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Playing on a Forum

Written February 7, 2020

The particular environment of forum roleplaying can be notably different from that of other platforms. Aside from the particular functions of the forum software itself, there are also certain ways that forum roleplays do things that games on other systems won't do. This guide aims to go over to help new players get accustomed to these ways and what they're for.

APP versus APC

First off, there's something we call APP and APC. APP stands for account per player, and APC stands for account per character. Different sites prefer things differently, but APC is very common, as it keeps characters separated and removes the need for players to use context to figure out which character is posting. This also allows players to customise the accounts for their characters and add some personalisation and flare.

Neither APC or APP are better than the other; it all boils down to personal preference, so if the opportunity arises to try an APP game, it's recommended to give it at least one chance.

Subaccounts

More recently, forum software has begun gaining the ability to link accounts together in order to make changing between one account and another easier, thus eliminating the need to log in and out on APC sites. Some require now a main OOC (player) account, with character accounts linked to that OOC account as subaccounts. Other systems, such as the one on Simprovise, creates characters more as masks that a main account wears for some posts and not others.

Applications

While Simprovise does not utilise one, it is good to know that other RP sites may require an application be submitted before being allowed to play on a site. This application may be very simple, or extremely detailed, and may take a good deal of time to complete, or none at all. Appless sites such as Simprovise simply give a place for users to fill out information they deem necessary about their character, so that others can know about it, and then let them go play.

Remember that applications are not biographies. A biography is a character information sheet that is filled out by the player. This often also doubles as an application, or what a site's staff will look over to determine whether the character will fit the site's rules and setting information, and what will need to be tweaked in order for a character to be allowed for play. A site without applications can have biographies, and sites with applications can be lacking in biographies, depending on how the site is set up.

Plot Threads/Shippers

Sometimes also used as applications, plot threads, or sometimes called shippers, are threads that are filled out with the express purpose of enabling other players to plot with one's character(s). Some sites will use them, but not have anything ever come of the usage, while other sites make frequent and consistent usage of them and always have discussions in them turn into actual play.

If a plot thread should be per-player or per-character varies, but either way, they're filled out with information about a character, what they're doing now, what you'd like to do with them, and any other plot opportunities that are available for others. Say, if one of your characters should have a best friend, you can list that there. If your character wants to become a doctor, that's something to mention. Other players read this information and if they can help one of your wants out, or think the character will mesh well with their own or the two should know one another, they'll post with that information.

Remember, no one can read minds! If you're not up-front about what goals you have and what you want with a character, it's not fair to complain about not meeting those goals or getting what you're after.

Wanted Advertisements

This is another way of filling wanted roles. Wanted advertisements or requests are specific roles in a character's relationship circle, be they platonic, enemies, family, or lovers, that a player would like taken up by someone else. It's generally accepted that if a player taking a role doesn't work out, the requester can take the role back and return it to being wanted, but it is recommended to try working with the player that takes the role and give them a chance. Likewise, if roles are taken back for shallow or silly reasons, other players will start being unlikely to take any roles you request.

It's best not to make wanted advertisements too specific. Everyone writes differently, and players that take these roles will need enough creative wiggling room to put a bit of themselves and their unique style into the role without feeling like they're stepping on toes or upsetting people. It's also okay to return a role because someone is making you feel too uncomfortable with their demands and expectations.

Post Splicing

This is when a writer individually reacts to the separate elements of a post, rather than all of it at once. This ends with a character pair having multiple conversation threads at once. Not many people can keep track of these multiple conversation threads happening simultaneously easily, so it is best recommended to avoid doing this. Remember that what happens in a character's post happens before you have the opportunity to react to it, so take it as a whole, rather than splitting it apart to process the elements separately.