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Beginner's Guide to RPN

Begginer's Guide to RPN

Idea

The Pun Tyrant The Gif Hydra
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Introduction
Hello and welcome to this begginer's guide. I just want to say, if you are new, welcome to the site! I hope you have a wonderful time here and if you need anything, don't hesitate to ask ;) RPN is a wonderful and open-minded community who will welcome you with open arms, so make yourself at home and get out there!

If you are not new then, I hope you still find usefulness in this guide, or at the very least that you enjoy the read :) Naturally, if there is anything you feel would be worth adding, do share!

Disclaimer
Before I start the guide, I want to make it clear this guide is not, nor is it meant to be, a comprehensive manual on RPN as a whole. This is meant to help people get started and acquainted with the site, in particular those who may be more familiar with different approaches to roleplay and roleplay forums. Furthermore I am not a member of the staff, and even if I was I'm still human so I can make mistakes and some of what I'm about to say is to an extent debatable.

For this reason, reading this guide does not exempt you from reading the site rules and handbook, nor should any of the contents here be in disagreement with those or with information a staff member provides you, please take their word over this guide (and if you'd be so kind, I'd also appreciate being told of that disagreement so that I may correct the guide for future readers).

I also recommend the more 'official' guide, The RPN Handbook.

The Most Essential Parts Of the Guide
I do realize that the guide is pretty long, especially now that I've added the updates. While I do believe every bit of information here will help one's experience improve, I also understand that it's a lot to take in and some might not even have the time to read through everything. As such, this segment will indicate the parts that are absolutely crucial for you to read just to get that barebones information needed to properly navigate the site and give you a few warnings I find important to keep in mind going forward.

Most Important Parts to Check Out
Disclaimer (above)
Getting Started
Interface and Menu (points 1, 4, 6, 7 8 and 10)
Profile
Looking For Roleplay and How it Works on RPN (all except #5)
Discussion Forums and Creativity Forums
Conversations (Messages/PMs) (points 1 and 2)
Private Workshop
Common Concerns/Q&A/FAQ
Final Note

Everything else is still good to know, but not as fundamental for a roleplayer's experience here on RPN, at least not for those still new to it. But what's there, I really must recommend reading in full and paying attention.

Getting Started
So, you're a new member on RPN. Many of you probably can't wait and will just skip right to roleplay. Others who may want to get acquainted with things around here first though, or maybe they stumbled across the limitations for new members, and may feel a little lost. Where to even go first?

The Master Introductions Thread (forgive me internet, I didn't name it) is a great place to start (after you've properly read the rules)! New members need to meet certain requirements before they can make full use of all the site's features:
*To be able to send PMs and make profile posts, 15 minutes since the account's creation, a profile pic and 1 post are required.
*To be able to access the off-site recruitment subforum and to avoid getting caught up by the anti-spam bot as easily (usually triggered by making edits to posts or PMs or by making one that is too long) 10 posts, plus the other requirements. (Note: Not being able to post on the off-site recruitment does not mean you can post threads to look for off-site roleplayers on the other subforums. The idea is precisely so you can't do that right away.)

With that middle requirement in particular, posting an introduction can help a lot. It doesn't hurt to say hi to the community and break the ice with some information about yourself, your interests and maybe even what brought you to the site, while getting some of the posts (or maybe even all of the posts) you need to meet the basic requirement. :) The people here on RPN are quite welcoming and open-minded, so be at ease to say what you want. However, keep in mind the introduction subforum is not a recruitment area, this is, you are not supposed to look for roleplays or make your interest check out of your introduction thread. On a sidenote, everyone fumbles their introduction, so there's no worry if it isn't picture perfect XD

Well then, have fetched yourself a fancy profile pic (or just a white square, that works too), and made your introduction thread, maybe even chatted a bit. But you still haven't had 24 hours on site or maybe haven't met the 10 post requirement. What now? Well, there are the discussion forums. There are a variety of threads with equally varied topics spread through RPN's discussion subforums. I will be introducing in more detail in a bit, but for now just know that they simple discussions and once you have made a post there you do not need there are no ties to that thread you incurr, in other words you can give your own opinion on topics, help someone with their problems, and get yourself your posts (or kill time) doing it! And who knows, maybe through reading them you yourself will read something or meet new friends/potential roleplay partners.

One final option for those on the edge of their seats to roleplay is that posts done in the recruiment area are permited and count towards the 10 forum posts you require. So feel free to check out other people's interest checks and make a post stating your interest if you find something that catches your eye ;)

Interface and Menu
RPN offers a series of options and tools to help navigate the site as well as customize your experience here.

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1.Forum Navegation
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The threads this function looks up are ordered by the last post made on them. Here's the list of what each of these looks up:
*Your Threads: Threads whose first poster was you, that you created.
*Threads with your posts: Any thread with a post by you, regardless of whether you created it or not.
*Unanswered Threads: Any threads on which you don't have the last post.
*Watched (Threads or Forums): A forum or thread marked as "watched" either manually or by you posting on it.
*Search Forums: Takes you directly to the advanced search options.
*Mark Forums Read: Every single last thread on the forum will be marked as having been read. I recommend staying as far from this option as possible.

2.What's New
"What's new" pretty much helps you locate the site's most recent content and activity. Like the "forums" function, what's new also has a drop down menu.

New...
*Posts: Latest posts on threads (note: this is any thread. Your participation or watching of a thread does not affect this option)
*Media: New uploaded media into the gallery.
*Media Comments: New comments on those pieces of media.
*Profile Posts: New statuses people post (will talk about this at a later point)
*Threadmarks: New threadmarks people make for their threads.

