Role Play 102 Advanced Class

Pull out your pack and head on down to the Prancing Pony for some great Role Playing (try to stay in character)!

Postby erinhue » Fri Jun 14, 2002 6:31 pm

All right class, settle down and come to order and you in the back with the corn chips, keep the noise down, Professor ‘Hue’s got one wicked whiskey headeache. Now a few of you have paid the tuition with checks that were printed on rubber and they’re bouncing all over the place. You know who you are so, ‘nuff said, and ‘the boys’ will be holding your grandma until further notice, if ya know what I mean.<BR><BR>I do hope that all of you have taken Role Play 101, which is a pre requisite for this advanced course. If you haven’t and even if you have, I suggest a quick read through as part of your preparation for the class.<BR><BR>I also suggest that you take a little time and read several posts in the established RP’s mentioned below. IMHO these are representative of high quality RP that aspires to be something Tolkien himself might have enjoyed reading. <BR><BR>Although by no means the only examples, these story threads consist of well thought out posts and the collaborative effort of the thread authors. A good idea would be to glance through the OOC or Aside threads for these RP’s to see the process behind the scenes. <BR><BR>I start you off with reading because that is at the heart of a good RP story. The goal is to have the thread read like a novel.<BR><BR>These threads are good examples but by no means the only examples of what RP in the Pony should be like and are listed in no particular order<BR><BR>Heritage<BR>SB's Challenge<BR>The Mithril Knight - of Beren and Luthien<BR>The Gathering Storm<BR>In Search of the RingBearer<BR>Ocean Journey.<BR>
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Postby erinhue » Fri Jun 14, 2002 6:34 pm

If you did even a small portion of the suggested reading you will understand the truth of what I am about to say about Role Play as it is done on TORC.<BR><BR><b>These are roleplay STORIES. They are NOT roleplay games. There are no points. There are NO WINNERS. The other posters are NOT YOUR OPPONENTS.</b><BR><BR>The RP’s on TORC are role play stories, mini cyber novels that are written through the collaboration of a group of authors who each “play” the part of one of the characters in the story and write from that perspective. All participants must put forth a cooperative effort in the planning and production of the thread<BR><BR>I was once in a beginning thread where our party was ambushed on the road. One character, a beautiful elf maiden, suddenly became some sort of deadly Ninja swords woman. The next poster said that he now had an army of orcs, in his pocket I assumed because there were no Orcs in the tale until that moment. The next poster called a ‘pet’ dragon into action and the next poster declared herself a Maia and made “time explode” and everything go back to normal with a wave of her hand.<BR><BR>Now I ask you would you keep reading such a ridiculous story? If you find yourself in such an RP, run and don’t look back. If you have written such things in an RP; Shame on you and don’t ever do it again.<BR><BR>When everyone is trying to trump the other guy and win the battle there is no logic to the story, no rhyme or reason to the action and precious little to keep anyone’s interest in reading or writing.<BR><BR>Had these posters cooperated and had travelers band together with swords or whatever they had available and fought off the ambush, and survived or been captured or killed; discovered why they were ambushed, or they knew why and were able to continue on, or not, these things would have made for a good story that would have captured interest and inspired the authors to continue on with the tale. <BR><BR>Instead the posters each tried to win the battle single handedly and you see the results. The concept of winning has no place in an RP thread. <BR><BR>OK class Uncle ‘Hue is gonna go take a dinner break so you can talk among yourselves. If anyone has any questions just jot’em down and I’ll try to get around to them at the end of the class.<BR><BR><BR>
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Postby Alys » Fri Jun 14, 2002 6:40 pm

<i>Alys sits quietly at the front of the class writing notes furiously</i><BR><BR>Ack! A one liner! Does this mean I failed already? <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0>
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Postby Aerin » Fri Jun 14, 2002 7:36 pm

Huh. I'm surprised you didn't include Elbren's Challenge, Erinhue. After all, it's one of the few RP threads that was actually finished.<BR><BR>Hmm... need me for an assistant or anything?
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Postby Running-Deer » Fri Jun 14, 2002 8:21 pm

Running-Deer came into the back of the class to make sure that this 'class' was being properly conducted! <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-wink.gif"border=0> Seeing there were only a few people now in attendance was disheartening but that Professor Hue was in fine form. Sitting down at the back of the room to wait and see how things turned out, gave the evil eye to one of the kids back there, sticking around to help the Professor out if need be. Think of RD as the class bouncer <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-wink.gif"border=0>
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Postby Aerin » Fri Jun 14, 2002 9:03 pm

A boun - RD, this class doesn't need a <i>bouncer</i>!!<BR><BR>... Not yet, anyway. <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-wink.gif"border=0>
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Postby erinhue » Fri Jun 14, 2002 9:38 pm

We are going to start off this section with something that has given many of you nightmares, Homework, which is something you had better do before you even think of opening an RP thread. A good idea is a good idea but it won’t make your RP a success, because a good idea is only an idea and an RP thread is supposed to be a story.<BR><BR>I have seen people post things like “ I think we ought to have a battle with Sauron or some Orcs or something. I am an archer and I will lead the Elves.” This was the entire content of the opening post. Would you join this thread? How can you, there is nothing to join. Would you read this story?<BR><BR>Thinking should be done in the mind and preferably quietly alone but not out loud on the board. My point is there is a lot of thinking that ought to go into the thread before the first post is made.<BR><BR>RPing is a collaborative effort with all members cooperating in the effort but an RP thread is not a true democracy. A good RP thread is like a good ride at an amusement park, for everyone to have a great ride, somebody has got to man the controls. I have seen threads that were discussed to death in the OOC where every detail suggested was voted on and polled so that we never did get to actually write anything in the RP. I have seen those that were so “equal” that no one would take responsibility for making any story decisions at all. <BR><BR>These things happen to a thread when no one is holding the reigns, however lightly. A thread survives on the imagination and contribution of all of its participants, but in the end, someone must guide the direction of an RP and that someone is most usually the person who made the first post., the one who started the thread. Most new threads die out within a page or two because the person who started the thread did not do their homework, they did not think before they posted<BR>
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Postby erinhue » Fri Jun 14, 2002 10:00 pm

