[Guide] Good Practices, Etiquitte, etc.

World’s End Tavern: Role-play and Fan Fiction
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Parts of this document are being transitioned from v2 to v3.

I've written some RP guides, not telling you how to play a class, race, or what type of roleplay you should enjoy, simply some discourses on subjects folks probably should know but may not be aware of, principles of fair play, etc.

Table of Contents:


Note: This document is being updated from Version 2 (electric bugaboo) to Version 3 (Roleplay guide goes to college). You'll now find a version and last updated note on posts.
Roleplayer's Rights and Etiquette Quick List (v1.0a 10/6/2018)

  • You are here to have fun.
    • You are the curator of your own experience.
    • No one is entitled to your time.
  • You have the right to Consent.
    • You have the exclusive right to control your character's fate.
      • You choose what injuries your character takes in combat. Others doing so is "godmoding."
      • No one can force character death on you.
      • You may share control of your character with a DM in groups.
    • You have the right opt in or opt out of anything at any time for any reason. Including...
      • A player, guild, or group attempting to assert authority over your character.
      • Posts implying things that make you uncomfortable.
      • Things that make you unhappy or don't make sense.
    • You may dismiss yourself if you are uncomfortable.
      • You don't have to explain yourself.
        • Put people hassling you for doing so on ignore and pretend the whole thing never happened.
    • Never control another person's character without permission.
  • OOC Communication is important
    • Find out what your partners think is meaningful and fun RP.
    • If you are confused, ask for clarification.
    • Establish a safe word to stop scenes if they go out of control.
  • Character Actions yield Fair In Character Consequences.
    • Consequences should be fair and reasonable.
    • Don't do things that would get your character removed from play.
    • If you do things that would get your character removed from play, expect consequences.
    • The guards are a thing even if no one is playing them.
  • Character death is the end of a story.
    • Never pressure someone into character death (they don't have to consent to it).
      • It's almost always better to let the other side live, because it means more RP.
    • Some people do perma-death, others don't. This is fine.
    • The desire to pressure character death on others often has underlying causes.
      • Levelheaded uninvolved players may help identify the real issue.
  • Keep IC and OOC Separate
    • Mild Metagaming for the sake of starting RP is fine.
    • Never use IC to justify being abusive to someone you dislike OOC.
    • A player's OOC comfort and safety is always more important than your immersion.
      • If someone says they're not having fun you:
        • Stop.
        • Work on a solution everyone can be comfortable with.
  • Don't be a martyr in the name of good RP.
    • You are here to have fun, if your own RP is making you miserable, change it.
      • Ask for help if you don't know what to do.
      • Character changes are fine but don’t make it a habit.
  • Roleplay is Collaborative not Competitive.
    • We're here to work together to tell great stories and have a good time.
  • Losing is cool.
    • Characters that lose get character development.
    • You aren't obligated to play along with character deaths, loss of limb, etc.
    • Healers are a thing. Feel free to use them.
  • There is a difference between public and private roleplay.
    • In public RP people expect lore plausible concepts. Have fun but don't go overboard.
    • What goes on in private RP is no one's business but the participants. Go wild.
  • Balance Lore and Fun
    • We play in Azeroth.
      • Azeroth is a weird and wacky world with many possibilities.
    • Lore is important but so is fun.
      • There's a happy medium of plausible and fun. Find it.
      • Different people interpret lore in different ways. This is fine.
    • You can always politely opt out of things you don't enjoy.
    • If asked for feedback, provide constructive feedback.
  • Be Mindful when Lorebending
    • If you're going to do something really strange, try to make it plausible somehow.
Consent (v3.0a, last updated 10/6/2018)

At a most basic level, Roleplay is a multi-user storytelling activity. There is an unspoken agreement between players to engage together in mutual writing. If only one participant wishes to play, then that Roleplay is not happening. The single individual is writing solo fan fiction.