*Your newsfeed: Gives you the latest activity of people you follow
*Latest Activity: Shows the latest activity on the site in general.

Cliking the what's new button itself leads to a page which mashes together the results of the individual options.

3.Gallery
A place where art, images and such can be stored. Do note that RPN isn't a site for art storage, don't treat it like a dump for whatever you have. Use the gallery if you absolutely need a link to the image you have or if you want to share your art without going through the trouble of setting up an art thread of your own. Like "What's New" and the forum menu, this one also has a drodown menu.

*New Media/New Comments: The same as "new media" and "new media comments" from the previous section
*Add media: Takes you directly to options to add a new album or piece of media to your gallery.
*Your content: Takes you to content you added to your gallery.
*Watched (media/albums/categories): Takes you to a list of media marked as watched, both yours and any manually marked or on witch you have posted.
*Search Media:
*Mark Viewed: Marks all media as viewed. Similar to "Mark Forums Read".

Clicking the button leads you to a typical media page with some of the latest media.

4.Members
As the name suggests, it deals with members and categories of members. The drop down menu leads you to:

*Current Visitors: Leads to a list of members who are currently online, as well as current guests and robots visiting the site.
*New Profile Posts: Same as the previous "New Profile Posts" (read the "What's new" section above)
*Search Profile Posts: Helps you search through profile posts.

If you click the button "members" itself, this page will appear:

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The spot indicated in red is the member search function, which specfically looks up members by name.

5.Donate and Discord
Not much to say on these two, so I put them together. Donate takes you to RPN's patreon link and Discord takes you to a link to RPN's official discord server.

6.Search Bar
The search bar allows you to access the basic search features in whatever subforum you're on. You add the word you want to search for, and click "search". You can further specify by locking the search to just titles (thus presenting the results as threads), by selecting which member made the post or title you're looking for, and/or a minimal word count.

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You can also click "filters" to go to the advanced search options, which will have their own segment further down.

7.Profile Options and Bookmarks
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In this segment you will both find your account options as well as be able to look up your bookmarks. I will not go into the account options now unless a lot of people request it, as it is a bit more nuanced and complex than what I am aiming to present here for the beginner's guide, and also because a lot of them are either rather intuitive or have been seen before in other parts of this segment.

RPN has a bookmark feature, allowing you to quickly access specific threads you have bookmarked, nomatter how long it has passed or where they are. You can bookmark threads or posts by clicking the "bookmark" button at the top right of the post (see picture below), and to access the bookmark you click on your username on the top right of your browser and then click the "bookmarks" option for a list of your current bookmarks. You can also add "labels" to your bookmark which will allow you to search for them through those tags later.

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8.Messages and Notifications
These are probably the two you will be using the most. The "messages" one gives you access to your PM list and some PM options I'll get to later, it's symbol is that envelope. The bell on the other hand is the notification symbol. When the envelope gets a red number, that means you have that many conversations with yet unread responses. Only reading those messages will make the symbol disappear. The notification bell, on the other hand, takes you to the latest interactions with your content and threads you're on, the red number indicating such an interaction and disappearing as soon as you click the bell (click twice to go straight to the alerts page).

There will be a dedicated section for messages a little lower down the line.

9.Layout Options
RPN offers a few customization options regarding the layout of your view of the site. Always keep in mind that this view only affects you, so while you may see things in a given way, another's screen may have an entirely different aesthetic. The "on/off" switch-type symbol between the notification bell and the light bulb (or moon if you're in light version) is the button you click to access the layout options:

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As you can see they are explained beneath the options themselves, so I won't bother just parroting it now. However, since you may not quite know what the grid one would look like, here it is:

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Nonetheless, don't worry: You can always switch back at the press of a button. Now beyond those options though, there is one more layout feature, and that the theme or mode.

10.Light and Dark Modes
RPN has two main themes: light mode and night mode. For those unfamiliar, a theme is a general layout and color scheme for a website. You can switch themes by using the button on the top right, taking the shape of a lightbulb or a moon, as shown in the pictures above and below:

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It's important to keep in mind some use dark theme and users light theme. This is especially important if you at any point, decide to add color to your text, as some colors will be hard to read on particular themes. As such, I recommend that if you color your text, you also color your background.

Profile
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Even if you're not always posting there, your profile will still be viewed by a lot of people, plus some of us just like customizing ours, so here's a quick rundown of everything in your profile.

That area marked with green is for the status posts, this being one of the places where you can post them. A segment on status posts is down below on this thread. That blue area contains a bit of information which is typically visible just by hovering over your username, alongside your profile picture (which you can click in your profile to change) and your cover (which you can change using the "cover" button on that red area.

Speaking of the red area, that's where the real action happens with profiles, so let's go over each bit:

*Profile Posts: The area that contains the profile posts

*Latest Activity: Contains the latest actions by the person, from posts to profile stuff and even ratings they gave.

*Postings: The person's latest postings, including both threads and profile posts.

*Media: Contains individual images from a person's personal gallery.

*Albums: Contains albums created by the person to hold particular sets of those images

*About: Contains information about the person. This information includes the bio they created for themselves, more personal information that they gave at the start of the account (talking about stuff like gender, birthday, occupation, posted contacts,..), their signature and their followers and people they follow.

*NEW! Post Areas: On the left you have links to subforums where the user in question has posted, on the right you will find the number of those posts- and by pressing that you get taken directly to a filtered search for those posts.
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Beyond these, there are also a few more buttons you can find:

*The Follow Button: You press it to follow someone (pretty straightfoward)

*Start Conversation Button: You press it to start a conversation/PM with them.

*"Find": With this one you have two options "find all content by username" or "find all threads by username". The first finds everything you would find on "latest activity", the second only contains threads and displays results as threads.