So what do you think about before you start an RP? Ah wait I heard that there in the back. “How can you enjoy an adventure if you have it all planned out beforehand?” “I want the ideas to come fresh from all those posting in the thread.” “ I want the story to evolve as we post.” I got one word for all those concerns: NONSENSE.<BR><BR>The story will evolve or it will die out that is a rule of life. The story will often present its own new developments as it makes allowances for the imagination and creativity of the people posting to the thread, and believe me they will have some ideas and creativity or they wouldn’t want to RP in the first place.<BR><BR>These idea of “freshness” and “letting the story evolve” are like detours in a road trip, they are interesting and often take you to places you did not expect to go and you just might wind up in a place you did not expect at all BUT you were on the road to start with and you had a destination in mind before you made the detours. That is the planning needed for the thread to exist long enough to evolve into anything.<BR><BR>Again, what do you think about before starting an RP? Lets use the idea in our bad example. <i> “ I think we ought to have a battle with Sauron or some Orcs or something. I am an archer and I will lead the Elves.” </i><BR>I shall leave the last part, the references to character for another segment; we will deal with the initial part of this minimal idea. There are questions you need to ask yourself and the first that comes to mind here is Who? Sauron or the Orcs? Make up your mind and pick one, it doesn’t really matter and in this case you can have the Orc working for Sauron and thereby have both. OK that’s the villain now for the other Who, who is fighting him. Is this gonna be a tale of The Last Alliance? Is it an Orc problem on the borders of Lothlorien? Is Minas Tirth under siege? I don’t care what you pick but you must pick something and do it before you post anything.<BR><BR>My point here is an RP cannot deal in generalities. It can’t just be some elf swinging a sword, it must be Lord Ashlor defending the valley of Imladris against the Black Hordes of Saruon. It can’t just be some nameless faceless person being held prisoner and needing rescue. It is Linar daughter of King Thingol who was kidnapped by Sauron’s evil minions. That nameless city under attack should be the walls of Rivertown being staunchly defended by Lord Bjorn and the Rivermen. Sounds better all ready. That’s in the detail.<BR><BR>Your next big question is Where. Again it can not be some old woods but Fangorn or Mirkwood somewhere specific. This is the reason that most experienced RP posters have at least one decent, detailed map of Middle Earth that is kept handy when making out posts. Having a specific location helps to ground your story in a sort of reality. If the story takes place somewhere outside of Middle Earth than you will have a harder time doing this and a harder time getting all the posters in sync with each other. <BR><BR>If you say that you are in , say Mirkwood then everyone knows where the action is taking place. Now you should not now have people posting how they are in a boat in the bay of Belfalas and can see everyone on the land. They would have to have better eyes than Superman to accomplish that one and anyone who was reading before they post would not include such a thing in their post. Knowing the location helps with continuity from one poster to another.<BR><BR>Having a specific location can allow you to really be creative with descriptions. You might not have ever set foot in Mirkwood but you might have been to a park or forest somewhere sometime and can use that to help you describe your surroundings in the RP. Have you ever been someplace that reminded you of the Plains of Rohan, Seen some old castle in a picture or movie or (lucky) for real that might help you envision the fortress that holds the kidnapped Arwen have you ridden the BuckleBerry Ferry, by some other name. When the story is given a “real’ location you and your fellow posters can then use real locations to help them enhance their posts.<BR><BR>OK Kiddies it is getting late and Professor/Uncle ‘Hue wants to get some sleep so he can get a handle on his weekend. Until next time I want you all to take our bad example ( in italics above) and write it out again but answering the Who and Where questions. I mean for you to get some paper and write out the example and then change it around to something you think resembles one of the posts you read in the suggested threads. See what you can come up with and watch how many other ideas you get for a story while you are at it.<BR><BR>Next time we will talk a little about that all important first post. Sleep tight darlin’s and Bright Blessings to us all<BR>
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Postby Novice » Fri Jun 14, 2002 10:49 pm

Novice races in, bag spilling notebooks and quills all over the floor and grabs a desk nearest the front of the class.<BR><BR>Opening her first notebook on the very first page, she dips quill in ink and furiously copies down everything on the blackboard (or maybe whiteboard, doesn't make any difference--she just copies furiously).<BR><BR>Prof Hue leaves for the night, first class over. Novice stays back to revise her notes and clean the chalk dusters (or white board dusters, doesn't make a difference--she'll do anything to be teacher's pet).<BR><BR>Notes down time of the next class and goes home, head spinning.<BR>
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Postby Turelie_Lurea » Fri Jun 14, 2002 11:03 pm

<i>Lurea creeps into the vacant classroom, determined to finally get a front-row seat. Her stormy grey eyes flicker across the barren room, empty save for the garbage the ungrateful lurkers left behind.<BR><BR>Perhaps this class would help her RP skills. She could certainly use the help.<BR><BR>Looking up to the still unerased board, she jots down a few notes. Earlier, from the back of the room, she saw nothing and heard even less.<BR><BR>But now, she had her seat. So, she would bide her time until Professor 'Hue returned by reading her dog-eared copy of "How to Become Truly Evil, Return to Goodness, and Keep the Perks You Had as a Baddie."</i>
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Postby Novice » Fri Jun 14, 2002 11:40 pm

