JANUARY Goodbye 2016 and hello 2017! January is a time for rejuvenation. The holidays have passed, Spring is quickly approaching, the school year will resume again, and New Year resolutions are making their course- presumably. 2016 definitely proved itself to be a rough year, but it certainly did not hinder the nation from doing what it does best: creating. Since we missed last month's issue (oops), this month, we will see some celebrated content from December through January. Donation Badge Here's a sweet, sugar skull to liven up the Day of the Dead! This badge was given to users who donated during the month of November. May this little candle light your path to happiness. This badge was given to users who donated during the month of December. All badges have been brought to you by @ Ghost. Features "If only life could be a little more tender and art a little more robust. " ~Alan Rickman Creativity Feature Rain's 'Sketch Book' is definitely a lot more than a few pencil scratches. View a multitude of digital art styles from @ Black Rain's creativity thread. Discussion Feature @ Cripy Fries asked the nation, Does Gender Matter? See all of the thought provoking responses and discover for yourself! ROLEPLAY OF THE MONTH @ Yiyel Dark Core "3000 years ago mankind suffered an event that destroyed most life on the surface. Before their kind could succumb to starvation and extinction a small percentage of society was relocated below the surface. Taken in by beings known as simply Moles, they took refuge in massive underground cities, previously hidden from existence. However good this seemed for their kind, they would never see the surface again. The surface was overrun with mutant creatures, the land burned and heated by day, and frozen at night. Nothing grew and nothing thrived, the winds never came and acid rained from the heavens. That is at least, how the moles explained it." What are some of the things that inspired you to create this roleplay? I've always been a fan of dystopian or apocalyptic settings, and have had interest is setting up an underground based survival roleplay, or even just a survival roleplay. Most settings I've seen have characters living in worlds were everything is set out perfectly for them and they have everything they need, so I think it challenges people to have to work outside of that norm. What has made your roleplay successful? Keeping it active with posts and not implementing posting limits, I use a minimum post size of at least 1 paragraph, 3-11 sentences depending on the person, so there's at least substance for their partners to respond to. I also use the ooc thread to keep players updated and regularly try to remain active myself. In my experience, if the GM disappears the threads usually die off soon after. What do you believe are your strengths as a GM? How about weaknesses? I've done a variety of roleplays since I was a kid, including tabletop roleplay games, and keeping the players engaged helps to keep the roleplay going strong. I'm not afraid to throw a wrench in the rp and toss in some conflict or random events to spice it up. One of my weaknesses is time, since I work a full-time job and have a variety of other obligations. How do you garner interest for your roleplays? I started off with a basic interest check where I posted the main theme and the two races, as well as the basic expectations. I also try to regularly make updates in ooc and see what the players are thinking on the current status of the roleplay. How did you come about roleplaying? How did you discover RpNation? I've been roleplaying in some form or another since I was at least 7, but probably even before that. I joined rpnation around a year ago now, and after some time away I came back to forum roleplay. Besides that I mainly roleplay on minecraft on dedicated roleplay servers, most of which are based on pathfinders/dnd. Most other roleplay servers on minecraft are considered casual, where its a mix of playing the game and without a plot, but the few I do play on everyone's always playing in character and it's nice to have the immersion and move about in a 3D space while developing characters. I've also spent considerable time hosting roleplays on deviantart via groups. What is the most unique roleplay you ever participated in? What stood out most? One that I think of involved an anthropomorphized pokemon group set in a medieval fantasy setting, I played a highwayman character and robbed my fair share of players out of all sorts of items, and eventually when that groups' owner left, it was remade and the character was transferred to it's predecessor, being one of the only accomplished and hated characters. That character also would frequently break into the town, or gallivanting around in a "disguise" as a fortune teller, just so he could steal the king's crown or more gold. He was also filthy rich due to the years I spend roleplaying him either raiding caravans or gaining gold for participation. Though the most memorable thing about it was when I decided to join the predecessor group, as I'd taken near a year of a break off, but when I'd submitted my application as a continuing character everyone remembered him