If you have not yet familiarized yourself with our game's Rules, please do so prior to posting anything on our boards.
While some of the items touched upon in this guide might seem common practice to more experienced play-by-post roleplayers, please remember that some players might still be familiarizing themselves with the mechanics of our game.
For those that are unfamiliar, even after reading our guide, just take a look a the current in-character posts of our game. Also don't be afraid to ask questions, either. You'll get the hang of it!
1. Date-Based Threads
Our threads are date-based, with each in-character thread marked (at the top of its first post) by its appropriate calendar date. Please consult the Chantry Calendar for canon, in-game dates. Every new thread should be marked with the date, and time of day, that it occurs. Players are encouraged to track their own threads via the Thedosian Chronologies boards.
Prior to joining any storyline, you'll need to make sure your character, or the characters of other players, are even available during that time period. That's why we use the calendar system.
Players have some flexibility to roleplay either a month ahead or behind the current in-game date. There is a designated "flashback" section, called "Thedas of Days Past", for stories that occur many months or even years prior.
1.1. Dating New Threads
Every first post, of every new thread, requires a date at the top to inform thread-mates as well as other players when the events of the thread itself have occurred. It should be dated by the day in question, followed by the month, the year, and time of day. Don't forget to @ tag those you're roleplaying with, as well, or they may not notice the post.
Players should always date their character's letters, via the "Send A Raven" board, regardless of whether or not they are sending or replying to them. For replies, keep in mind how long it may have taken for your character to have received said letter if it was sent over a long distance. Note: according to the canon lore, Chantries served as post offices of sorts. Just a fun fact for you to consider during roleplay.
We don't allow for "time travel" on the boards. Everyone is roleplaying during the same time period, with a flexibility range of one month, before or after the current in-game month that has been listed as the active month on the board. The only exception to this would be our "Thedas of Days Past" boards, where flashback threading, solo or with other players, is permitted.
Characters cannot post in different regions without there being a time gap in between those threads, reflective of the length of time it would have taken the character to travel from one place to another. For example, someone with a thread in Denerim on 1 Firstfall, 9:44 Dragon would not feasibly be able to show up in, say, Jader the very next day. You'd have to decide how the character got to Jader from Denerim, either by land or by sea, and account for the travel time in between the two cities as well as additional factors such as what season it is. Winter travel will always take longer, given that the terrain of most regions will be covered in snow. Also remember that travelling by foot, horse, carriage, or boat will all have different trials in addition to how long it takes to arrive at a destination.
Please consult our separate Thedosian Travel guide, for a list of approximate distances between regions and length of time it might take to travel them.
We do not have a formal "word count" in this game. Try to gauge your in-character posts appropriately for the given situation. A lot of "solo" storylines have posts that run longer than usual because the player is not waiting on another player to respond, and that's perfectly fine. When responding to other players, however, try to give their characters something to work with rather than simply reacting to, or repeating, what they have offered. The numbers of words, or amount of in-character dialogue spoken, isn't as overly important to us so long as players contribute to the narrative. We consider minimum effort to be, approximately, 1 thoughtfully written paragraph - with or without dialogue.
Most in-character threads are closed storylines. Players wishing to join an active storyline should reach out to the other players involved, OOC or via private message, prior to simply interrupting the narrative with the arrival of their character. This basic courtesy falls under Section 5: Player Etiquette of our Rules.
It's rude to interrupt others who are in the midst of their narratives, so be sure to introduce yourself and express interest ahead of time using the out-of-character boards or Discord chat. Players need not try to involve themselves in every single active thread on the board, as new threads can and will be added. Establish a rapport with other players first, and make arrangements to thread together.
Canons will always be available to roleplay with original characters, but players roleplaying as OCs still have to be courteous and understanding about canon availability dates. You may want your character to meet Varric right away, but it's possible he's not available during the day in question that your character is and/or he might not even be in the same region as you've had your character start out in. Patience is key. Use the OOC areas to plot, while you're waiting.
4.1. Thread Status
Please mark all new in-character threads, in their subject line after the subject title itself. The appropriate markers to use are as follows:
[Open] = anyone can join, at any time.
[Semi-Open] or [Semi-Closed] = that's an indicator that you need to ask before joining, so as to not disrupt the current plot.
[Closed] = likely for a specific reason/plot, this thread is closed and only those already tagged within will be participating in the narrative.