Lurea, maybe we could study together <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0><BR><BR>Erinhue, just wanted to say I'm very grateful for the time you're putting into this, and into the Lucky Fortune. I get palpitations every time I approach the Inn, so you can imagine how I feel approaching an RP with a more complicated storyline.<BR>
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Postby Leoba » Sat Jun 15, 2002 2:18 am

<i>Late as usual, Leoba snuck in clutching a strong black take-out coffee and took a seat at the back. It'd been a heavy night the evening before and her head was thumping, as though an advancing army were drumming their way across the delicate fibres of her hungover brain. It was quite probable that all the creative cells had been systematically destroyed by the copious volume of wine she had consumed. But Leoba was not one to give up lightly; she was determined to at least read and learn, even though her hands were maybe a little too shaky to write anything right now. <BR><BR>She'd done the Roleplay 101 course by distance learning, not having arrived in the school until it had finished, and she had passed the elementary class. But something had been troubling her of late. She was struggling to ensure that her posts were fresh and original and left something behind for the others to feed off. She needed to learn how to stretch her creativity, how to conjure up quality twists in the story and have the confidence to post them. And try as she might, the young woman was really struggling with the concept of actually starting her own RP. There was so much responsibility involved, such a huge plunge off a potentially large cliff. <BR><BR>She rummaged in her bag for her note book. There it was, buried under the copy of 'Gormenghast' and a multitude of old receipts and chocolate wrappers. She hauled it forth, scattering the clutch of papers tucked within it as she did so. Cursing, she scrambled around on her hands and knees, trying to gather them up. </i><BR><BR>"Can we help?" <i>It was Lurea and Novice, breaking off from swotting to give her a hand. <BR><BR>Leoba noticed the book, clutched in Lurea's grip: "How to Become Truly Evil, Return to Goodness, and Keep the Perks You Had as a Baddie." </i> "You should talk to SB about that you know."<BR><BR>
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Postby Novice » Sat Jun 15, 2002 5:41 am

Novice's brow creases in dismay.<BR><BR>"What do you mean, did I pass Roleplay 101!? You mean, there's a prerequite? Aren't there special exemptions for.....err....good behaviour or....err.....okay, so there are no exemptions. Well, I'll PROVE that I can do it!"<BR><BR>Novice stuffs all her notebooks back into her bag and storms to the back of the class, where she surreptiously checks all the shelves to see if there are any classnotes lying around from Roleplay 101.<BR><BR>Aha!! Making sure no-one's watching, she grabs a wad of work sheets, hides them under her jumper and sits down at a desk at the back of the room. She retrieves a notebook and quill from her bag and settles down to read through the first worksheet. She absentmindedly chews on the end of her quill, chokes and splutters as bits of feather fly from her lips.<BR><BR>Leoba and Lurea turn around, curious to see what she's up to, but Novice gives them a saccharine smile and turns her attention back to the task at hand, oblivious to the doings of the other swatters.<BR><BR>Hmmm, doesn't look that hard, she thinks. Let's see, should I attack Sauron or the Orcs---maybe they're Saruman's orcs, and I'm captain of the...lessee, the 13th Eored, looking after the Eastern flank of Fangorn.....<BR><BR>"No-one's chucking me out of THIS class," she mutters under her breath."<BR><BR>-----------------------------<BR><BR>Erinhue, are you going to check our homework? <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0><BR><BR>Seriously, do you want posters to post their versions of the first task, for friendly criticism and suggestions? It would also be an interesting demonstration on how one little one-liner can be amplified into an infinite variety of introductory posts, depending on the creativity and vision of the poster.<BR><BR>....up to you, of course. I'm abit of a zealot...<img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-tongue.gif"border=0><BR>
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Postby Findarato » Sat Jun 15, 2002 9:03 am

“ I think we ought to have a battle with Sauron or some Orcs or something. I am an archer and I will lead the Elves.”<BR> <BR>Findarato sticks his tongue out at the bad line- then remembers he's being 'immature' again, and may have, at some point, written an equally hideous line. "Okay..." he opens his highly scribbled notebook. "Now, where to begin?" He writes feverishly for about a half hour, with lots of rubbing out and rethinking and finally has a finished version copied out in neat.<BR><BR>Findarato<BR>Class: Role Play 102<BR>Teacher: Erinhue<BR>Date: 15th of the 6th month Anno Domine MMII<BR><BR>"I am Lord Alton of Doriath and I lead a company of elves also from Doriath. You may have heard of us. We are called by some, 'Winged Death' because our arrows fly so true. We have been stationed at Eithel Sirion since the beginning of the Siege. Even though we all come from about the same area, we often have squabbles- I will not say mostly due to the Feanorians, but they are part of the problem. What this company needs is a good battle to fuse them together. Nothing like some friendly competition." <BR><BR>Little did Lord Alton know how prophetic his words were to be... it was nothing like some friendly competition. The survivors of Winged Death certainly became inseparable, all ten of them...<BR><BR>Bio<BR><BR>Name: Alton<BR>Race: Quendi (Noldor)<BR>Gender: Male<BR>Height: 6’6<BR>Weight: 160<BR>Hair: dark brown, long, tied back<BR>Eyes: deep blue<BR>Skills: archery, swordsmanship<BR>Family: Mother: Inyaheri (RIP-Grinding Ice) Father: Eruanno (MIA presumed dead) Brothers: Ániero (RIP-Grinding Ice) Séro (Commander MIA)<BR>History: I decline to write it.<BR><BR>Findarato neatly folded his paper and put it on Erinhue's desk, then returned to his seat to catch up on his reading. He pulled a thick dusty tome from the depths of his black satchel and brushed off the cover. 'Great RPs throughout the Ages'.
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Postby Tobias_Red-tail » Sat Jun 15, 2002 9:18 am

