1) Roleplay Lessons - Beginners

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Athene Perthro

Well-Known Member
Hello newbie and welcome to the world of roleplaying! HNZ is a great place to start your hobby as a roleplayer, as it isn't overly literate and is open to many ages. I hope this thread will answer any questions you might have about starting a roleplay, and if not, please head over to the Roleplay Development FAQ.

What is a 'play by post' roleplay?

A play by post RP is the roleplaying style used here at HNZ. It means, quite obviously, that you play by posting in the forums.

There are three main types of play by post roleplaying.

These roleplays are usually played over chatrooms, are are mostly made up of dialogue. Asterixes are used to show action. An example of a non-literate RP would be:
Fred: *Enters The Burrow*
George: Hi Fred! *waves*
Fred: Hi!


Semi-Literate roleplays are probably the most common type of roleplays. Each post is usually a few sentances to a few paragraphs long. An example of part of a semi-literate RP would be:
Sophia was standing behind the counter reading an old, dilapidated book when she heard the door open and close again. Reluctantly she moved her golden eyes from the book and up to the shop to see a younger girl looking at the Streaks.

With a small sigh Sophia shut her book and walked swiftly from behind the counter toward the girl. She stopped before her and looked down at her, a cold expression on her pale face which was framed with her straight black hair. "Can I help you?" she asked in a drawling, bored voice.

Kat smiled. "Um yes please. Could you show me the Streaks and the Quidditch gear? I would like to purchase both." Kat said nicely.

Sophia narrowed her eyes at the girl. "The Streaks are right behind you. All that is necessary is for you to choose a color. The Quidditch Gear is over there," she said, gesturing to a shelf not far from where the girl was standing.



Literate roleplays are, funnily enough, very literate. Each post usually consists of at least two paragraphs, and sometimes as many as six. Speech and thought are usually highlighted in a separate color to the rest of the text.
You are usually required to undergo some form of test with your character to prove your literacy and originality before other literate roleplayers will allow you to join in with their RP.

Please Note: Hogwarts NZ uses Semi-Literate roleplaying. Do NOT use Illiterate.
How to Roleplay

Here I will be teaching you the art of Semi-Literate roleplaying, which is the style used here at Hogwarts NZ.

Starting a roleplay

To start a roleplay, it is usually ideal to set the scene. Just a little detail is sufficient. If you write too much, people may get bored of reading and not involve their characters.
You should also state the reason why you, or rather your character, is in the said scene. Are they stopping at the ice cream parlor for a treat, or are they there to visit someone? Your roleplay ALWAYS needs reason. Realism is an essential in roleplaying. If your character has no reason to be in a charms classroom at three AM in the morning, then he/she shouldn't be there.

An example of an excellent starting RP:

(Letters removed to shorten the example)
Sophia had used her Time Turner so that no one would miss her. She was currently in Potions, so it was unlikely that anyone would go looking for her in the Forest. With her new boots on Sophia had made her way quite quickly to Forest and sat down somewhere near the edge with her back against a tree. She was not too far in, but she was far enough away from the very edge that she felt comfortable and confident that she would not be seen.

What Sophia needed right now was privacy, and she was sick and tired of her room. Over the summer she had developed a small liking for the outdoors that she was not quite ready to admit to. So, she would enjoy the beauty of the Forest alone, and in secret.

Upon sitting down Sophia had set her messenger bag down beside her. She then took to looking through it, soon withdrawing two letters. Sophia knew from the handwriting that one was from her father and the other her mother, and she did not want to be near anyone when she read them. Her feelings toward her parents and the whole situation were still very murky, she did not know what to think.

Opening the letter from her father, Sophia scanned the page with her golden eyes.


Setting the letter on the ground Sophia opened the one from her mother and began to read it.


Sophia set the second letter down atop the first and stared straight ahead. Why was this all so confusing? She had never felt such an awkward mix of emotions before. Anger filled her body as tears glazed her golden eyes. She simply sat and stared, wondering how long she could stay in the Forest without notice.

An example of a poor starting RP:
Emma was in the room of requirements. She saw someone come in.
"Hello" she said. "Would you like some cake?"
And the person took some cake.

Replying to a roleplay

If you are the second poster in a roleplay, you have to be sure to have read and understood the first post. This is crucial. You may also need to read any other posts in the roleplay to understand what is going on. You must then think of a way to include your character. Below is an excellent example of a second post. It is a reply to Sophias starter about the letters in the forest (above.)

Bruin had a rare day off from both work at Gladrags and classes and was at loose ends on this late fall day. He was unsure what to do with himself and decided to go for a walk down near the forest. He had not spent much time in the forest and was somewhat intrigued by it after their recent venture into it with Professor Taggart.

Bruin had been a little disappointed by the degeneration of his skills in the woods, particularly at having been unable to spot the Bowtruckle until Professor Taggart had pointed it out and was determined to hone his observation skills a little. With his Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them textbook in one hand and his wand in his other, Bruin slowly made his way into the forest, taking efforts to proceed slowly and make as little noise as possible.

At one point he thought he heard some minor rustling up ahead, but he couldn't quite place the sound and decided to proceed with extreme caution. He wasn't very deep into the woods and decided that he would only go a couple of hundred feet in at most today, certainly no deeper than he and his classmates had traveled with Professor Taggart earlier in the week. As Bruin passed a tree he noticed a familiar looking pair of boots near the base of a tree not far ahead and decided not to scare the individual wearing them. Bruin stopped and cleared his throat, a subtle cough that would be loud enough to alert the person ahead, but not so loud as to scare them. With a couple of strides, Bruin was able to see that it was Sophia that had also ventured into the woods.

(You can read this conversation in it's entirety here: Sophia and Bruin)

We don't expect your posts to be as long as the ones above, but I hope they give you a good idea of how it is done.
The reason for roleplaying

There are no winners or losers in a roleplay. Roleplays are designed to give you a place to escape and become someone else. A place to have fun. If you are NOT having fun, then the purpose of the RP is defeated.
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