Having an RP blog is definitely very fun! I would recommend starting with a canon character if it is your first blog so it’s easier to make connections. If you end up making a Tolkien blog feel free to hmu anytime! :) Here’s a little guide, and I’ve divided it into sections for easier reading. I’m not sure how much you know about roleplaying, so I will give you a run down on everything I can think of! Feel free to send another ask if you have any specific questions about anything, whether or not it is listed here.

Some RP terms you should know:

RP/rp: roleplay

muse: the character that is being roleplayed

mun: the person behind the screen, who “writes” the muse

ooc: “out of character”. aka, the mun is talking, not the muse.

ic: “in character”. the muse is talking.

smut: a roleplay that includes muses in a situation. Please note that if you are under 18 it is illegal to write smut. You could get both yourself and your rp partner in very big trouble if you lie about your age to smut. Wait until you are 18!

thread: a roleplay in which two people reblog a post from one another, adding their muse’s responses, actions, and dialogue each time in order to further the story. When you add something to a thread, it is called a reply.

Non-selective, semi-selective, selective: these words tell you how picky people are with their RP partners. Non-selective people will RP with anyone that comes to them. Semi-selective people are a little more choosey, and will look over your blog to see if they think your character would interact well with theirs. Most of the time, semi-selective RPers will say yes to RPing with you. Selective RPers are more picky and say yes about 60% of the time or less. I categorize my blog as selective, and I say yes about 50% of the time.

mutuals only: this means that the person will not rp with people who are not both following them and being followed by them. Another word for this is “private”.

meme/ask meme/rp meme: a post that includes possible situations or dialogue pieces to start an rp. I have a blog over at @rpermemes​ which is solely rp meme posts, if you want to get a better idea of what they are, or you can check out the rp meme tag. if someone reblogs a meme, you can send a symbol or the dialogue from the meme and they answer the ask as if your muse had said that to them or if both muses were in that situation.

plotting: when two muns talk ooc about what they want to thread. for example, I could go to an RPer and suggest an idea I have for a thread. They add on with their ideas until we come to a thread idea that both of us are happy with. That’s plotting. Most threads start either from rp memes or from plotting.

Chat, para, multi-para, and novella: these are all different lengths for your thread replies to be. Chat threads generally only have dialogue with no description, and thus depend on icons to show how a character is feeling. Para threads are one paragraph. Multi para are more than one paragraph. Novella does not have a specific word count assigned to it, but I usually define threads with replies that are each over 600 words to be novella.

Indie: short for “independent”. This just means that they aren’t part of a specific RP group.

Verses: short for “universes”. It means that you can change your muse’s history or situation. Most roleplayers have a modern verse at least, which is where you put your character in the modern world. Most people use the terms AU and verses interchangeably.

There is a post here with more rp terms that you should reference if you don’t understand something! Never be afraid to ask if you don’t know what someone means and can’t find out.

Rules pages and about pages:

Most people have rules pages that outline what they will and will not rp. Most rpers have their rules pages at (url).tumblr.com/rules or (url).tumblr.com/laws, in case you need to look from mobile. If you can’t find the rules at either of these links, wait until you’re on a computer and then go to their blog, and there should be a link somewhere on their theme! Don’t send anything to them unless you have read their rules page. If you can’t find a rules page, send an ask that says something along the lines of “Hi, I was wondering if you have a rules page? I can’t seem to find the link if you do have one, so if you could link me to it that would be great!” By reading someone’s rules you show that you respect their wants, wishes, and boundaries, and that’s very important!

Also read about pages. Many people have divergences from canon that they would like their partners to be aware of, and these are often included on their about pages.

Make sure you have an about page and a rules page. Even if they are very basic at first, they assure people that you’re devoted to your character, and a rules page will give a great glimpse of your personality that makes most muns more comfortable talking to you. Some things you can include on a rules page are:

Whether you are under or over 18, and, if you are over 18, whether you are willing to RP smut and under what circumstances. For example, do you write smut with anyone that is overage? (Don’t write smut with people under 18, and don’t write it if you are under 18. It’s illegal.) Or do you prefer to only write smut once you’ve established a ship? What is your tag for nsfw content, so people can backlist it if they don’t want it on their dash?