Always remember, stuff in your profile is still subject to all RPN rules, and for statuses in particular that includes anti-spam rules.

Looking For Roleplay and How it Works on RPN
And now the part you've all been waiting for, the bit regarding how roleplay works. For starters, as usual RPN provides you with a rather informational guide, which may help you get acquainted with the understanding of roleplay among RPN's community. However, regarding how RPN operates in more practical terms, feel free to read what follows :)

1.Interest Checks
The place where your roleplaying venture starts and where the the bulk of the problems tend to arise for new players. Some of you may be used to just walking up to individual people and asking for a roleplay, others may be used to the idea of an RP existing and just making a character for it to join, or joining the roleplay directly. This is not how it works on RPN.

On RPN in order to look for a roleplay you have to go to the Recruitment Subforum. If you are looking for a roleplay with a single partner, then you go the "1x1 Interest Checks" subforum. If on the other hand, you are looking to join a group roleplay, then you look at the "Group Interest Checks" subforum. If you are specifically looking for a dice-based roleplay (think Dungeons and Dragons, Palladium, Exalted or Pathfinder), you go to the "Dice Interest Checks" subforum In these subforums, you will find what is called an interest check AKA a search thread, a small thread where the one making the RP will pitch themselves as a roleplayer partner (in 1x1 interest checks and offsite interest checks) or their RP (in either, but mostly on group interest checks) to you. If the interest check hooks you on the roleplay or roleplay partner, then you just have to post on the thread expressing that you are interested in roleplaying with them (note: some 1x1 search threads require that you PM the player instead, so make that another reason to properly read the whole thing).

Here is a guide of my own making to craft a good interest check.

Now, there is one subforum of the recruitment area I have not mentioned yet, the "off-site ads" subforum. This area is for interest checks for roleplays that are roleplayed outside of RPN be it on emails, skype, discord, kik or whatever else. This area is locked for new members until they meet the conditions mentioned in the "getting started" part of this guide, however once accessed one can freely access this area (note that a roleplay with a discord OOC for instance is not considered an off-site roleplay, just those whose IC is out of the site). That said, there are a couple of caviats to the process. Firstly, and this is extremely important, all recruitment in this subforum and roleplays done due to that recruitment must still abide by RPN rules. While RPN will not set out to invite your privacy or punish you for what you do out of the site, everything you do within the site or as a result of things you do within the site, is still very much your responsability subject to the rules which you agree to by making use of the site. The second caviat is one of the rules: it is not permitted to promote the diversion of traffic from RPN. As such, posting for example links to other RP sites or recruiting for those is not permitted in the offsite subforum.

One final note on this topic, you cannot post personal information or links to your discord on any forum here on RPN (except off-site section), nor on statuses, due to the potential risk. You are allowed to, however, PM them to however you want (at your own risk), and there is a space for discord IDs and other account info in your account settings.

2.Genres
The first thing you need to know about RP genres on RPN is that they are mainly characterized by the setting. In the latest version of RPN, the genre represents a category that is shown through a prefix when you create the thread. Most roleplays will either be created in the 1x1 roleplay subforum or in the Group roleplay subforum, depending on which fits the type of roleplay in question. There is one exception, that being dice roleplays, which can be found in the dice roleplay subforum.

Fandom: Simple as it comes, if your RP is set on a fandom setting, nomatter what fandom setting, or specificlaly involves cannon characters it's always for the fandom area.

Fantasy: I'm having a hard time wording this one, so I'll just quote the official description: "Roleplays containing fantastic or whimsical settings that are not grounded in real life. You can expect roleplays with magic, mythical creatures and worlds entirely unlike our own in this category."

Realistic/Modern: This area serves the double function of modern and realistic RPs. This is, if your setting is pretty much like our modern society and level of technology, then you can fit it in here even if it has a few unreal elements (example: superhero RPs). However, RPs set specifically in a version of the real world, such as historical RPs, also go in here.

Futuristic: RPs set in space or in generally futuristic settings usually fall under this category.

RPN also hosts several types of roleplay that do not fall strictly under the rule of "determined by setting", and rather are determined by the mechanics or a particular focus of the roleplay. While it is debatable for RPs that fall into these categories whether they should go there or fit into the previously mentioned genres, it is generally expected that the ones below take precende should their particular requirements be met.

Nation Building: If your roleplay will use Nations as a key feature. “Nation” is a general term, but the actual size can vary from a country to a small tribe or village. Each player may be in control of their own Nation or multiple players may collaborate under the same Nation. In most cases the roleplay is still character focused, but the aspect of Nations is relevant at some point. In most collaborations, players will create their own nations or make use of an established nation and create a character representing that nation. Less often, the nation may only serve as a setting or background for the character. (provided by @IdeaLover )

Coloseum: For RPs centered around a fight or fighting in general. Sparing matches between two characters, tournaments of fighting, if the RP is specifically a bunch of fights or about those bunch of fights, then it falls into the colloseum category.

Questing: Quest RPs are RPs that function much like "choose your own adventure" books, with one player writing the entries and providing a set of options. The others in turn decide what option they want the story to proceed through, normally through the means of a vote. More on that, here.

OnexOne: Nomatter what kind of roleplay (other than off-site roleplay), if it is a 1x1, this is where you make it.

Dice: If your roleplay makes heavy use of dice or similar tools, this is where it belongs. Things like D&D games for instance would fall under the dice category.

3.Creating the Actual Thread
A)Basic How To:
In order to create a thread, first you go the appropriate area for that thread. Then you'll find a button labeled "Post Thread" located above the current threads on the right. (Incidentally, the button to watch that subforum is also near it). You can also create a thread from the main menu, by pressing that same "post thread button" and then selecting the place of the thread through the options that pop up.

