's character unless you have permission to do so.
*Keep up with the thread. It makes for a much more enjoyable time if everyone's posts keep with the current storyline(s).
*Try to keep your posts sensible, legible, organized, and clean. This is a family friendly site. There are children below 12 years of age posting. Please abide by the TOS (Terms of Service) at all times.
*If you are going to leave the thread, write yourself out. Don't make the other members carry your character. Use your best judgement when taking a break from your RP's. We all take a few days away at times but if you're gone for more than a couple of weeks, then you should, for the sake of politeness, consider writing your character out of the thread. You can always write yourself back in again later on.
*Do not do anything that affects another writers' character without their permission. This is just common courtesy.
*Try to avoid wacky posts. Nothing is worse than all of a sudden being thrown into battle with Morgoth and Balrogs in the 3rd Age. (It has happened before.)
*Writing dialogue or describing actions for another character is permissable, however, keep in mind that the other character's writer might not like this. It's a good idea to ask permission before touching on other writers' characters. Some people take it very seriously, while others won't mind at all. Just use your judgement.
*Sometimes, due to a variety of reasons, it is necessary to move another character along if their writer has not posted in a while. (This is called 'carrying a character'.) Hey, Real Life happens to us all! Just don't be too drastic in actions or dialogue.
*Creating dialogue is fine, but moving other writers' characters into a new situation can be a bit touchy, it's probably a good idea to consult them. Please try to contact the person first through either the OOC/Aside thread or by e-mailing them.
*Do not post large OOC comments in the story thread. This will clutter up the story. Aside/OOC threads are there for a reason.
*Most of all, have fun!!!
7. "What is an Inn?"
Inns are a type of Role Play where a group of characters are interracting in a specific and singular location, namely a Bar, Inn or Tavern. It is a totally "open" RP thread, no request to join is necessary and Inn threads traditionally do not require OOC threads. The recent building restriction on Inns has been lifted, however, there are some specific Guidelines for this type of RP thread:
Please note that these guidelines are being brought in for a trial period. We are trying to find a way to facilitate the open concept of Role Play that Inns represent, while still ensuring that this forum is not overrun by Inn-centered threads. We are hoping that the revised guidelines will help to keep a reasonable number of Inns open and running, while keeping too many multiple Inn threads from being started and abandoned and thus cluttering up the Prancing Pony Forum.
* To prevent an overabundance of Inns in this forum, only 3 Inns may be "active" at one time.
* All Inns are subject to the same guidelines that govern Role Play quality in this Forum.
* Any existing Inn that reaches 500 posts (or a few either way in order to nicely finish up a current scenario) will be locked and not automatically restarted. A request must be made to create a new thread to continue the Inn.
*"New" Inn threads must be requested first. A sticky thread is be provided at the top of this forum for this purpose - The Innkeepers Office.
* New Inns may be started whenever the number of "active" Inns falls below 3 (i.e: an Inn reaches 500 posts, or is locked due to inactivity).
* Any Inn that becomes inactive for 3 months will be locked.
* "Inactive" Inns that have been locked can be unlocked by request. However, they will only be unlocked if fewer than three other Inns are currently active.
8. Time to post!
There are many RPs on TORC. But if you are still uncomfortable about posting, we strongly suggest you head over to the Lucky Fortune Inn located in the Welcome Forum. Erinhue, a master RPer on TORC, founded this RP for the purpose of helping Newbies to Role Playing get a feel for it. We highly recommend it before heading into the Pony. There are also the Role Play 101 and Role Play 102 threads that you should look at before joining.
9. I have a Problem with something that's going on. What do I do?
Feel free to contact a moderator! If something is happening that you don't like, you think should be changed, or you think is inappropriate, contacting a moderator VIA E-MAIL is the best course of action. Thread creators retain the right to decide what happens in their thread and can politely request changes if necessary however, they are not Moderators. You can contact any of the Moderators if you have an issue or problem or if you simply have questions on how to go about something here in the Prancing Pony:
moderators at theonering dot com
Please remember that the Moderators are here to help you in any way they can. So relax and enjoy yourself, we've all been 'new' to the boards and Role Play at one time or another!
ONE STOP LINK LIST of other valuable information and instruction threads:
The Character Archives
Role Play 101
Role Play 101-A new Semester
Role Play 102 -Advanced Class
Role Play FAQ's
Get Your RP Off To A Good Start
The "How to Create a Good Character" thread and more
How to Avoid the Dreaded One-Liner
Middle Earth Name Generator: The Barrow Downs