Tobias had decided to improve her Rping skills. Upon entering the class, she was slightly upset to realize that she had already missed it. Luckily, there was all the notes on the board. So she copied them all down in her spiral notebook, using a chewed up pen.
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Postby SilverScribe » Sat Jun 15, 2002 10:27 am

<BR><i> Scribbles slipped into the room un-noticed and took a seat in the far back . . . oh how very cliched . . . hmmmmmm . . . let's see, ah, how about . . . Scribbles burst through the double doors, her sword alight in her hand and her hair wild. "Where are they!! Where are all those confounded role players and why aren't they all in this class!!" she shrieked at the top of her considerable lungs . . . nah, that will probably scare them all witless and Professor Erinhue will expel me . . . okay, how about . . .<BR><BR>Scribbles walked into the classroom, waved at the familiar faces she knew, nodded at the newcomers she didn't, then spots a seat in the position she had always favoured at college - against the wall, two down from the door. That way, she had a clear view of the boards, the professor (always necessary if he was a cutie <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-wink.gif"border=0>), and a quick escape route if needed.<BR><BR>She had completed Role Play 101, was intimately familiar with the handbook "Guidelines for the Pony" (in fact, a printed copy was tacked up next to her computer), and had even participated in a couple of modest little adventures. Why was she here?<BR><BR>"Because there is always something new to learn."<BR><BR>She peeks over Findarato's shoulder on her way to her seat.</i><BR><BR>"Hmmm, pretty good bio, but at 6 foot 6, I think 140 pounds is awfully skinny, even for an elf. I'd make him at least 165 myself."<BR><BR><i> With a mischevious wink at her fellow classmate, she plunks down and fishes a worn notebook and a well-chewed pencil out of her bag. Then she puts her head down and promptly falls asleep. </i><BR><BR>
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Postby Alys » Sat Jun 15, 2002 10:32 am

<i>* Alys looks round at the babbling students then continues to scribble notes furtively*</i><BR><BR>Bah! <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-mad.gif"border=0> Another one liner, I must stop doing this <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-rolleyes.gif"border=0>
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Postby Findarato » Sat Jun 15, 2002 10:50 am

"Curses!" Findarato muttered. "Did I write 140? I _meant_ 160!" He briefly contemplated doing his assignment over again, but instead settled for Authorian magic and edited, then went back to his reading.
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Postby Hunter » Sat Jun 15, 2002 12:53 pm

<BR>Pausing outside the door clutching a scrap of paper declaring that she had passed the previous class of Role Play 101, Hunter paused and took time to settle her nerves by drawing a deep breath and slowly releasing it. <BR><BR>Role Play 101 had been an arduous learning experience. She had made many mistakes and had been timid when she had first entered the hallowed halls of the Pony; there had been no such thing as a class for learning the ropes then. Instead, she had taken the time to audit the different Inns and Stories and had learned by following the examples she found. It had been time consuming and left little time for meeting many of the people who inhabited the growing realms of Middle Earth, but she had learned much, and was ready to learn more.<BR><BR>So here she was, hand resting on the handle. Then she stopped, as the door opened a crack. A low murmur of voices reached her ears, and she stood petrified. Did she look right? Was her dress appropriate? Would the teacher scold her for missing the first lecture?<BR><BR><i>‘Oh come on Hunter!’</i> Naveen hissed sharply in her mind. <i>‘You’ve faced orcs and wolves in the Misty Mountains and together we’ve battled everything from rogue dragons to black Magi’s! What are you scared of?’</i><BR><BR><i>‘Easy for you Naveen,’</i> Hunter countered. <i>‘You go where you will and brazen your way through everything! It’s not easy to meet new people.’</i><BR><BR>Naveen snorted and laughed. <i>‘Sure Hunter. Tell that to Finrod. You didn’t have any problem getting to know Elladan!’</i><BR><BR>A faint blush crept over Hunter’s face and dimples creased her cheeks as she smiled fondly at the memory. <i>‘Yes, I did get a tad carried away. All right, I’m going.’</i><BR><BR><i>‘Good.’</i> She heard the quiet tinkling of a bell and felt a gentle nudge from behind. <i>‘You too Belle?’</i> Hunter laughed softy to herself. <BR><BR>Opening the door, she stepped in and saw that the classroom was filling up. Shyly smiling at those who had already taken their seats, she walked down the aisles and set her battered notebook on the smooth worn surface of the first empty desk she found. <BR><BR><BR><BR><BR>
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Postby Maiden_of_the_Ice » Sat Jun 15, 2002 1:30 pm