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When you make a thread you'll need a few things, depending on where the thread is made:
1. You always need a title.
2. In most places you will need a label/prefix, found on the left of the title. For roleplays this will be where you put the genre.
3. If it's a roleplay thread of any kind you'll need tags and sub-genres.

You can also add a pool to the thread using the "post a pool" option at the bottom.

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B)Sub-Genres:
Sub-genres are a new feature/requirement of threads, which further define the thread's exact genre beyond just their location and prefix. They offer a list you can choose from, but you can also suggest new ones to the staff here. Remember though that any chosen sub-genres are public! They musn't fall within the realm of the other subgenres and must be general enough that it won't be like, just you and a couple of others that would actually use it.

C)Tags:
Tags used to freeform, you could add whatever you found fit, but because of the abuse to this system, they are now limited as well. Unlike sub-genres though you aren't straight up offered a list when you go to post a thread, but you can find said list here, which is also where you'll find a place to suggest new tags.

D)Covers:
While they aren't mandatory, your threads are always allowed to have covers! They add a little extra decoration on the top of the thread. Like this:
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You'll have to care for image proportions and the like as the format isn't too kind with every kind of image, but they can still add a nice little touch for those who like the aesthetic of it. You can find the option to add a cover beneath where the cover would be on the right, above the thread's title, once the thread has been posted. You can also add a cover for your profile.

4.Extra Pages
Good, so now you know what category your RP falls into, and you know wher to put the interest check to look for players. But wait, where do you put all the other things? The OOC, the rules, the lore, the CHARACTERS? The extra pages have got you covered. This is where your OOC, character and lore threads can go, plus whatever else you feel you need.

While there are some limitations, you can even have these directly linked to your other threads of this roleplay. When making an extra pages or roleplay thread, you will notice if you scroll down that there are entries labeled "main" (this one doesn't show up if you are making the thread for the RP itself), "OOC", "lore" and "other". Now, only one link works for each of these, but you just need to link them in to get it automatically linked on top of the thread.


5.Filters (NEW!)
Filters are RPN's new filters for, currently, the roleplays and looking for roleplays subforums. They essentially function like a search bar filter, allowing you to select things like the age, maker, genre, subgenre, tags etc...of a roleplay easier than ever before, and accessible right there from the same page you're looking for roleplays in. The dice section also has its own special filter, which allows you to select from the game systems you look for, like you would search genres in other areas. It's a super new feature and I'll keep ya'll posted on new things I find to say about it, but for now I just want to point out its there and its purpose. As for how to use, the gifs below (courtesy of @The Dark Wizard ) should hopefully make it clear.




6.Hosted Projects
Hosted projects are somewhat more "prestigious" roleplays, so to speak. Keep in mind, this does not necessarily mean they are better roleplays- however, they do come with more options and tools for the roleplay, including creating it's own subforums. These are, however, too heavy on the site to just give out willy nilly, and the mods intense requirements for what roleplays even get to become one.

While it is a fair goal to one day have a hosted project of your own, while you're starting out I would recommend shooting instead for mastering handling regular threads. There's no shame in that, and it will help actually being able to keep up/sustain a hosted project properly when your day comes.

7.A Request
There is a lot more to say about this topic (unsurprisingly), but alas this section is already pretty long. I should probably mention that recently RPN has added some new recruitment rules, which I kind of mentioned in the disclaimer but since they are new I'm adding them again here.

I do want to make a plea, however, and that is to respect the needs of your fellow players when it comes to when and how you make your interest checks. Specifically, don't make an interest check for each idea you have (at least in 1x1), and instead make a single 1x1 interest check with your various ideas and cravings. If you just have one, then try checking if there isn't perhaps someone else who might also be looking for it. The less interest checks are forming unecessarily, the less people who have just as much a right as you do to be seen will see their interest checks drowning in a sea of singletons and repeated interest checks. Now, do understand this isn't a rule, just more polite, a request from me if you will.


Discussion Forums and Creativity Forums
RPN has much more to offer even than just roleplays (though naturally, roleplays are the main feature, given this is a roleplaying site). In the discussion forums, you can share ideas, ask for advice or play forum games. In the creativity subforum, you can share your creativity and work through various forms of art, from poetry, to short stories, drawings and even your BBCode designs. Recently there's been a few cuts on the number of forums, a bit of merging, so it should look extra neat for ya new folks!

Creativity
A place for displaying various forms of art, specifically for instance several types of drawings, music you make etc... Also includes writing like prose and poetry, short stories and novel chapters, written stuff that is not roleplay. The only rule is that YOU make it. Please keep copyright in mind.

*BBCode Center
This is the area where you can share your BBCode designs. You will also find guides and help with BBCode here, including the possibility of creating a thread to request aid in troubleshooting a specific BBCode problem (but try not to abuse it). I will be discussing BBCode in more detail in a bit. Now a subforum of "creativity".

General Discussion
For discussing topics not belonging in "roleplay discussion", in particular topics pertaining to any medium of entertainment (video games, anime, books, movies, tv etc...), topics which formerly belonged to "entertainment".

*Personal Discussion: Personal journals or discussing things pertaining to your personal life is put in here. However, keep in mind that advice given on RPN should NOT be taken a professional advice by any means, regardless of the responder's alledged background.

*Forum Games: For killing time with some forum-based games (not roleplay).

Roleplay Discussion
For discussing topics pertaining to roleplay and roleplayers. This area is not for looking for roleplays.

