Gamers' Corner


Basic Rules for FFRP

Written by Georgette Tan & Elisabeth Cook

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Free Form Role Play, or commonly abbreviated as FFRP, is as its name suggests - a system that can be based on any, none, or all existing systems. There is no fixed list of skills, no character sheet, basic or no rules on combat, casting and character creation. By-the-book gamers look on in horrified fascination at such a lawless realm, but then again, roleplaying by-the-book involved a lot of ROLL-playing and very little ROLE-playing. FFRP is the art of spinning tales with independent characters played by different people in an environment pre-defined by the founder.

A lot of roleplaying is based on something most people tend to leave behind when they switch on the computer and log into the Internet - courtesy and common sense. Remember to take those with you the next time you roleplay, and the rest should be easy.

1. There is a difference between IC and OOC
IC stands for In Character, a mode that requires all players to play their charaters role. Call it roleplaying in progress. Or lights, camera, action. This is when you will find people in their roleplaying personas, acting and talking like how their character is suppose to. OOC means the opposite, Out Of Character, where you can all relax, be yourself and talk about what's on TV tonight. In chatrooms, OOC talk is required to be enclosed in brackets, (()) or [[]]. Some has a separate channel for OOC, which is much better then peppering the roleplay with OOC comments.

A thing I often see is people taking things that happen IC personally – as an attack to the player and not to the character. Most of the time, this assumption is not true. Strife well-executed between two characters can contribute to good roleplay, story and character development. If someone suddenly decides to hate your character, it does not necessarily mean he hates you. It happens sometimes, and that kind of behavior is just a display of immaturity.

Similarly, OOC should not be taken into IC. Say for example two people who are friends IC and OOC. One day, these two friends have a fight. When they meet IC, their characters start fighting for no IC reason. Hmmm…

2. You don't know me until someone introduces us
The way the Internet is designed requires us to have a name to identify us by. Channels and chatrooms display the names of the users, but the problem with that is that some people think roleplay channels works along the same lines as #chatzone. Although its perfectly fine to say "Hi Jacob" to a chatter named Jacob who just entered a general chatroom, it is a different thing all together in a roleplaying environment. Rule of the thumb, if we have never met, you don't know me, I don't know you. Referring to a stranger by name in an action (e.g. Alice smiles at Jacob) is fine. Calling them by name is a roleplaying boo-boo.

3. Language
Remember what period you are playing in and speak the lingo accordingly. This includes but is not limited to:
* Having a modern name like Cyberdude in a medieval-fantasy chatroom.
* Using out of period phrases like "What's up man?"
* Overusing swear words. Some channels allow moderate use of swears but most are kept PG. It's always safer to stay PG in language use.

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