and it was awesome. What is your fondest memory of roleplaying? When I was little I would make giant lego towns and have tiny pokemon erasers live in them and rp out all sorts of stories with my siblings. Now that I think about it, it also had sci-fi elements, like flying robot dragons, AI cars, food machines, etc. I also used to have a Ty Beanie Baby cat that was called Nip, but he called himself Snip and sang the backstreet boys. What are some roleplaying tips and tricks you think others could benefit from? Make your characters have more flaws and weaknesses than pros, no one is perfect and it gives them dimension and makes them interesting. Do you have any roleplaying pet peeves? What are they? I really don't like when people write in first person, aside from character thoughts, or don't read the rules. When I used to roleplay on deviantart there were people making characters who were supposed to have elemental abilities have abilities like time-manipulation, space and dimensional teleportation, mind-reading, and other weird and over-powered abilities. These characters were supposed to be young and newly created spirits and start literally knowing nothing, but yeah, there were the special snowflakes who didn't read the rules. Do you have something in mind for your next roleplay? Can we get a few hints? Deserts and Space. MEMBER OF THE MONTH @KiKi Kitsune "Eeee! This is so exciting! Thank you so much for choosing me. I am really honoured." How did you come across the website and how has it impacted you? A close friend of mine led me to it. She didn't use it much at the time, having dropped it, but she picked it up again to help me get my bearings. I have to admit, some of my closest friends I now have I made thanks to this sight. I managed to find a loyal RP group and we all chatted casually. I don't know how I would have gotten by without their continuous support. Do you have any games, TV shows or books you have been enjoying recently? As an anime watcher, I have not missed the Yuri on Ice boat. Also, a little one called Nanbaka which I haven't heard many talk about, but it's great for a laugh. As for a game, I've been playing some Terraria and Don't Starve Together with a close friend. Only problem is I'm a complete noob at both and they're pro XD I die a lot. What are some hobbies you have besides roleplaying? I really enjoy most things creative. I've been doing mostly art recently, but I also cosplay when I can. As many others on here do, I also write for myself. Other than that, Play video games, watch anime and YouTube, and find various ways to procrastinate '>.> Favourite sweet treat? Anything coated in or containing sugar. I have such a sweet tooth it's bad XD But my favourite is probably this buttermilk chocolate cake my family makes. I ask for it every birthday. What is the favourite character of yours and what aspects about them do you like the most? But I love them all -A- My top at this moment is going to have to be Zen Demaris (full name: Ezknosule Demittedeus). He's actually from the book I'm attempting to run. He's just so happy and never lets anything get him down. He doesn't know how the human world works and is so curious about it. He doesn't let anything stop him from learning. Despite his "caretaker" Isabella being easily irritated, he just... Keeps on being himself. His ability to remain true to himself and find the brightness in every situation is probably what I love most about him. Also, he looks cute in my head What is your favourite animal and why? Wombats. Panda is a close second, but wombats are awesome. Why are they awesome? I'm fully sure, actually. I mainly think they are way too cute. They're like a koala, but more bearlike and walk with a waddle. They look so fluffy, I just want to hug one. Also, they have cartilage on their rump so they can jump into a burrow headfirst and use their butt as a shield. Could you give some advice to the readers of the newsletter this month? Don't let that voice in your head always control your life. Sometimes that voice is the voice of reason and stops you doing stupid, sometimes dangerous things. That is usually a good voice, but even then, being too cautious causes you to sit and watch life happen without you. Get out and talk to a stranger. Accept the invitation to that party, even if you only go for a short time. Ask the new kid if they want to sit with you at lunch, or even go ask some random group if you can sit with them. Ask yourself "what's the worst that can happen?" and if the answer is something like "they say no" then go for it. Also, don't do drugs and stay in school. Before we leave, I would like to say on a personal level that I am very honored to have provided you this month's newsletter. As I am sure you all can tell, I am not the typical author. With this issue being my first, there had been a decrease in features. Do not fret, now that I have picked up my groove, all of the usual news letter features will be returning next month. Please keep a wide eye open for nomination guides in February! Special shoutout to @Dusky, @St Stare, and @welian for helping with this issue's content. Thanks for reading, and as always, happy roleplaying!