*Character Feedback: Whether you just want a place to desposit/store your characters, or you want to request feedback on your OCs, you can put them in this area.


Conversations (Messages/PMs)

The new conversation system in RPN is a lot more complex and allows for more options. The first thing I want to say about it is that you do not have to use this. Sending messages back and forth, just PMing people normally and leaving conversations you don't want to be a part of, all of these are enough to have a comfortable experience with PMs. However, the extra options help those who understand them at better organizing and tidying up their conversations page. I'll begin by giving an overview of the regular aspects of conversations/PMs and then move on to the new features.

1.Sending a PM
There are two ways of starting a conversation: You can start a conversation from someone's profile or you can start a conversation from a post or reply to a message. The first one means you to that user's profile and click the "start conversation" button. The second method involves clicking on their username from a post they made and or conversation reply (note: it won't work on profile posts).

At this point you can add a label to the conversation, whcih will be explained later. However, this is not mandatory. Also a non-mandatory option is the three at the bottom of the message creation:

*Allow anyone in the conversation to invite others: Normally, only the creator of the conversation gets to add new people to it. With this option ticket, however, any of the members of the conversation can do it.

*Lock conversation : The other person will not be able to reply to the conversation/message sent

*Sticky conversation: This pins your conversation, putting it in the first group to show up at the top of your inbox at all times.


2.The Conversation Itself, Options

After already having an ongoing conversation going, there's several options one has, in particular if one is the conversation's creator.

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The main ones, in the green circle, are the ones anyone has. One can star the conversation which to be honest I haven't ever done so I'm not quite sure what the use is, you can mark the conversation unread, meaning it'll appear as a notification in messages (a useful reminder if you don't have time to reply right away) and the all-too-important leave button, which allows you to leave a conversation permanently or until the next message comes.

However, if you created the conversation or the one who did clicked on the first checkbox mentioned above, then you can use what is in the red circle and insert the name of a user you want to invite to the conversation. They'll automatically be in the conversation, though of course they can leave at any time.

3.Inbox Management

To go to this page, click on your conversations icon (the envelope icon on the top) then click "Show all...". This will take you to your inbox, which will contain all of your conversation. You'll notice on the side a few sections: Inbox (which you're on), Trash, Labels and Rules.

*Trash: Trash is a bit like a PC's recycling app. Stuff gets sent there when it would otherwise be lost, a sort of pseudo-deletion which you can make permanent by selecting it and deleting it in the trash area itself. You can select them by clicking the small box behind "replies", at which point the options will appear at the bottom of your screen. (note: your regular inbox also has this box, as well as a pin that lets you pin conversations so they always appear on top).

*Labels: Labels allow you to creat labels for your conversations, which look similar to prefixes on a thread. These however serve to group together certain types of conversation and order them, serving as such as an organizational tool. During creation the "label" part specifies the name of the label, the display styling decides the color, and display order decides the order in which your labels are put in your inbox.

*Rules: A place where you can set a sort of filter for your inbox to apply particular actions to the conversations selected by the filter, such as automatically leaving the conversation or applying a label. Keep in mind the process is automatic, so you run the risk of something that fits the applicable filter but isn't what you thought it would be getting affected by the automatic action.


BBCode
If you are wondering how I got the links into the text, bolded and increased the size of the title and made those blue lines in between, let me tell you it was with BBCode. BBCode is a tool found in several forums which allows you to as some call it "pretty up your posts", though in reality there's plenty more than just aesthetics that can achieved with BBCode and with RPN's own BBCode+.

You may feel intimidated when you start seeing posts which are heavy in BBCode, but fret not. Most BBCode users do not require that you yourself also use BBCode- and if they do, they will usually provide you with a template you can copy paste to use. BBCode is in no way required in the forums, though it can be a useful tool if you do wish to learn it. Should that be the case, I recommend that you start here. Once you feel you're pretty comfortable with that one, you may begin to dabble in more complicated BBCode+, whose guide is here. Either way, there's always more you can learn at the BBCode center or just through trial and error (lots of it).

When you start working on BBCode, one thing you will notice is that your posts break, a lot. Check that you are properly closing everything. However, even then things can break a lot. This has to do with rich editor, a feature required for summon of the buttons you have in the post, which automatically add certain code to your posts. The problem is, the rich editor also autocompletes code it finds, lets say, weird, so the more you advance in BBCoding the more you will want to disable it. To do so, please make sure the little cog on the side of your post is lit up, and the buttons around it disabled. The cog I'm referring to is indicated in the image below:

Captura de Ecrã (222).png

Whether it is your BBCode or that of others, keep in mind BBCode within RPN is considered creative commons, meaning everyone is entitled to use it. That said, please mind your manners when using BBCode taken from someone else by crediting them for it, and if you can, ask them permission.

Now, there are a couple of cases which one should somewhat take into account as they use BBCode. First, the same BBCode will look radically different between phone users and PC users. Second, some people on sight have difficulties in terms of sight, conditions, so they may struggle to read your post depending on how you code it. The easiest solution to this is to keep a spoiler with a codeless version. Either way, the important is to be willing to do things to adapt to the needs of your players and partners.

And if you have a condition or any other difficulty with sight, PLEASE INFORM PEOPLE. No one here can read your mind, so the best way for us to adapt and provide you with a more welcoming environment is for you to take the innitiative and let us know.


Profile Statuses
So you heard profile posts/status were something which you unlocked when gaining full access to all of your account's features, but what are they exactly? Well, it's hard to describe, but I guess one way to put it is a sort of personal feed, like in social media. Now, I need to point out, RPN is a roleplaying site, not a social media platform (and ESPECIALLY not a dating site. Seriously, this is not the place to look for romantic relationships, this got so bad the mods had to specifically put up a warning about it), however, it is permissable to hang out and chat in profile posts and post about just about whatever you want so long as it stays within site rules. Keep in mind however that profile posts are PUBLIC. Unless you disable it, by default everyone can see your profile posts.