Maiden walks in, taking the red eye course most people seem to be opting for. Walking up to the proffeseor's desk, which is currently professorless, her heart falls at the prerequisite. But she had looked through it, at length. Oh well, if anyone decided that she shouldn't be in here, she could go back to 101. Maybe if she did extra good on her homework . . . Grabbing an instruction rubric, her face again fell. <BR><BR>"I think we ought to have a battle with Sauron or some orcs or something. I am an archer and will lead the elves." <BR><BR>She read it softly aloud, grimacing at the fact that she had posted like that one too many times. She continued reading the rubric. It seemed they would need more details, such as who, what, where and when, simply put. <BR><BR>Clearing her throat, she opened her sticker covered composition notebook, and flipped past at least twenty pages of half hearted squiggles that could be called drawings, rosters of e-mail adresses, sketches that she wished to the ends of the earth weren't on paper, until finally she found a blessed, clean sheet. <BR><BR>Nervously, she picked up her quill and dipped it into a large pot of ink, tapping it nervously up and down on her desk, before realizing what she was doing. Like a slide show, images of being thrown out of 102 suddenly conjured themselves, their appearance horrificly terrifying the young woman. She reached out with her sleeve and non-chalantly rubbed the ink off the desk. <BR><BR>Now that her brain freeze had ended, she began to write furiously.<BR>Or not so furiously.<BR><BR>Name: Niracar <BR>Gender: female<BR>Race: Elvish<BR>Age: 2600<BR>Alliance: Mirkwood<BR><BR><BR>'<i>On this day we ride forth to do battle against Sauron's remaining evil minions who fight on, despite the fall of their dark lord. They have attacked our borders and our king, Thranduial, has vowed to drive the dark forces from our kingdom once and for all. I am to be in charge of the twentieth legion of archers. We will destroy them!</i>'<BR><BR>She looked in dismay at her work, on the verge of weeping. She neatly tore the paper from the book and clipped it to the check that payed for this class. Oh, well... she had failed. Failed inevitably. Disconsolately, she pulled a book out of her bag. <BR><BR>The title read: <u>Dol Amroth: a Sailor's Tale.</u> She sighed heavily and dropped the assigned book of the week from English back where it belonged.
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Postby erinhue » Sat Jun 15, 2002 9:35 pm

Novice, Not right now but I do intend to do just that a bit later, actually much as I would like to,I am too busy to do it all the way through I do have a job and family and I like ta sleep<img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-wink.gif"border=0>although I have seen your work on the boards and you don't need this near as much as some others.<BR><BR>Findaro- nice effort but ya gotta loose the stats that leads to game thinking and who would read that in a novel? It would be much better to write out a descriptive paragraph or two but we will discuss character in another segment.<BR>-----------------------------------------------------------------<BR><BR>Good Evening class glad to see every one and I hope you all did the assignment. I’m not collecting them at the moment but I hope you did them. I can talk to ya all I want and you can listen and really want to get it, but the fact of the matter is there is only one way to learn how to write and that is to write. It is true that the more you do it the better you will get.<BR><BR>We were going to talk about the first post of a thread but I want to take a minute to talk about before you make that post. If you have not done much Rping and are not used to writing creatively, then do everyone a favor and don’t start a thread. You are not ready.<BR><BR>OK so you acknowledge that you are not ready to start a thread but there is no thread for you to join. The older threads are intimidating and some are not accepting new members, but you want to get some practice and to have the fun of actually RPing. What do you do?<BR><BR>This is where the various parties, inns and taverns etc. come in, Even the welcome and congratulations threads can serve a purpose. When you come in to the tavern don’t go sit in the corner. Come in with a story to tell the patrons, or come in weary from a quest or battle. Come in and strike up a conversation or become involved in whatever activity is going on. Put a lampshade on your head and dance around if necessary but DO SOMETHING. Have your character perform some sort of action. What action? That would depend upon your character. If you have done your homework you will know what your character would do.<BR><BR>If you have created a reserved quiet sort of character or just are not the lampshade type then have your character sit in the corner, but have him or her observe and comment on the action even if it is in thought and not in any conversation. Let them reflect upon what brought them to that particular party or tavern. Go to the Butterfly Garden and write your character sitting under an elm tree admiring the fluffy clouds in the sky. <BR> <BR>The point is there are places for you to practice stretching your imagination and giving your writing skills some beefing up exercise. Even if you cannot find an RP to join that does not mean that you cannot get some RP experience. Take advantage of theses things. Join one of the alliances or guilds in the Alliance forum. Many of them engage in their own contained Role Play activities and you might find it easier to get involved in them and they will give you the practice and the simple writing experience that you need to improve. Practice really does make perfect.<BR><BR>Another assignment. Go to one of the suggested threads and look one of the posts. What does it say? Take that post and boil it down to a one liner. Strip out all the adjectives and descriptions and fancy names and titles, everything, break it down to it most simple components, just the facts and the less words the better.<BR><BR>OK now you have the boiled down core of a fairly decent post. What I want you to do is recreate the post. I don’t mean just recopy or even simply reword it. I want you to create a post that says what your boiled down one liner says. Expand it as far as you can. Add in your own details and descriptions, the more words the better. Use the original post as a guide if you must but try and do it on your own. <BR><BR>In deconstructing the post you will see what was added to your boiled down version by seeing what you pull away from the base meaning of all the words. Then put all the words back only this time make them your words. Again, I mean get some paper or call up WORD and write the assignment down. Remember writers write.
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Postby Wisteria » Sat Jun 15, 2002 11:30 pm

"So THIS is where you are! I've been looking all over the boards for this class -- oops. Sorry, Professor Erinhue."<BR><BR><i>Wisteria entered looking as bedraggled and exasperated as she had on her first visit to the Lucky Fortune oh, so many months ago. A newbie to the boards then, her posts had been short, while her mind was full of questions. Master Erinhue had adopted her and answered many of those questions, but there were many threads in the forest that she'd been hesitant to visit. The Pony was one of them.<BR><BR>She'd entered once, but having heard from others that one just did not join an RP without being invited, she'd left after only a few minutes there, scared someone would see her lurking and throw her out. Instead she stayed at the Lucky Fortune until she'd gotten some confidence.<BR><BR>Starting her own guild had been difficult enough. Master Erinhue had helped there -- given her permission and guided her beginnings, congratulating her and advising her at the start. The guild had taken off, sometimes running itself with its own momentum, a fact that still astonished her.<BR><BR>But she had been still afraid to linger long in the Pony. Again, upon the advice of Master Erinhue, she'd read SB's Challenge, with the intent to possibly join, but was intimidated by the commitment. So when her friend Scribbles came up with an idea and invited her along, it seemed like a great chance to learn with a small group -- many of whom were experienced players.<BR><BR>Dutifully, she'd read RP 101 at that time, grateful again to Master Erinhue for his guidance. With trepidation, she began writing in her very first RP -- and discovered the joy of it.<BR><BR>When the dustup about the oneliners started, like usual, she had no idea what was going on. She was always the last to know the latest dirt. Curious, she read a few of the locked threads -- and was shocked and dismayed by the writing. And, as is often the case with newbies and causes, she became a crusader for better writing.<BR><BR>And now, up late and unable to sleep, she'd seen the notice for this class. Late as usual, she curtsies to Master, er, Professor Erinhue and takes a seat near Scribbles.</i><BR><BR>"Can I copy your notes later?" <i>she whispers to her friend.</i>
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Postby Snowdog » Sun Jun 16, 2002 6:00 am