Consent is the idea that each player has exclusive agency over his or her own characters. Each player is the curator of his or her own experience.

The purpose of this section of the document is to give a nuanced understanding of Consent. Consent is the most important thing any Roleplayer should know. It ensures players have an experience that is comfortable, safe, meaningful, and fun. Fun is why we're here, after all.

Consent applies in open, walk-up Roleplay situations. House rules may apply in communities, groups, or guilds.

Consent means all the following:
  • You have the exclusive right to control your character and their fate.
    • You choose what injuries your character takes in combat, no one else may do so, that's "godmoding."
    • No one can force character death on you.
    • In DMed events you may share control with a DM, but good DMs aren't out to get you.

  • You have the right opt in or opt out of anything at any time for any reason. This includes...
    • A player, guild, or group trying to force authority on you.
    • Poses that imply things that make you uncomfortable.
    • Things that make you unhappy or don't make any sense.

  • You may dismiss yourself if you are uncomfortable.
  • You have the right to curate your own experience.
  • You have the right to Roleplay resolutions to Roleplay conflicts.
    • You aren't obligated to use dice, duel, etc. if you do not wish.

  • Other players are not entitled to your Roleplay or your time because they are there.


It is also not acceptable to use others' characters without their OOC permission. This includes using them in fan fiction or published work without explicit permission. Other players' characters are not your NPCs.

How we exchange consent

We exchange consent in two ways: Implicit and explicit.

Most of the time we exchange implicit Consent—We imply Consent. We see each other in the game space, and we post at each other. The other party replies, and we're Roleplaying. It's that simple. No further action is necessary. The interaction means the players have opted into each other's characters.

But, there are situations where explicit Consent may also be necessary. Explicit Consent is consent gained through Out of Character Communication. That is, whispers, party chat, etc. You ask if this thing you want to do is okay.

It's a good idea to request explicit consent when...
  • You wish to cause lasting harm to another person's character.
    • This harm can be physical or psychological.

  • You wish to remove their character from play.
    • Temporary (arrest, imprisonment, abduction, etc.).
    • Permanent (character death).

  • The content you wish to Roleplay may trigger discomfort in the other player.
    • This content may feature excessive violent or abuse. There's no way of knowing if another player is an abuse survivor.
    • The content is lewd or otherwise inappropriate. Distribution of NSFW material across state lines to a minor is a felony. It's never alright to assume someone else's age. It's also never alright to assume others' interest in such subject matter.

  • You have not engaged with a person but wish to use their Roleplay. You may wish to use what you observed In Character knowledge.
    • Implicit Consent does not extend to your own Fan Fiction. The same goes for IC news stories where their character is the center. (See Purdue Writing Lab's Journalism Ethics page for more info on journalism: http://bit.ly/2RvE4g4 )
(Part 2 of Consent v3.0a, last updated 10/6/2018)
Revocation of Consent

Consent is not a contract or obligation. A player who has consented to something may revoke that consent at any time for any reason. If something happens that makes them uncomfortable, they may decide to stop the scene. If someone engaged in walk-up but didn't have a good time, they aren't obligated to continued interaction.

Roleplay is a collaborative writing exercise. It's not a competition. If one person wants to stop a scene the only appropriate response is a full stop.

You stop. You find out what's wrong. You negotiate an alternative that everyone is comfortable and happy with. If you cannot reach an alternative, you retcon (undo everything/void the RP) is acceptable. If there are irreconcilable differences, an amicable split is also an ideal solution.

Why teach Consent?

Consent may seem like common sense but it's not. To this day predatory players bully, pressure, and coherse others into uncomfortable situations. It's important we make sure every player is aware of their freedom to say no.

You should never feel obligated to play anything out that makes you uncomfortable. Some players will use direct or indirect threats. They'll threaten alienation, exclusion, blacklisting, or a bad reputation.