The best and fastest way of accessing profile posts is here, as it takes you straight to a feed of people's new profile posts. You can then reply to these statuses by clicking on the "comment" button on the bottom right of the status. Please do not comment on the person's page directly to respond to a conversation. Not only can this be rude and confusing, it may also accidentally get you flagged as a spammer. In fact, don't start new statuses in quick succession if you can help it (as a rule of thumb, maximum of five new ones every 4 or so hours). Also, status replies and posts alike have a character limit and a 20 second cooldown between them, so be warned that you will encounter those.

Lastly, I want to adress something that happens quite often, which is someone accidentally blocking responses to their statuses without being aware of it. If this happens, go to your account settings and on "Allow users to..." > "Post messages on your profile page" select "members only" or "all visitors", and this should fix it.


Following and Ignoring
Apart from making people happy, following's main function is that when you follow someone that person's activity appears on your news feed.So whether you follow people or not is entirely up to your discretion. To follow someone, go to one of their posts and click on their name. A list of options will appear, and from those, you can select "follow".

Now, ignoring is a bit of a sour topic for me, because I don't want to promote it. If you have the option, I urge that you try to solve the situation through compromise and talking things over. That said, if worst comes to worst, the "ignore" function does exist. To do that, do you as you would do to follow the member but press the ignore button instead of the follow one. Do note, however, that the ignore function doesn't do much on the side of the ignored. Other than sending you messages and posting on your wall, they are still able to see your posts and everything else. The ignore funciton only disables YOU from having to see what THEY write (and direct communication with you outside of replying to your stuff).


Advanced Search
Despite the name, there's little advanced about the Advanced Search. It's simply the regular search, but with more options to specify what you want to look for and with the ability to search for things not necessarily contained on threads, like media and profile statuses.

The individual bits of information are pretty straight forward, but I'll be paying attention and adding in any that people tell me they struggle with. You just need to input what you want, except in the search by tags part which is goes against just about every "rule" of the advanced search and just has a list of tags for you to pick for the search (thus showing you threads with that tag).

Now, one piece of advice, always order your search by date. While it may seem like "relevant" or "number of posts" would be better at the surface level, the reality is that choosing those will lead you to necroing threads.


Other Extra Features
Lastly, just a very quick note on ratings. I trust most of you will already be quite familiar with ratings, giving likes and such. On RPN it's not very different. RPN has cookies for likes, hearts for loves and on certain areas has other ratings as well such as "great idea" and "well written". In general, you can give ratings to posts, statuses and messages in PMs as well, by clicking the symbol on the bottom right of the post/status/message. What they mean or how important they are depends from person to person, it's entirely subjective, so there is no need to fret about doing it in whatever way you find fitting.

Editor's Note: This bit may seem awkward, but that's cause 3/4s of the content that was in this bit was moved to other sections after they became more relevant with the update.


Private Workshop
If you need to work your threads on a private location while you're building them, there is a place where you can that very thing. The private workshop is a place where you can create threads which only you and staff can see. It is a very useful tool, one where this very thread was made and developed in fact.


Common Concerns/Q&A/FAQ
Mostly a short list of particular problems, concerns and questions that I encounter frequently with new members here on RPN. RPN also has an official FAQ.


I need to contact staff because I encountered a bug/am afraid I may break the rules/other reasons...
Depending on the kind of issue you need help with, and especially how urgent it is, there are two places you can go. The first place is the community hub, where you can ask questions, report bugs and so on, through making a thread here. Attached to it you may even find some neat tutorials. If you have anything really urgent however, feel free to refer to the staff contact, and submit a ticket.

I can't delete or move my threads, what can I do?
Only site staff can do that. You may contact the staff as previously mentioned for them to delete your thread or move it for you (make sur eyou indicate in your thread you intend on that to happen, for the sake of your fellow site members).

What about phones?
Yes, RPN can indeed be accessed by phone, not to worry. The reason why I only brought it up a little bit, is because for the most part things are pretty much the same. The aesthetic and order of some things is a bit different, but that's about it. One thing worth mentioning though, which I haven't yet, is that you can't see signature on phones. If your phone is one which allows you to view the site horizontally though, you may be able to see the signature by flipping it that way.

I'm new and my message is gone, what's happening?
New members that have yet to mee the previously mention requirements are still under watch as potential bots/spammers. Because of this, a lot of their content will get automatically flagged as potential spam that has to be reviewed by the site. Worry not tough! In the span of a day or less your content should be right back in there :)

What is a bump? How often is it acceptable to do?
Posting a message on a thread with the intend of "bumping" it back to the first page. I would recommend at least 3 days between bumps, though the more the better (time, not bumps). If you post a bump very quickly and/or too often, you just end up hurting yourself by looking desperate, and hurting your fellow players who have just as much a right to the first page spots as you do.

There are all these acronyms I don't understand...what do they mean?
This place has a pretty comprehensive list of several of the concepts. If you don't find it there, feel free to PM me asking about it.

Wait, I randomly stopped getting notifications, what's going on?
RPN sometimes does that. Make sure to check every notification when you get it. Also if someone replies while you're on the thread, the notification automatically disappears, but it will still make you loose future notifications. And sometimes it just randomly happens. Best I can tell you is to check your threads often.

