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 Making RPG Forums: Basics

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Caihlem
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PostSubject: Making RPG Forums: Basics   Wed 20 Jun - 22:33

Making a RPG Forum: The Basics


What is a RPG?
Can it be assimilated with a forum?
How can I make one?

In this tutorial I will be answering these questions, putting forward some ideas, and give a basic backbone of a RPG Forum.

Before we start, I’d like to say that this isn’t a universal truth. It might be close, but it’s not. There are other ways of making these, other methods.
Basically, what you will read further on will be a series of generalities and advices that I’ve noticed throughout my research and experience Wink


Some Definitions

First of all, let’s make sure we all have the same definition of what a Role Play Game Forum is…
Wikipedia wrote:
RPG: Rocket propelled grenade, a type of hand-held antitank weapon
Er, oops, wrong one Razz

Wikipedia wrote:
RPG: Role-playing game, in which players assume the roles of characters and collaboratively create narratives
Aah, that’s better Cool

So, now that we know that a RPG is a sort of interactive game.

But does can you make a RPG Forum?
Well, normally, a forum in a interactive virtual society.
Therefore, it seems pretty obvious that the answer is yes

Redawn wrote:
I think the easiest forum to pull off is a RPG forum or a graphics forum

Well, I suppose that kills the suspense…


The Basics

What does any/most RPG forum need?

Well, I’ll start off by what all RPG forums worthy of the name have:
- Story Board
- Characters
- Objectives/levels

Story Board
The Story Board is the basic bloodline of any RPG.
It includes events, past history, future predictions etc…
It is the novel part of your forum.
Without it, your forum is deprived of aim. Because, why progress? What to accomplish?
The story-line fills in this.

For example:
In times to come, man expanded his empire throughout the solar system. Unfortunately, man wasn’t the only species gifted with thought. Their were also Martians… who weren’t very keen on man’s arrival. Join the ranks of the human army and fight off the on-going assaults
This story-line, very basic, gives everything needed.
It gives you the reason why the ‘game’ is going on. It tells you who you’re enemy is. It gives you your species and alliance.
It also gives you some background on the game’s world. By this I mean, that we know for instance, that this didn’t happen a year ago Laughing
You can play around with the story-line like an author would in a novel, and choose various angles, and methods.
But this tutorial being a RPG tutorial, we’ll leave it at that Wink

Characters
Your members will incarnate a character in this game. Their character has different stats (force, energy, health etc) and different levels. Their aim will be to ‘finish’ the game. For that, they will have to progress through the different tasks laid out before them.

For example:
Same RPG as earlier. To progress to level 1, you need to present yourself. To reach level 2, you need to buy a laser gun…
Obviously, if the tasks are laid out like this, you won’t be getting too many members lol!
It’s up to you to choose what these tasks will be and how to accomplish them.

Objectives/Levels
These will be the main reason why your members will keep coming back to your forum.
There are many ways you can set the levels and objectives.
You can have the levels lain out in ranks, for which to reach, you need a certain number of posts.
You could have the need to solve riddles or accomplish quests
In short, the world is large and the sky has no limits. So, I’ll leave it up to you to choose how Wink


Character Sheets

These are a must for RPG Forums
They can be used in various ways, of which I will describe the main ways.

Reference sheet
This method is the most basic and is also the basis for all the others. It basically resumes the member’s character into a series of numbers, bars and labels. It includes the main stats of the character (ex: species, health, level)


Stat Sheet
This is simply a more complete version of the reference sheet, and is often found in more complex RPG’s. It includes the values of the different stats as well as the main ones (ex: strength, magic, progression (%), speed…)


Bar Sheet
This version is a sort of mix of both the previous, involving, as its name suggests, mostly bars. These are often found in simulation type RPG’s (ex: Dragon Breeder). This will includes stats such as energy, health, hunger, life span etc…


For example:
In the same RPG once more, a level 1 character’s sheet will say he’s a human, level 1, with strength 5 and 50 health points


Making the RPG work

Ok, we’ve talked about the main features… but how does it all work?
Well, that’s what this next point is all about.

To resume, we have our story line, our characters and their stat sheets, and their objectives.
But we don’t know how they’re going to attain those objectives.

The method generally varies according to the type of RPG.

War type RPG
In this type of RPG, the aim is normally to eliminate the enemy, or at least push off his attacks.
Therefore, the progression in this game will be combat-related.
There are several ways in which this is done.

- Novel
This is basically a writing method, like it’s name hints. The member/player asks for a mission (or quest) and then writes it out in an appropriate place.

- Combat
This is a more complicated method. This also requires the reference sheet or stat sheet. Basically, the player is designated an enemy (or another player) and has to face him keeping in mind the various stats.

Of course, it’s up to you to choose how exactly they’re going to have to do it Wink

Simulation type RPG
As mentioned before, the most often used form of this is breeder games. Obviously, the goal here will be to make sure what you’re breeding stays healthy, happy, and maybe even growing powerful.
Therefore the progression in this game will be either upgrading or maintaining.
As with War type RPG’s there are several methods:

- Buying
The player needs to buy the resources and whatever his creature needs.
This obviously obliges a cash system and the player has to be able to earn cash (virtually of course) if he wants to be able to continue

- Mini-Games
The player can earn his points and resources by playing or accomplishing a set of tasks or mini-games…

I’ve noticed though, that most RPG’s of this type use, however, a combination of both methods previously listed.


The Finishing touches

As mentioned in my first tutorial, you want to keep your members coming.

Sadly enough, if they manage to fully accomplish the RPG game, many members will no longer continue to come, since there is no more aim to reach.
For that reason, you might want to make it quite hard, or at least time spending to be able to reach that point.
Redawn wrote:
But what happens when they reach it then?
Well… they’ll most probably leave anyway…
You might also want to promote that member to moderator or some rank with responsibilities. This promotes the member to stay as they have a sort of duty to fulfil.

You might also want to have a non-related general discussions section. It gives the members a chance to ‘chill out’ and ask their questions.
It can also be an area for suggestions. This gives the member the impression that he can have an influence on the game. The truth of which depends on you of course Wink But keep in mind that it is possible that your members come up with some interesting points

You might want, and this is highly advised, to organise some form of competitions time to time. In a war-type RPG, this could be a tournament of some kind.

Written by Caihlem
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