Golden Rules of Roleplay
Everyone has their own rules and requirements when they're searching for a roleplay partner, but there are some unspoken rules that should always be followed. The list below describes some of the most common "unspoken" rules that roleplayers encounter when they're searching for and interacting with potential writing partners.
This is key, be it about the plot, your partner’s limitations, or your partner in general. Discuss plot points, action to be taken, and whether or not the story is working for you. You should both be happy and comfortable with what you’re writing.
Respect each other’s ideas. Respect each other’s time. Respect each other as people. There is another person on the end of your computer or phone screen that is taking the time out of their day to write something to you. Respect them.
Roleplaying is a collaborative effort. Offer ideas to encourage the growth of the plot; remember details within the plot to make character interactions more believable. Don’t take over, but don’t expect your partner to take the lead, either. Work together.
4. 3RD PERSON, PAST TENSE
Most roleplays are written in 3rd person, past tense with an omnipresent perspective. Unless you have discussed with your partner writing in a different style (ie; 1st person, present tense), it is safe to assume that this is what is expected of you.
5. SPELLING & GRAMMAR
While some mistakes are alright, you should still put some effort into keeping your sentence structure and spelling correct. If you have to run your work through spell check, do it. It’s easier to read. Remember: typos are okay in moderation, chatspeak is not.
6. NO GOD-MODING OR POWER PLAYING
God-moding refers to invincible, powerful characters that cannot be harmed or defeated. Power playing refers to controlling your partner’s character, often without your partner’s consent. Both are frowned upon in the collaborative storytelling world.
7. NO MARY SUES/GARY STUS
Make believable characters: it’s that simple. Don’t make a character that is inherently perfect, can do nothing wrong, and is constantly the center of attention for an inexplicable reason. It’s boring, unrealistic, and difficult to interact with.
8. SOMETHING TO REPLY TO
Write something that your partner can interact with and progresses the story forward. It doesn’t matter if you’re the type to write a single sentence or an entire chapter; length means nothing if you don’t give your partner something to reply to.
9. NO GHOSTING
Don’t leave your partner hanging if you’re going away or no longer interested in the roleplay. If you’re going to be gone for a bit and won’t be able to reply, let them know. If you’re no longer interested in writing with them, politely say so. Don’t just disappear.
10. HAVE FUN
This may seem like a silly rule, but it’s true. If you’re not having fun with your roleplay, you’re doing something wrong. It shouldn’t feel like a chore or something you have to do. You should be excited to read and write a new reply from/to your partner.
11. NO UNDERAGE SMUT
Most websites you'll interact with partners on follow US-law regarding the age of consent. What this means is that if someone is under the age of eighteen, you cannot write NSFW themes with them. It is considered child pornography and is a jailable offense.