I'm having toruble tagging people, what can I do?
Unfortunately RPN has a few tagging problems, and I want to start by saying it's not necessarily your fault if your tagging isn't reaching anyone. However, especially if your tagging isn't reaching anyone or only very few people, one of two things is a potential cause:

*If the issue is that your tag is not showing up when you tag the person's name, this may be caused by low internet connection that makes the process too slow, by misspelling the name, by having the preview on (sometimes if you press preview before finishing tagging, the tags will not appear after that) or because the person has been innactive for too long and the system no longer recognizes their username in the tags list. Apart from the last one, what you should do is prevent them. As for the last one, it will still show up as a tag and tag the person if you post it, you just won't get the autocomplete confirmation.

*If the issue is that people aren't getting your tags, make sure you aren't copy-pasting those tags. Writing a tag normally, just "@" plus username, tags a user, but in the process it shifts the code to the tagging code, which itself doesn't seem to actually tag people.

How can I edit/add threadmarks to my thread?
You use the two buttons marked in red in the image:

Captura de Ecrã (307).png

Sometimes I see these dices on people's posts, how do I do that?
In order to roll a dice on RPN, you first make a post. When you go back to edit that post, you will be given the option to roll a dice for that post. However, once you have saved, you can no longer edit out the dice roll nor change it, so be careful.

People keep ghosting (vanishing without a word) me, am I doing something wrong?
People on RPN may ghost you for loads of reasons, but most of them aren't because of you. People's lives, be it sudden work or school necessities, punishments, sickness etc... can all lead to potential ghosting. Furthermore, a lot of RPN's members suffer from some form of anxiety, and to some among those this can imply they will have a really hard time facing you if they want to call it quits because they feel desinterested or like your styles don't match.

While on one hand this means you can arrest assured you aren't necessarily doing anything wrong, on the other hand it also means you can't stop ghosting from happening. The reality is, you will get a lot of ghosting nomatter what. In other words, if this is something that gets to you too much, you will have a very hard time here. You will need to grow a thick skin to these sorts of things, and find a means of your own to cope with this.

Why is nobody replying to my interest check, even though I am getting so many views?
While people may check out your interest check (and keep in mind even the same person, such as yourself, looking multiple times may count as multiple views) this does not necessarily mean they will be interested in what you have pitched them in the way you pitched it. It may not een be that your idea is bad at all, but something about your rules, your presentation etc... may be turning people off. And if I were you, I wouldn't put it beneath me to consider whether your attitude is the problem. Not because it is often, but because it is more often than I would like.

Does RPN have an official discord?
Yes, RPN does have a discord. You can acces it through the "discord" button at the top. However, to be able to participate in the group, you have to sync your RPN account with your discord account. To do that, go to your account settings> "connected accounts".

Do you have any advice for begginers?
I do have plenty of advice to give begginers, so I will put a little of it here.
1. When you're starting out, try experimenting and finding out what length, place of RP, genres and so on you like. Knowing your style well will greatly help you select RPs that better fit what you can enjoy.
2. Nomatter what you do, you WILL fail. A lot. Group RPs will die, 1x1s will end unresolved, etc... Learning to cope with this is absolutely essential to a lasting and enjoyable RP experience.
3. Read the roleplay discussion threads. It contains a variety of viewpoints on many aspects of roleplaying, so you may be able to make quite a learning experience out of it, and even find out methods to do things you would never have thought of otherwise.
4. Roleplaying IS a hobby. Your real life MUST come first, and there is no shame in taking a hiatus or anything to sort yourself out or if you're not being able to enjoy your time as a roleplayer.
5. That said, roleplaying is a writing hobby, so I'd put it closer to fishing than playing a video game or watching TV. While it is gratifying, there are times when you will have to put it in work expecting future gratification, not immediate gratification. There are times when you will have to do things you might find a bit boring to get to the bigger prize at the end. Doing it with a good friend can greatly improve the experience in the meantime though, but the major point is, don't expect to not have to put in effort or and count for down moments without necessarily throwing the towel at that time.
6. Don't rely too much on inspiration or "the muse". While it is quite a useful tool, the more you rely on it, the more dependent you will become on it. Building good habits is a much better solution to writing more easily, and research/learning about writing, a much better way of learning to improve and expand your posts.
7.You may not find people who are willing to work with your style and interests at first, but I'll teel you this: RPN has hundreds if not thousands of members, and I personally welcome at least 15-20 new ones every single day. When it comes to eventually finding someone that really matches you, the odds are in your favor :D

Is there a way to help the site?
For starters, being a good member in the site's community. Spreading positivity, being kind and helpful, participating, all of these are already a pretty big help. There are of course, more ways to contribute as well though. You can donate money to the site, by using the donate button at the top (will not link that one). From time to time, positions as a helper (think of them like staff junior or staff interns) are opened up, so you can also apply for a position there if you have that kind of time and dedication.

Final Note
I want to share some final words before you quit this textwall and go out there to have fun. First, thank you so much for reading this far! I do hope you found it a useful or at least enjoyable read.

Back when I was making the thread, the intro specifically, I almost wrote about what a wonderful experience you would have on RPN. While that is certainly the case for most of us, it wouldn't be fair of me to say you will not encounter hardships. Ghosting and lack of attention, an occasional rude person and many more disappointments of the like. You may feel discouraged to hear me say as much, but the reality is that living with this and moving on is paramount to having a consistent good experience here on RPN. You'll just end up frustrated and disappointed if you expect everything to go your way all the time, or if you take it too personally when common issues pop up.

And lastly, I want to restate this guide is not comprehensive. There is a lot more to learn and discover about RPN, all of its features and its members, so take your time and enjoy yourself!

More Links and Resources
To finish up this guide, I will provide here a few more RPN resources.

