The common rules of role-play are the essential rules that all public role-playing groups employ to keep things in order. These include things like godmodding, metagaming, and autohitting. One of the fundamental skills that every good role-player has is the ability to follow and abide by these rules. Even though everybody has the occasional slip-up, disregarding for these common rules is frowned upon amongst the community.
List of Rules
To follow is the list of common role-play rules that every role-player should understand and follow.
Do Not God-mod
God modding is when a character features god-like abilities, such as invincibility, mind control, or other unrealistic powers that might not fit with lore. Another form is when your character does something impossible that could kill them.
- Example: *Eric would grab the sharp edge of the sword with his bare hand, not having his palm or fingers cut in half.*
- Another example: *Luke would punch his opponent chest, despite it being covered with armor, it would break through and impale him despite not having any enhancement, or claw on him.*
Do Not Meta game
Meta gaming is when a player applies out of charter retrieved information to their in-character, such as having information that only several in-characters players knows, and you obtained it without having your character there, or by just hearing it from others out of character.
- Example: A player watches a role-play about a secret item, that only they would know. That said player would enter a role-play with them talking about the items, which he doesn't know of.
Do Not Auto (Auto hit, Auto walk, etc)
Auto is when a player performs an action without giving the affected players a chance to respond to those around him. More advanced role-players will go into detail with their actions and emphasize their attempts.
- Example: *John grabs the target by the neck and kisses them.*
Do Not Lore break
Lore breaking is when a character breaks lore, which is anything that likely affects a character or scenario. The basis for these commonalities is origin, culture, and known historical events. Lorebending, a similar term, is when existing lore is lightly modified (Hence the term lore bending), but not significantly or in a way that detracts from the role-playing experience. Often this has to do with ideas that are neither supported nor contradicted by existing lore.
- Example: *Broaven the Rellekan sailor is an established water mage and heads into the settlement to meet up with his other shipmates and use his magic to help them on their next trip.*
Do Not Power-play
Power-playing occurs when a player operates someone's character without the other player's consent. The most blatant example of this would be a player writing, "Your character falls off the cliff when he walks up to it." As you can see, you take active control of what the other character does. Not only is this not fair to the other player, but it's also discouraged because often players will misconstrue the behaviors and personalities of characters they didn't design. Power playing goes into more subtle situations, however.
Saying, "Sally charges towards Jack so fast that he wouldn't be able to react enough to avoid it," can also be considered a violation of this rule since Sally's player has controlled Jack's abilities, possibly in a way that doesn't accurately represent his character.
Do Not Play Mary-Sues or Gary-Stus
A Mary-Sue is a specific kind of character that has a lot of feats, and no flaws. A Mary-Sue is any character (of any gender, age, race, or species) who fits one or more of these descriptions:
- A character who’s too perfect, lacking realistic or logical flaws, or whose flaws do not affect them in any ways.
- A character who’s exactly like their creator, except idealized or made “better”.
- A character who’s far too powerful, especially whose abilities exceed that which is possible for his/her race in the setting of the story. Particularly if said character has abilities that do not exist within the boundaries of the story’s world. Often these characters are technically legitimate, but are very, "Look at how unique and cool I am!"
- A character who’s cliched, having qualities or characteristics that are overused by people trying to have a powerful/perfect/cool character. This includes but is not limited to the traits listed as Popular Role-Play Trends.
One way to test if you character is Mary Sue is by taking this test.
Role-play is about creativity and while these rules are not just needed they can at times during very deep and important role-play points be a bit constricting. That being said, like many things in life the rules of role-play are not the be-all and end-all. It takes skill and knowledge to know when one can bend one of the above rules to affect a role-play in a positive manner, this is usually done in small groups where the people involved know what they are getting into and are okay with it. This takes a long time to understand and should only be attempted by advanced role-players.
Always keep in mind that the purpose of role-playing online is to have fun - for everyone, not just yourself.