Which of your pages are required reading? For example, I require for people to read my rules and about, and other things are optional.

What fandoms do you RP with?

What things trigger you? What things do you not want to RP?

Are you only willing to RP with mutuals?

How long do you prefer to your thread replies to be? Chat, para, multi-para, novella?

Though I would recommend categorizing your blog as nonselective to start out, you should also put on your rules page whether you’re nonselective, semi-selective, or selective!

Here are some things you can include on your about page:

Your character’s age, date of birth, and where they are from

What your character looks like. Make sure to note if there are any differences between your interpretation’s appearance and their canon appearance!

Their history. What were their parents like? Are their parents still alive? What was their childhood like? Is there anything that has had a lasting effect on them? Have they moved house before? (This is especially important if your character does not live in the place where they were born.)

What is your character’s occupation?

What special skills does your character have?

What are their good qualities? What are their faults?

What do they love? What do they like? What do they fear?

What relation do they have to other canon characters?

Anything else that is important about your character!

Memes and first interactions:

When looking for your first partners, I would recommend going to blogs labelled nonselective or semi-selective. You need to get some experience writing your character and establishing connections before you attempt to start a thread with a selective or private blog.

If the person reblogs memes, send one in! Do not send a romantic or sexual meme for a first interaction. See if you can find a meme that is neutral in terms of emotions (for example, don’t send a meme such as “do you like me?” from your muse to theirs–how are they supposed to know if their muse likes yours yet if you haven’t written together?). Urgent starters work great for this. For example, many starter lists have things like “Run!” or “Get out of the way!” that you can send in for interesting first interactions.

If they don’t reblog memes, send them an ask or an IM (as long as IMs are welcomed in their rules, of course) and ask to plot. Do not come into someone’s IMs to plot without an idea of what to write. You want to make it as little work as possible for them! For example, I would be thrilled if a potential new partner sent me a message that said “Hello, I play ______ and I really enjoy your portrayal of ______. I have an idea for a plot where _______ could {do x, find x, etc.} with _______. {Here are some specifics about the thread}. Let me know if you are interested, and thanks for considering this!”

Reblog memes! If you reblog a headcanon meme from someone, remember to send one in to them, too–courtesy counts!

Make yourself a promo or two and put it in the tags to attract new partners! For Tolkien RP, I would recommend tagging it with “tolkien rp”, “lotr rp”, “hobbit rp”, “{character name} rp” and “indie rp”.

In regards to themes, graphics, and pages:

Your theme is the first impression you give to people visiting your blog. My absolute favorite themes are by @octomoosey, or you can use one of these two blogs to help if you would prefer others.

If you would prefer something more fancy than a plain about page, you could look through the about page code tag. My favorite about page codes are here and here.

Here is a masterpost by @dear-indies of theme background tutorials. It is mostly for photoshop, though one of the tutorials is for GIMP. Here is an excellent background tutorial by @showmaxter.

Here are some tutorials specifically for icons. Here is the tag where you can find more.

Here are some of my favorite texture packs. Here is the tag where you can find more.

Here is the tag where you can download PSDs to use. You can also search for specific color PSDs, such as tumblr.com/search/blue+psd/

The best piece of advice I can give you is to be accommodating. People will not want to thread with you if you make them do all the work. If you go to plot, bring ideas for what to write. Offer to write the starter. Cater to the other RPers preferences–do they prefer long threads or short ones? Write your starter in the appropriate length for them. The best way to get threads across fandoms or with characters that you can’t imagine interacting is to have different verses, so that it becomes reasonable for them to interact. Be kind and open and honest. Keep yourself out of any drama. Be a nice person and do your best, and no one will be able to find fault with you. You can do it; I believe in you!! :)

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