The RPN FAQ

@StoneWolf18 's Guide to Detail: This is certainly THE most detailed guide to detail I have seen anywhere on RPN, and the quality of the content is no less impressive. If you want to increase the size and/or detail of your posts, this is certainly one place to check out.

Faceclaim Resources Thread: In this thread several people contributed their own means of finding faceclaims, including some links, so if you're at all concerned about getting some, feel free to come here.

@BakaTheIdiot 's Country Building Guide: While not fully comprehensive nor 100% accurate, if you want to worldbuilding a country and don't have much experience on the matter, or don't know where to start, this little fella can help you grind the gears.

Standard CS Template: While there isn't a "standard" per se, not on an objective level, if you're unsure about how to format the template of your CS, a few examples are provided there.

Tips for A Begginer: Just one of several threads which contain this topic.

Writer's Block Advice: an issue we all experience at one point or another, and some tips on how to handle it.

If you're struggling with playing a gender that is not your own or making a quality interest check, those threads from me should suit your needs.

Beginner's Tips for Advanced Roleplaying by @ravenclawesome has a few good tips, if a bit scattered in theme, that should generally help you improve certain parts of your writing.

Pretty much any thread by @The Inquisitor . Examples: Tutorial - Writing Thoughts! Worldbuilding and Other - Writing Thoughts! A Realistic Romance~

As it is quite common for RPN members to want to persue some form of writing in future career's @AEONmeteorite 's thread on tips about the publishing industry might be a very helpful point of reference for you.


Latest Site Updates:




 
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PersonmanSam

New Member
Thank you so much for writing this. I have only roleplayed one on one on paper or aim so far, so while I know I'll make a lot of mistakes, I feel like reading this guide has given me some much needed confidence.
 

Idea

The Pun Tyrant The Gif Hydra
Helper
Thank you so much for writing this. I have only roleplayed one on one on paper or aim so far, so while I know I'll make a lot of mistakes, I feel like reading this guide has given me some much needed confidence.
Really glad I could help! Apologies for not answering earlier.
 

Rheynn

Erratic Adventurer
Won't lie, I skimmed a lot (there's a lot to read). But I got the major parts, especially those applying to me. Thanks!
 

Idea

The Pun Tyrant The Gif Hydra
Helper
Won't lie, I skimmed a lot (there's a lot to read). But I got the major parts, especially those applying to me. Thanks!
I see. That is quite true. Maybe I'll add something about which are the most relevant/important parts to read if one does not have the time or patience to read it all. Thank you for the feedback!
 

Idea

The Pun Tyrant The Gif Hydra
Helper
Begginer's Guide Updated!

--->New RP and thread making information like sub-genres and tags
--->New info on the interface at the top
--->Conversations Guide
---->Profile Navigation Added
---->More questions answered (mainly pertaining to tags) and added some of my own tutorialesque resource links
--->Added a section for simple links to site update threads
---->Added a list of essentials form the thread to help those most tempted to skim or skip due to the thread's volume.

Credit to @Fyuri and @middleagedgeek for their assistance!
 

Rainbow_Tundra

Still Wishing On Stars
Hi! I joined yesterday, and the requirements for getting PMs is only: add an avatar and post one message. It took a little time for the site to realize I completed those two tasks (an hour or so) but then I was allowed to post a status, send PMs. I don't know if this is a recent change or not, but I thought you may want to update your guide
 

Idea

The Pun Tyrant The Gif Hydra
Helper
Hi! I joined yesterday, and the requirements for getting PMs is only: add an avatar and post one message. It took a little time for the site to realize I completed those two tasks (an hour or so) but then I was allowed to post a status, send PMs. I don't know if this is a recent change or not, but I thought you may want to update your guide
And in those two hours you didn’t make any more posts?
 

Onmyoji

HanGuang-Jun
Moderator
Supporter
I don't remember when exactly it was changed, but it's a fairly recent change, might have been introduced after you originally wrote this guide :P
I think it was with that big RPN update.
 

Idea

The Pun Tyrant The Gif Hydra
Helper
I don't remember when exactly it was changed, but it's a fairly recent change, might have been introduced after you originally wrote this guide :P
I think it was with that big RPN update.
I do recall something like it, but I think it was revoked and it seems it may have been implement again? I mean I did double check with @Kaerri when I made it, so I do believe it was correct at the time. Either way, now's the time that is important it match though, so I'll throw in those corrections soon as I have the time
 

Onmyoji

HanGuang-Jun
Moderator
Supporter
I do recall something like it, but I think it was revoked and it seems it may have been implement again? I mean I did double check with @Kaerri when I made it, so I do believe it was correct at the time. Either way, now's the time that is important it match though, so I'll throw in those corrections soon as I have the time
You're probably right. I remember there were a few changes back then 😅
 

Maria30

Junior Member
Thanks for the welcome and this information definitely is helpful. This site looks amazing and it feels awesome bring on here.
 

peritwinkle

🦋 your local Raphael 🦋
Thank you for mentioning my thread as well as other helpful ones around here! Your guide is very thorough and I'm sure it'll be of great use for any RPN initiate :)
 

Idea

The Pun Tyrant The Gif Hydra
Helper
Thank you for mentioning my thread as well as other helpful ones around here! Your guide is very thorough and I'm sure it'll be of great use for any RPN initiate :)
You're welcome! After seeing it mentioned and giving it a read, it seemed like a worthwhile resource for the curious, so here it goes. Thank you for the contribution <3
 

CharityCase

Unlucky Member
So, um, sorry to bother you @Idea I just...am trying to make a thread and it keeps saying I can't make new tags even though I'm only using the ones on the list? So what am I doing wrong?
 

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