Your comfort and safety are more important than someone else's immersion or pretend time. A Roleplay partner or guild that puts their story above your needs as a human isn't a group or person worth engaging.

The truth is even if they say bad things about you, it doesn't matter. There's so many people on the big Roleplay realms that most players will never hear their complaints. If you feel the need, you can own the narrative with a simple, "I was not comfortable. They continued to pressure me. I left." Most players worth their salt will understand and defend your freedom to leave. You can also refer to the guide to dealing with harassment later in this document.

It's important to remember that different people Roleplay for different reasons. Most do it for fun, but there are other reasons as well. Some do it out of boredom for the sake of entertainment. Some do it to have new experiences they may not otherwise have. Some do it to live out their fantasies through an online avatar. Others do it to heal wounds and sort out personal issues.

It's possible to cause another person emotional harm through insensitivity in Roleplay. Thus, it's important to assure ongoing mutuality.

Consent is a concept taught to players since I began Roleplaying in the late 90s. I learned about an incident on LambdaMOO in the early 90s. There, someone used an in-game script to control others' characters without their Consent. He made inappropriate posts pretending to be others. Other players felt violated as their characters in game were a part of themselves. You can read more about it here: http://bit.ly/D6nAH .
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IN CHARACTER ACTIONS YIELD (FAIR) IN CHARACTER CONSEQUENCES

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In Character Actions yield (Fair) In Character Consequences (ICA=ICC) is a basic principle of roleplay often overlooked by players despite the concept being common sense.

Some facets of ICA=ICC are:

  • Don't do things that would remove your character out of play.
  • Don't create conflicts with other players unless you are willing to face the consequences.
  • If you wind up in a conflict, make the consequences fair and reasonable.


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Don't perform actions in situations where the consequences would result in your character being removed from play/killed unless you are prepared to accept those consequences.

It's not uncommon for players to completely ignore guards in cities and do whatever they want despite the fact that such behavior is frequently unrealistic because the consequences for their actions would get their characters arrested, killed, or otherwise rendered unplayable for a time.

Forgoing fair consequences of actions for the sake of giving a character a dark edgy tough guy image is a form of wish fulfillment. Wish Fulfillment, the kind that takes precedence over story coherence (among other things), is a major part of our good friend Mary Sue, or rather, her gruff hardcore dark broody tough male version, Gary Stu.

An unrealistic action could be public attempts at robberies in highly trafficked areas during prime time, attempting to kill someone where npc interference would be likely, exposing one's self in public, or other things of that nature.

These things would bring on the guards, the reason they do not is not because of incompetence, but because there is no one at Blizzard working full time to make the NPCs respond to what is happening in RP.

It's a good idea to RP like the guards exist and are a real threat. It adds a sense of danger to criminal characters or a deterrent for neutral and good characters to not walk down the dark path.

Now if you are willing to face the consequences and your character is looking at being removed from play due to imprisonment or death you may want to politely work out an OOC compromise to let your character remain playable. Character death is the end of a story and one shouldn't be forced to play something that makes them miserable. [See: Don't be a Martyr.]

Compromising out of a situation because it makes you deeply unhappy OOC should not become a regular thing. Disengage the character hook that landed you in this situation so it won't happen again. Not doing so could result in loss of RP partners.

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Don't create conflicts with other players unless you are willing to face the consequences.

Conflict is a part of what makes roleplay interesting and there are different kinds, man vs self, man vs world, man vs man, etc. While combat is a form of conflict, not all conflicts are combat.

If you, as a player, are not feeling up to dealing with the fair consequences of a conflict, do not create a conflict then consent your way out of the consequences. Doing so creates a rift in story continuity and therefore breaks immersion and serves to only frustrate those you are playing with.

By weaseling out of consequences by refusing to consent you are placing other players in a situation where they are forced to break character and have their character respond in a manner that is not in line with their typical character's behavior. This is not a fun or enjoyable situation to be in and putting someone in it is disrespectful, inconsiderate, and a good way to lose a potential RP partner.

