[The Roleplayer’s Guide to Tumblr.]
Welcome to the Roleplayer’s Guide to Tumblr, a somewhat abbreviated collection of the world of roleplaying right here. To begin with, I’d like to point out that there are really no rules at all to indulging in this hobby, however, there are tricks of the trade, and little bits of information you may wish to keep in mind while navigating the vast universe ahead of you.
Chapter 01. The Missing E
To Tumblr roleplaying what a towel is for Hitchhiking
First and foremost, I would recommend downloading and installing the Missing E. This unofficial extension for Tumblr is the most important tool in your arsenal and can be installed into most browsers, Internet Explorer aside
though chances are, if you’re using Internet Explorer, you are bound to be judged by your peers, and rightfully so.
Some examples are that it allows you the ability to reblog asks, which is surprisingly important when you consider the ask limit of just ten per hour. Not to mention it allows quick blogging of responses to your posts, and simply makes everything staggeringly easy.
Chapter 02. The little things
Aka. In the beginning
When you start your account there are all those niggling little things to consider. If you’re playing a canon character, there are two ways to go about it. Either predefine others in your fandom, for example, seek out people who would be willing to start with you, or jump in blindly. Jumping in blindly isn’t as terrifying as it sounds. Most accounts start that way, and you’ll find that most other roleplayers will interact with your character whether your theirs or not.
I would urge you to use a separate email address when starting this account. The downfall to starting a side account is you won’t be able to follow other roleplayers under your name, nor will you be able to send them asks.
Next, naturally, is a name.
Attempt to choose a name without hyphens. These ‘-’ are not counted in tagging and make it difficult to track your tag.
There will also be times to use the ‘Read More’ function. I’d recommend using it for posts which are NSFW. Regardless if your blog is marked that way, people can forget. Most importantly, if your post is NSFW or could be triggering (containing rape, suicide, or something equally disturbing for some individuals) please mark it as such.
OOC and IC should be distinguished apart. It makes it easy for people to follow. This can be done in many ways. Putting your OOC behind ‘OOC’ or between ‘(’ these.
Last, but certainly not least, reblog as text. When reblogging posts from someone, select where it says ‘Reblog As’ and ensure it says text. Reblogging as a link loses half of the information. Where possible, also cut your posts short. No one wants to scroll down past a post with forty responses, it clogs up people’s Dashboard and I can assure you, will irritate people.
Chapter 03. Tag
If you’re familiar to Tumblr to begin with, this should be easy, but I would suggest you track your tag. To do so, search your URL name in the search bar and select track. Most roleplayers on Tumblr will use your URL as a method of defining when a post is intentioned to be brought to your attention. When marking a post for someone, putting their URL in the tags is courtesy, it’s the difference between expecting them to notice, and politely bringing it to their attention.
Under no circumstances tag your posts under the name or series your character originates from.
People who use Tumblr will search these series and characters expecting images etc of that and not a collection of your roleplay posts. It is therefore polite to avoid this as I assure you it will result in unhappy messages.
Chapter 04. The People
Observe, roleplayers, in their natural habitat
There are a multitude of different types of people on Tumblr, but the simplest, more important means of separation amongst them, for you at least, is whether they will interact with your character or not, and ninety percent of the time this can be discerned from their Tumblr page itself.
Generally, those in an official group, interact amongst that, but most roleplayers are entirely welcoming to speaking to anyone, and most of the time, this will be declared in some way or another.
It’s as simple as dropping a message in their askbox or reblogging one of their posts-When considering this option, try to make sure that the post isn’t an interaction already. On most occasions people don’t like an interruption to their roleplaying, so try not to butt in between two people already roleplaying and ask instead if you could join, or start something new with them.
Communication is utterly important, and I realize we’re all glued to our computer screens, but this is a social activity and you’ll never get anywhere without learning to speak to people.
Chapter 05. ‘MA’s
Here there be monsters
So you’ve just received a message from a Magic Anon attempting to turn your character into the opposite gender. These will be titled under anything. Most will contain a variation of ‘MA’ or ‘Magic Anon’. Do not feel pressured to comply with these messages. This is for fun. If you don’t feel comfortable doing so, don’t. Perhaps answer OOC and tell them that you’re not interested.
Some of them can be a little overbearing. Don’t feel forced into it. We are all here to have fun, no one wants to see you made uncomfortable for the sake of giving in to pressure.
Chapter 06. Labels, Literacy and Writing in General
The niggling little difficulties
In the past a lot of us have been subjected to criticism. There used to be a habit of tossing about labels like ‘advanced’ and ‘literate’, but as far as I have seen, that doesn’t occur here. Needless to say, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t put effort into your writing, but there are no standards that need to be reached aside from the obvious.
Do your best.
Most interactions will be writing in the style of simply interacting. Some will be prose or para which is a simple way of saying ‘in normal sentence structure’. There is no requirement to stick to either one, and most roleplayers will gravitate between the two, often times they use ‘*’ or ‘-’ to bracket a short description of what their characters are doing, but most anything goes.
Chapter 07. Behaviour.
The science of interaction and behavioural habits
This should go without saying, but do remember that the people roleplaying with you are Human. This is to say, they deserve the same amount of respect anyone deserves. Despite what happens between your characters, you should keep in mind that the roleplayer and character are entirely different people therefore, not responsible for the way their character behaves.
Keep IC and OOC separate.
The fastest way to cause yourself trouble is to cause someone else trouble. The roleplaying community is tight knit and we all tend to have our friends amongst it. If you dislike someone, be responsible about it. Spreading hate will win you no popularity contests and will likely earn you a quick eviction from close circles.
It’s simple. Treat others as you wish to be treated.
And please, remember that when a character is cruel to your own, you are not being targeted by the roleplayer, but the character.
In the end..
At the end of the day the most important thing to realize is this is a hobby, we are all here because we share that in common, and bickering amongst ourselves is only going to change what this is to us. Have fun, and don’t spread hate.
If you are subjected to hate mail, ignore it and keep in mind that how you play your character is your business and yours alone. There will always be people who like it, and people who don’t, and those who rely on using the anonymous function to spread hate are obviously insecure with themselves and shouldn’t be responded to as they are seeking out attention and looking for a reaction. You can be so much better than them if you don’t give them ammunition to continue.
There are so many good people amongst our community, don’t let a few bad ones spoil the good.
Give it a try.
And don’t panic!
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