Snowdog comes into class as he had paid tuition and wished to take it for remedial reasons. But in his typical school demeanor, he missed the first day and arrived late the second, and he had no notebook, just a pen. He took a seat in the back and hoped to breeze through this and get the certificate, and if he learned anything along the way, so be it. He will have to try and not smoke any pipeweed before class though as he would find himself drifting in thought and eyeing the girls of the class. He noted one fine lady he attended RP 101 with, who also showed up late. She passed him the assignments, and saw it was <i>HOMEWORK!</i> it was a requirement before starting RP threads... <BR><BR>Snowdog snickered and tossed that aside, for if one would notice the scrolls of threads, there are none started by Snowdog.. well save his old Ale house which he closed, and the Nameless Inn which wasn't his to begin with.. and it long ago went down in flames and the Nameless Thing had not been seen in the Pony since. No, Snowdog didn't start threads... he just participated in a few and gave them his all.
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Postby SilverScribe » Sun Jun 16, 2002 8:09 am

<BR><i> Scribbles left off snoring and sat up when Wisteria nudged her. She blinked at her friend and noticed that the Professor was just launching into his lecture.</i><BR><BR>"Sure, sure, I'll give you my notes after class, no problem, what there is of them," <i> she whispered to Wiste, gazing down in dismay at the sketchy notes scribbled in her notebook. Grinning, she followed her friends example and began listening closely to what Professor Erinhue was saying . . .<BR><BR>She groaned inwardly at the assignment. Break down a post in one of the "daunting" threads? One of the threads written by the likes of Elbren, Saurons-Nagging-Wife, Finrod-the-Faithful, Barad-Dur (**shudder**), Snowdog or even the Bard of Belfalas himself? She began to sweat even thinking of making the attempt.<BR><BR>A question occured to her when Professor Erinhue mentioned going into an established Inn or Tavern or party. She had seen this happen, and was curious what advice the accomplished Professor would offer.<BR><BR>She put her hand up as he was gathering up his notes and cleared her throat nervously.</i><BR><BR>Ah, Professor? Uh, yes, well about that "joining an existing party or entering an established tavern" thing? What do you do if you get yourself in the door and even put yourself next to someone and talk to them and everything, and then they um, er, well they ignore you? I mean, how aggressive are you allowed to get?<BR><BR>
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Postby Hunter » Sun Jun 16, 2002 8:49 am

<BR>Sitting quietly at her desk, pencil in hand and blank paper before her, Hunter wrote a few words, paused, erased them, paused, wrote some more, scratched out what she had just written, then finally tore out the page and wadded in into a ball and dropped it on the floor to join the other’s that lay at her feet. <i>“Just can’t write elves very well, gotta do this my own way,”</i> she muttered to herself as she pulled out a clean sheet of paper and started scribbling again. <i>“I’ll make them rangers, and one character will have elvish blood, that should satisfy the requirements.”</i><BR><BR>*****<BR><BR>Michrel Lachlan sat his horse overlooking the valley in the rolling, wild hills of the Ettenmoors. The long, hard ride during the time of high summer had left him tired and parched. He lifted the water bag from where it rested against the sweaty, heaving sides of his horse and brought it to his lips…nothing. <BR><BR>Glancing around, he saw that the small band of rangers he rode with had plenty water; they were used to the long days and nights in the saddle and had rationed theirs. They were a seasoned band; veterans of many skirmish’s with orcs here on the edge of the wild. Michrel felt foolish and looked around for his father. <BR><BR><i>“They passed this way just before sunrise.”</i> Ruark lightly touched the ground in front of him as he squatted next to Ewen Thane, then lifted his head and looked out over the valley and pointed. <i>“Probably hiding out somewhere down in that draw, waiting for night to fall before they move again.”</i> <BR><BR><i>“Aye,”</i> Ewen agreed. Ruark Lachlan’s skill as a tracker was second to none among his men. He picked up a stick and traced the outline of the valley in the dirt. <i>“I’ll take five or six of the men, those skilled with a bow,”</i> he looked over his shoulder at the sun. <i>“Should be able to reach where the valley narrows,”</i> he stabbed the stick in the dirt, <i>“just before sunset. Give me time, and then lead the rest of the men down into the valley. You’ll have them on the run and we’ll have ‘em trapped.”</i><BR><BR>The two men rose, and as Ewen turned to speak to the men, Ruark saw his son looking for him. <i>‘So like his mother,’</i> he thought as their eyes met. Tall and slim, with his mother’s dark hair and gray eyes, Michrel was barely a man, but already skilled with a bow. <i>‘Comes from his mother’s elvish blood.’</i> <BR><BR>He laid a hand on Ewen’s arm and said quietly. <i>“I’d like to keep Michrel with me.”</i><BR><BR>Ewen nodded, then spoke aloud. <i>“Ruark thinks the orcs we been tracking are holed up somewhere in the valley. We’ll split up. Those that I take will have some hard riding to do before upset.”</i> <BR><BR>He ran hand through his graying red hair as he let his gaze wander over the men and few women he lead before he made his choices.<BR><BR><BR>*****<BR><BR>She was busy writing, lost in her own little world and didn’t hear Erinhue when he came into the classroom until he sat on the edge of his desk and started talking to the class.<BR><BR>Chin resting on her hand, Hunter listened, nodding her head in agreement with everything he said until he started talking about the next assignment. A look of dismay crossed her face. She had barely finished one task and now another?<BR><BR>She looked down at the paper lying on the desk. It was finished, or at least as finished as she had time to do. She sighed; it may take her longer to do the next assignment, but she would try. <BR><BR>Hunter rubbed her eyes and stretched as the door opened and an old friend from 101 entered. She smiled as she watched him saunter down the aisle.<BR><BR><i>“Never thought I’d see you here,”</i> she whispered as he passed her desk. <i>“You missed the first class.”</i><BR><BR><i>“Came to pick up a few pointers, if there are any to learn.”</i> He cracked a smile as Hunter handed him a sheet of paper with the assignment he had missed, then her attention was drawn as someone asked Erinhue a question as he prepared to leave.<BR><BR><BR><BR><BR><BR> <BR>
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Postby erinhue » Sun Jun 16, 2002 10:44 am