Example (happened to me): Do not have your character expose himself in front of someone's girlfriend and then expect the player of the boyfriend to not have his character try to punch your character in the face and instead just let the conflict go because you don't feel like dealing with the consequences for your character's IC actions, that's not realistic.

If your character is continually opting out of fair consequences then you're getting into Wish Fulfillment (Mary Sue) territory and no one likes a Mary Sue.
If you wind up in a conflict, make the consequences fair and reasonable.

Too often players are forced to opt out of consequences of their IC actions because the person they are in a conflict with opts to be completely over the top with their reactions and consequences.

Imagine you're in a car driving on a freeway and someone cuts you off. You slam on your breaks and get a good scare. You might honk your horn and flip the person in front of you off. It's not a pleasant reaction but it's a fair one.

An over the top, unfair reaction would be to pull out a rocket launcher and blast the person that cut you off.

In roleplay, someone is more likely to opt out of an unrealistic consequence, such as character death, for a minor infraction like bumping into someone on the street.

By trying to force unrealistic consequences, you're increasing the chance of someone opting out and missing out on roleplay and fun. We're here to roleplay and have fun, right?
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Play to Play! Losing is Cool!

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(This one is a combination of my own viewpoints and an article previously posted by Agalladorn.)

We've all seen two characters in public roleplay come to blows before. We've seen characters go from being normal to becoming unhittable fighters, dodging more than Neo in that one scene from the Matrix. We see the one-upmanship of each player trying to make his character stronger, writing their posts to explain how much force they are using.

Eventually things break down into OOC bickering, pointing fingers, and accusing the other of being bad for not taking realistic hits. Sometimes the whole thing will be retconned, sometimes one player will cave to the OOC insistence of their opponent and their character is killed. Sometimes people compromise and both characters wind up severely injured.

Some players will go to a magical healer and get some of the damage, or all of the damage corrected. Others will play out a suffering tough guy with injuries in a way just as unrealistic as magical healing. Someone using magic healing may then get mocked for not playing out a situation that makes them unhappy that they were pressured into accepting.

It's no wonder why some people hate combat.

This is a symptom of a problem: People playing to win.

People may play to win for a variety of reasons. Some people are trying to maintain an image of being a powerful tough guy others shouldn't mess with, and losing would destroy that image. Others may enjoy killing characters or collecting kills for a kill count. Some people are naturally competitive and completely unaware that they're doing it, and others may play to win because they're stuck in a vicious cycle of playing with others who do so. It's how they learned and if they didn't play to win if someone else was playing that way, they'd lose their beloved characters.

The solution is to not play to win and to find RP partners who understand that roleplay isn't about maintaining a tough guy image, or adding to their kill count, but to create a fun, coherent, cooperative, multi-author interactive story.

What people fail to realize when they play the guy who always wins is actually missing out on a ton of opportunities for good roleplay.

Yes! Losing is cool. It builds character!

Sure, the winner of combat gets to go to the bar and revel in how awesome he is, and the winner of non-combat conflicts gets the happy feels, but what meaningful gains has he gotten from being the winner all the time?
Very little.

Be it combat or other conflict, a character that is losing has a lot of issues they have to face. Coming to terms with being humbled, nursing injuries, having to go to others for help or healing (more rp). The loser has to deal with the emotions of loss, they may feel compelled to atone, may find a renewed purpose, overcoming obstacles. There's also vengeance and rivalries, really fun stuff.

These things are all forms of meaningful character development, opportunities for characters to change and grow; opportunities for characters to shed old hooks and acquire new ones.

With this being said, it's almost always better to let your character's foe escape to lick their wounds. Character death is the end of a story and having your character kill their opponent you are closing the door on more roleplay.

We want more roleplay, not less.