[Completed] = this thread is over, its narrative finished, and it remains on the board for context. Please don't mark threads as [Completed] if you intend to revive them later.
[Solo] = this type of thread is purely for the thread creator and, likely, their own player-created NPCs. Solo threads are expecially common in flashbacks, which are to be posted in "Thedas of Days Past" on our board. Solo threads don't need to be marked as closed or completed, since only one player is involved within them. Players should still make an effort to read each other's solo threads, as sometimes they foreshadow events to come in participant-rich threads. Equal interest in a variety of threads is also something that will be taken into account when considering player promotions to staff roles, as it shows a player is actively invested in building our roleplaying community.
Real world obligations happen. As mentioned per Section 8: Posting of our Rules, we have a 5-day grace period for other players to post their replies to your character’s post. Remember, narrative roleplay tends to move slowly but the long-term results, in the form of elaborate storytelling, are usually very rewarding. Allow other players time to respond to your character’s actions before going ahead without them. Play by post games typically do not have a set time schedule. Many members are in different time zones, so it’s important to be patient.
While you’re waiting for a reply, you can hang out in the Player Lounge where you’re free to start and/or contribute to OOC conversations. Or, if you're already an approved member, join the conversations over on our Discord server (which you will be granted access to only after you have an approved character profile on the board).
If you don’t get a response after 5 days, try contacting the player directly (either via private message or post a non-confrontational OOC thread in the Players Lounge) only if that player has not already made a note of their absence in our designated OOC area. If you don’t get a response and are eager to move on, typically we encourage players to continue by writing the other character “out of the scene” in some fashion or by implying that the other character has decided to preoccupy themselves with some background task. You cannot speak actual in-character dialogue on behalf of that other character, however, but you can choose how your character reacts to, say, a long silence. Be clever about the scene and craft the exit gracefully, as opposed to burning bridges over another player’s disappearance, because oftentimes players do return after a week or two when their real world life has calmed down a bit.
If, after a month a player has not returned and has not made an announcement pertaining to their absence – that player is considered “missing in action”. Their character profile will be moved to an archive board. We don’t kill other players’ characters’ off because 1. that’s rude and 2. we do understand that real life can get REAL sometimes. We will, oftentimes, welcome players back after an extended hiatus and return their character’s profile to the appropriate board upon their return. However, if this appears to be repeatable behaviour – we will ultimately, though only in the rarest of instances, be forced to ban the player.
Players should pick a text colour for their character(s) for when they speak in-game. We keep track of those colours via the Assigned Dialogue Colours guide and we also provide the same list via usuable colour picker in a drop down menu whenever you go to post. The drop down menu is labelled as Dialogue Colours and can be found to left of the colour wheel. Tracking this and providing the menu makes highlighting text much easier for everyone. Using dialogue colours, themselves, makes it easier to to see who said what and when, and in what context, in each post.
When responding to another character's dialogue, you might choose to copy their dialogue and implement into your own post in some fashion. Try not to copy the entirety of the other player's post, even if they had a lot of dialogue for your character to respond to. Break the other character's dialogue up a bit, in your own post reply, with your character's reaction to the other character's words as they were heard. Once our game gets going a bit, you'll see how others have done this. Try to follow the same method.
6.2. Switching To Another Language In-Game
Please do not use a different dialogue colour when speaking a different language in-game. Dialogue colours denote your character speaking, not their language spoken. Stick to narrative format when speaking different languages, i.e. the same as it would be written/read if you were reading a novel. An example of correct use, would be: "I'll meet you in the market," he said, switching from the Trade Tongue to Orlesian.
6.3. Character Thoughts
Use italics to denote that your character is thinking and not speaking aloud. Most novels use this method. e.g. She's very beautiful, he thought to himself.
You may have noticed you cannot create threads on some boards but that you can post in the sub-boards listed in them. This was intentional. We've done this to remove confusion surrounding, for example, the City of Amaranthine versus its the surrounding territory overall (i.e. the entire arling) that Amaranthine oversees. This will hopefully remove confusion between teyrnirs, arlings, and bannorns (which may have additional, smaller regions within them) and their cities, towns, and villages that sometimes share the same name.
Only staff, with privileges overseeing certain areas of the game, can create "official" locales within nesting boards. Naturally, players can request for new areas to be made via our "New Locale Requests" board. We cannot oblige every request, but we'll do our best and will respond with suggestions if your request isn't feasible.