Erinhue laughed at SilverScribe's question. <BR><BR>"That was exactly my problem when I first joined TORC. I leaped into the Pony my very first few posts and no one talked to me or answered back in any of the taverns etc that I tried. I was lonely enough to think of leaving for good but I wanted to get in on the action and no place else was like this place.<BR><BR> Agarak is the result of that. I invented the dragonharp so that I would have something to talk to and to play off of since no one else was responding. I put some hard work and imagination into those early posts and in a short time one of the demigods of the Pony at the time not only responded to me in the next post, he added a verse to the song I posted and then asked me to join him at a table and later asked me to join in a new Rp he was starting.<BR><BR>How aggressive can you be? How aggessive would you be in a similar real life situation? It is permissable to do a little writing for the other characters in a thread. You can ask a question and then post them replying, or spill something on them and write in a reaction for them. <BR><BR>These things might get a response since people generally do respond to the use of their names. Sometimes people are so involved that they do not notice the newcomer or assume someone else will answer them. If you speak to someone specific, involve someone specific, you increase the chance that that someone will respond and help pull you in.<BR><BR>Strive for the best work you can produce,try several places at once, be creative and don't give up. that's the best advice I can give you and it does indeed work even if you need to be a little patient.<BR><BR>Hunter: that was an excellent example of weaving all the elements into an introductory post. You put us in a specific place and season so we know a great deal about the surroundings; with "real"people who act and think like real people. Your post has enough detail and flavor to stand on its own. We already have a sense of who this character is where he is and what he is about. You have also provide enough infomation for another poster to hook onto in their post. Well Done.
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Postby erinhue » Sun Jun 16, 2002 11:02 am