Play to play, for story instead of playing to win. Losing is cool!
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Fair Representation

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Scenario 1:
Imagine your character is in combat and your character's opponent makes this long post describing what his character does, and then what his character does next, getting into detail about this chain of attacks on your character.

What do you do? This person is clearly playing to win and letting the whole chain action happen to your character would kill it.

You could write a huge long post about how your character takes some of the hits and counters others, but then when would your character get to go on the offensive?

You could have your character avoid the whole attack, or counter the first action and invalidate the rest of the post, but with as much effort as this player posted, he's going to be pretty angry. And if you do it again then you risk drama, the bad OOC argument kind.

You could just take the hit and hope your character survives somehow.

You could just walk away and lose out on RP and risk the other player getting mad and saying bad things about you on the internet.

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Scenaio 2:
Now imagine you and your friends are being attacked by a rogue. And the rogue is posting these posts that have a ton of moving, stealthing, and jumping around. He's doing this, that, he was right in front of you but now he's over there.

Your character wants to reach out and grab the slippery little bugger by the collar of his shirt when he is in front of your character, but your character can't because the rogue has already moved three or four times more before the end of his post.

Even though your character might very well be capable of grabbing him, you've been denied. Not maliciously.

You have little choice. You can react to what happens and not what you want to happen. You can bring it up OOC and risk an argument. You can walk away and miss out on roleplay.

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Scenario 3:
You're roleplaying and someone you are playing with decides to tell a story about something that happens to them. So your character sits there for a while and BOOM the storytelling character crits you with an 11 post long wall of text!

Now there are things in the wall that your character would have reacted to, but the whole story is posted and the reaction is not timely.

There's no room to be horrified at the happenings. There's no room for the young, enthusiastic character to ask, "What happened next?" with sparkles in her eyes. There's no time for laughter or tears.

So you give a brief response and that's it.

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It's unlikely that the players in these scenarios are being malicious in any way; they're just playing how they play and may not be aware that they are creating a difficult situation for others.

Scenarios 1 ans 2 are situations that border on godmoding, controlling someone else's character, but isn't quite there.

What is happening is the posting player is deciding, without considering what skills others might have, that their characters succeed and then move on to the next reaction of the chain, and that others don't have the capability to interrupt. They are unknowingly and unmaliciously denying their RP partners fair representation of their abilities and skills.

Scenarios 2 and 3 contain missed opportunities for roleplay.

The rogue in scenario 2, by assuming success with all his jumping around is missing out on being grabbed and having to deal with the confrontation, explaining, squirming, escaping that might come with not succeeding. He's missing out on meaningful roleplay, making friends or rivals, by assuming success and not letting others grab him.

The storyteller in scenario 3, by posting a wall of text, is stifling al the fun interaction that can happen in storytime.

Every character is entitled to fair representation of his or her skills, which only the player of that character knows. This is true regardless of character level or ilevel. Assuming success or otherwise denying others a chance to react is inconsiderate and poor form*.

(Unless there is a prior agreement or a Storyteller/Dungeonmaster presiding.)

While long posts and lots of detail are just fine, it is important to not deny others a chance to react and interact. Roleplay isn't just about making a story; it's about making a fun and collaborative story.

Interaction and reaction to what's going on is a big part of what makes roleplay fun. Allow others to react to what is happening and intervene for more fun.
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When Your Own RP Makes You Miserable.

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Sometimes, through normal roleplay, our characters may wind up in a situation that makes us deeply unhappy to play in or the characters themselves make us deeply unhappy just playing them. Perhaps they're physically trapped, or injured, going to be executed, or have been socially put into an excessively hostile situation. Perhaps the character did something and the situation is IC consequences of an IC action coming to fruition. Perhaps the character is trapped by his or her own very nature. Perhaps the character just doesn't suit you anymore. For whatever the reason the character is no longer fun to play.

In this situation we will find people dump their formerly beloved character for an alt, or worse, quitting the game all together. Some players may feel trapped, like the only out is to kill their character off is the only way to resolve a conflict, or they may suck it up and playing anyhow in the name of "good roleplay" or to appease friends and guildmates despite the situation making them miserable. None of these options are ideal.

Playing a character that makes you miserable is Roleplay Martyrdom, it's not healthy and you don't need to do it. Yes, everyone is responsible for upholding canon and keeping situations fair and coherent. You also are responsible for making sure you get your 15 dollars a month worth of fun. You owe it to yourself to have a good time.

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Communication and Change

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The solution to this problem is OOC communication with people you play with and making changes to your character.

Communicate:
Whether you are in a situation that is making you miserable or if your character's nature is the culprit, you should communicate, OOC, with your RP partners and friends.

You should discuss the problem and possible solutions to the problem. The more brains you have working on a problem, the wider the variety of solutions that will come up.

There is a quite often a believable solution to a character's problem or personality to make them playable again. Together with your friends you can take the journey to get back to fun again.

It's not uncommon for players to not realize that others aren't having fun with the direction a RP is moving in because others don't say so. They may not be aware when they're doing something that's triggering.

Krenk has suggested use of a safeword, something folks in a group can invoke to call a time out. To way to say, "I'm not having fun/I'm not ok with this, we need to talk OOC and fix things." This is an excellent idea.

Just like in real life, and in relationships, communication in online roleplay fun is extremely important. Speak up, communicate with others.

Change:
Your goal is to make a change to make your character playable again. With a little creativity you and your friends can change a situation, or weave a situation to facilitate removal of a character hook that is otherwise dragging your character down.

By playing out a character change with friends, you're making the change meaningful and believable instead of just changing something overnight.

But I don't want to sacrifice the integrity of my character.

Removing a character hook from a character doesn't necessarily mean that the character is being destroyed. If this is a concern, consider sitting down and writing down exactly what makes your character who they are.

Characters shouldn't be fixed static things, they should change with the world around them and over time due to experiences they have.

By removing a character hook that is weighing a character down and preventing the character from being fun is not destroying the character, it's an act of character development.

Together with your RP partners and friends, you can change your character through roleplay, enjoy meaningful character development on the journey to revitalize your enthusiasm and turn a character that's making you miserable to a character that is fun again.

What if my friends/rp partners/guildmates won't help?

Maybe the change you need to make is the company you keep.

I need to change my environment/guild but I'm afraid to leave in fear of upsetting people or feeling guilty.

You owe it to yourself to pursue fun and happiness in game and should never feel guilty for "/gquit"ing to pursue what makes you happy.

Talk with your guild leader, officers, and friends. Let them know you have nothing against them, simply that you need to explore a little. Your true friends will still be your friends no matter what tag is under your name.

I gquit and now I'm being harassed!
See: https://us.battle.net/forums/en/wow/topic/11914941540#post-11
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Character Death

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Too often, especially when players are playing to win, players seek to kill the characters of others. Sometimes it's not even for fair reasons; people just want to kill others' characters.

What players fail to consider is that character death is the end of a story. Character death is wasteful. It's a missed opportunity for future roleplay, stifled by the desire to increase a kill count.

The advantage from letting another character survive is more roleplay! The opportunity for a character to have a long-term enemy or rival, the chance for others to get to roleplay with the loser, the possibility of IC reckoning or payback. You might even get an OOC friend out of the deal.

Imagine your character facing off against their old foe. Imagine the two growing to hate each other and loving to hate each other. Imagine the chance for the two to enjoy beating the crap out of each other over time. Perhaps even a chance to one day reminisce about the good fights over some booze someday (before getting in a bar brawl) or having a Professor X and Magneto playing chess type of situation. The possibilities are endless.

There is fun to be had, don't just throw it away!

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No one is obligated to accept character death unless there is some prior arrangement (like a DM). Anyone who tells you otherwise is wrong.