Today’s class might run a bit long. We are going to discuss joining an existing RP thread.<BR><BR>You have attended a few parties and checked out a few inns and you made sure to do more than just sit there saying and doing nothing and you think you’ve had enough practice. You are ready for the threads, but how do you get into one?<BR><BR>The best thing would be to join a thread that is just starting up. Now that can be hard because A) there might not be one starting at the time you want to join. B) new threads are limited and could very well remain so in the future. Then there is C) you want to post with some experienced posters so that you can improve yourself.<BR><BR>Admirable thought that C but that is the trickiest one of all. How do you get in to an existing thread?<BR><BR>The very first thing you MUST do is READ THE THREAD. Too long you say? Well if you want to post with authors who have the dedication to keep a thread going for weeks and months and in a few cases years, then you must match that dedication. If reading the thread is too much of a chore for you then you should rethink what you are doing? <BR><BR>Reading is necessary because now the thread has its own history and you can count on the fact that said history and background material WILL be coming into play. You must read what came before so that you are up to speed on what has happened and the current situation in the thread story. <BR><BR>NOTHING will get you flamed out of an existing threadas fast as showing that you have not read what came before. Introducing characters who already know each other, placing action in a location the thread left behind days ago, rehashing an old situation, as if it were new, better put on the asbestos undies before you try any of this at home.<BR><BR>I know some of the best threads are loooong and you are in a hurry to jump in. For a quick fix I will reluctantly suggest that you read the first couple of pages, those once the story actually gets going if it starts with OOC info and then as many pages back from the current end as you can manage but no less than 3 or 4. This will give you an idea of the gist of the tale and then acquaint you with the current situation.<BR><BR>Now while you are doing all this reading you should also be looking for something, how your character can fit into this story. <BR><BR> The very best way to find that is to know your character well and we will discuss that later. While you read look for openings for a stranger to join the action. Get caught eavesdropping. Met up with them on the road. Be a rescued prisoner of the Orc party the heros just killed. If you know one of the characters or posters from elsewhere maybe your character can know them here. Be on the look out for openings as you read.<BR><BR>You see where one of the faceless people in that crowded tavern could be you. You have read enough to know that they are looking for an old scroll that just happens to be the one you are reading, or you know where it is and come forward. Accost them on the road and say you mistook them for others and can you travel with them until you can find your friends. Get the idea, make what has gone before work for you.<BR><BR>The second fastest way to get torched in an existing thread is to just jump in and start posting. Bad form, Bad manners, Bad idea. Go the Aside or OOC thread, there usually is one even if you must make an effort to search it out. If there really isn’t one to be found, I suggest that you Email the person who started the thread or someone you perceive (from your reading) to be a major player. In either case you want to make a request to join the thread.<BR><BR>“Please, please, pretty please let me join your thread” really isn’t going to get you very far. Let them know that you are interested in joining the story and then <b> show</b> them your stuff. Show them who your character is and how they might enhance the story. Show them the clever way you have found to use the history and action of the thread to place your character in the thread.<BR><BR>Think of this as an audition. Don’t come in and <b>say</b> I would like to be Darius the elf and I could help you find the treasure. What response do you think that will get? At best someone would respond, OK, how? You should have already shown them the answer to that.<BR><BR>You don’t say anything. <b>Write</b> Darius overhearing the heroes talk and realizing that they are describing the very item that his father left him long ago. He never knew it had any significance other than to remind him of the family that was killed by the very person the heroes are trying to destroy. Darius ambles up to the bar and asks why they want so and so destroyed.<b> ( this is a hook that the next poster can work with, if they choose, by explaining a bit of the story background concerning so and so.) </b><BR><BR>When Darius hears this he knows these are the folk he needs to help him destroy so and so and he can show them the item left to him by his father and asks to join the heroes.<BR><BR>So that’s the formula for entry into an existing thread. Make the request in the proper place and then <b>show,</b> don’t tell, them how you can fit in.<BR><BR> Make an actual post including your description and dialogue if any, writing out the action as if<b> you </b> were actually the one pushing though the sweaty crowd in that dimly lit taven to approach the strangers that you hope might help you avenge your dead family. Putting yourself into the action, that is why they call it Role Play. You are playing the role.What would you do? Would you suddenly appear in the tavern at the hero’s elbow. How would you react to that? You are most likely to get a blade in the belly right on the spot. Be realistic. Put yourself into it and write your best, it is an audition.<BR><BR>This method will show that you know the proper procedures, show that you have some working knowledge of the story so far, have a character that can have a place in the story and a reason for being there and it will show that you know how to make a post that has is more than a “one liner”. If you have done your homework and put in a real effort you should be in like juice and gin.<BR><BR>OK lets get out those notebooks. Today’s assignment sends us back to an established thread. If ya wanna cheat pick any thread that you have already read BUT ARE NOT POSTING IN CURRENTLY.<BR><BR>Look at the story and find a way to put yourself into it and then WRITE out your audition post. Look it over. Does it match up with the other posts in that thread? Would you feel a jarring sense of inequity when reading one of the existing posts before and after yours? Would you want this writing in your story if your were the people already in the thread? <BR><BR>Don’t really think so? Why? What’s wrong with it? OK now go back and fix it. You know when you have really worked hard on something. You don’t have to tell me anything at all, but in your heart you know the answer. If you put in 10% you will get back10% and a 10% chance of being accepted into the thread. You can say you worked hard all you want, the work will show it every time and it will show it if you didn’t. Like life you get out what you put in so give it your best.<BR><BR>
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Postby nienor-niniel » Sun Jun 16, 2002 1:17 pm

nienor-niniel had to concentrate hard to follow this class, the first she attented. Her head was aching, and her nose still dripping, remains of the cold that had hold her away from the first lessons. Luckily Leoba and Scribbles had passed her the notes they had been taking and like everything they do, they were of great quality, so she thought she might follow from now on in person. <BR><BR>How to join a RP thread? Thsi had been a eal dilemma for her, until she found one of such good quality she couldn't resist the temptation, read for a few days, asked to join, created her character - now she just has joined the story and finds absolutely thrilling, but very difficult. Maybe, she thinks, I took something to high for myself...<BR><BR>There had no way for her to train in the Lucky Fortune - too crowdy to get in when she tried. There was the Orphanage, a good place for training or for seeking comfort, and you could be sure you would get attention. <BR><BR>Right after the next aspirine, she would start reading one of the RP- threads the master had mentionned and try to write an introduction. Of course, only if Master Erinhue would accept the excuse from the doctor for the first lectures. <BR><BR>(OOC: by too crowdy I mean that my computer does not accept posting in very long threads, maybe other users have this problem too?)<BR>
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Postby Aerin » Sun Jun 16, 2002 2:23 pm

<i>Aerin pursed her lips and whistled soundlessly. She wished there had been a class like this back when </i>she<i> first started RPing! It would have been so much easier for her. Of course, she thought, she probably shouldn't have started out in one of the threads packed with the demigod posters. That had been a mistake. She took out her pen and jotted down a few ideas.</i>
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Postby Sauron's_Nagging_Wife » Sun Jun 16, 2002 2:25 pm

“Forgive me, Master Bard.”<BR><BR>The door had opened while the Professor was speaking, and now the Lady Legrace stood framed in the doorway, her dark red hair unbound, as was her custom, and the neckline of her blue linen afternoon gown <i>far</i> less revealing that those she wore in the evening. Her smile was sweet and guileless as she entered the room and approached the teacher’s desk.<BR><BR>“I am in the next room with the students for ‘Seminar in Seduction 667’ (a graduate level course) and I find I must borrow some chalk.”<BR><BR>There was no sound or movement for a moment, and the unspoken thought among the students was <i>Chalk? For Seduction?</i>; however, the Dark Lady stood waiting serenely and seemed not to notice the odd silence.<BR><BR>“No problem.” Erinhue opened his box and took out two pieces for her. “Here ya go, your ladyship.”<BR><BR>“Thank you. And let me know if you come across any promising pupils for me,” she added with a mischievous grin before winking at Hunter.<BR>
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