A player should never feel forced to kill their character off because someone else insists or is unwilling to work out a compromise. Run for the hills if this happens.

A player should never feel like they have no other choice but to kill their character to escape a situation that makes them miserable.

And should a player want to kill their character, let them set up how it'll go down, so when it is time for someone's character to kick the bucket it is done in a way the player wants. Let them have a fun, meaningful, tragic or ironic death.
How to Deal with Harassment (v3.0a, last updated 10/6/2018)

For this document, harassment is continuing unwanted contact in game.

Online harassment is an unfortunate and almost inevitable part of life. In most situations, if you're the recipient it's not your fault. This happens because Normal Person + Anonymity + Audience = Total Jerkwad!

No matter what you do you can't please everyone. Someone may not get on with you and that's fine. You shouldn't beat yourself up over not getting along with everyone. Don't feel obligated to bend or change yourself for others.

Harassment occurs for many reasons. In the past I've seen guilds harass ex-members. I've seen people abuse their ex Roleplay partners after splitting. I've seen gaslighting, triangulation, and rumor-mongering. I've seen channel hijacking and harassment of groups. I've seen harassment that's spanned across platforms. This is how you handle various harassment situations.

Things everyone should do:
You can take these measures to protect yourself or better combat harassment beforehand.
  • Turn on timestamps: In World of Warcraft you should turn on timestamps. Hit escape, interface, social, timestamps.
  • Get addons:
    • Elephant: Saves logs of your chat. https://www.curseforge.com/wow/addons/elephant
    • Global Ignore list: Globoal Ignore List copies our ignores between all your alts. It also redoes ignores if someone falls off your list for some reason. It extends the number of people you can ginore but Blizzard may not accept an addon driven ignore as an ignore. https://wow.curseforge.com/projects/global-ignore-list
    • Badboy with BadboyLevels: This will block a bunch of spam in your chat. The levels module lets you block all low level whispers. This eliminates whispers from hostile low level alts and scammers. https://wow.curseforge.com/projects/bad-boy https://wow.curseforge.com/projects/badboy_levels
    • WIM: This lets you have whisper windows. The window shows someone's avatar name (not Roleplay name), level, and guild when it can. https://www.curseforge.com/wow/addons/wim-3


Initial Encounter
When it becomes clear someone is harassing you for the first time, do the following steps:
  • Stop talking to them. Do not respond. If you say anything, tell them to leave you alone.
  • Shift Click the name: This will do a /who and s how you the avatar name, level, and guild of the individual.
  • Screenshot: Take a screenshot of the interaction and the /who information. (This is important as sometimes a harasser will use someone else's Roleplay name.)
  • Right Click their name. Ignore: This will place them on a permanent ignore list. This should also block all alts but sometimes that function breaks.
  • Right Click their name. Report Language: In the field that shows up, enter a brief explanation. Blizzard says they view all reports. I'm not sure if that's true but Blizzard WILL see the report later if it escalates. The intention is to make a trail.
  • If you're running a logging addon, screenshot that too. You don't need to do anything with it, save it for your records.


Ongoing Harassment
Sometimes ignore doesn't stop someone from making contact. They will ask friends to relay messages. The ignore function's alt blocking breaks sometimes and they'll reach out on alts. They have a second bnet account and wow account and use that. For ongoing harassment do this:
  • Do all of the above plus...
  • Open a ticket: Use the "ongoing harassment" option. Explain in clear and concise language what's going on. Some players may use silly meme phrases to harass that go under Blizzard's radar. You need to explain that to them.
  • You may need to follow up with the ticket to make sure they understand what's going on. They may not take action immediately. If they do, they may not tell you what they've done. This is standard.
(Part 2 of Harassment v3.0a, last updated 10/6/2018)

Indirect Harassment
Some harassers will use indirect harassment methods to harass. They'll make false accusations. They'll try to get you kicked from your guild. They will try to isolate you. Here's some things you can do.
  • Communicate with your guild and friends. Those screenshots you saved? Share them with those people. Let them know what's going on.
  • If they cause problems third party services, block them. Blizzard's doesn't care about other mediums, other hosts don't care either. Players might. Keep records. block. Do not respond but make your own post. Own the narrative. Tell your story. Post those screenshots.


Accusations of level 1 harassment
Some harassers like to accuse their victims of sending level 1 hate whispers. It's a catch 22, hard to deny. I've used these methods to debunk it in the past:
  • Showing a screenshot of your alt list with the restore button not greyed out.
  • Opening a ticket and asking Blizzard to confirm you haven't done it. While Blizzard can't reveal information about others, they can tell you about yourself.


Off Game Harassment
Almost every service has an ignore or block feature. Use it. Report harassment to the third parties. They may not help on a first encounter, but make that trail of tickets. Ongoing issues get interventions.
  • Blizzard Forums: Ignore. Don't respond. Ignore their alts. Post counts don't change between alts.
  • On Discord: Block. Require friends list or mutual server for contact. If you're in a mutual server with them, you may want to let the mods know. Some server mods may not kick immediately but some will keep an eye out for aggression towards you.
  • On Tumblr: Block. Turn off anon asks. Turn on the setting that limits responses to posts without a follow of 2 weeks.
  • Other social media: Block.


Don't Respond
These people enjoy knowing you're upset. Don't show them you're upset. Don't respond to them. Keep going through the motions and they'll get bored.

Doxxing / Real Life Threats
Sometimes people threaten or Doxx others. Doxxing is the act of taking real life sensitive information and making it public. I'd recommend googling yourself. Assure that your online handle and your real name have no links. If you find any, delete them. Google your e-mail addresses, too. When you find something, save the URL. Check archive.org to assure that url isn't backed up there. If it isn't, contact archive.org and ask them to wipe it.

Rarely, someone will post their victims' real life information in a Roleplay addon. Blizzard has enabled addon logging. Our Roleplay Addon Authors have taken steps to allow reporting for these cases. Use your addons' "report" function. This will help you tell Blizzard how to see that profile information. Not all reps are up to date on this policy. You will need some patience when working with Blizzard on this. (Thank you to Ellypse (TRP3/MRP) and Itarater (XRP) for making our addons safer.)

In the super rare case of a real life threat, you should communicate with Blizzard. They will help and let you know if you should take extra steps. Blizzard, along with the users' ISP, will respond to subpoena from law enforcement.

I'm sorry
Sorry to hear about the harassment. It sucks, but you're not alone. Go through the motions and it will most likely stop. Remember, you're entitled to and deserve to enjoy the game you pay 15 dollars a month for in peace.
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Playing with a Storyteller

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A Storyteller (ST) / Dungeon Master (DM) / Game Master (GM) is a player who runs plots. This can be quite different from organic walkup roleplay and is typically the type of gameplay that takes people out of cities and onto adventures.

A Storyteller not only provides a plot and surprises, but they also often serve as a referee for conflicts, play NPCs that characters may run into on their adventures, and describe scenes and places as people go there. They may play the villains for a plotline as well. A Storyteller's own character may not actually be there IC during a plot they run, or their avatar may serve as a backdrop or foil to others with the purpose of pushing things along IC if a plot gets stuck.

A good Storyteller is there not only to tell a story, but to elevate the participants in their plots and help those characters shine. This allows the plots to be fun, meaningful, and sometimes even epic to everyone else involved.

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Opting into a Storyteller's authority:

Like with a guild, if you want to opt into a plot being run by a Storyteller, you have to consent to their authority. (And some guilds have Storytellers that you opt into as part of joining.)

When you opt into playing with a Storyteller presiding over a plot, you are opting into their authority. You are opting to sacrifice partial control of the fate of your character, consenting to the world that the ST provides, and opting to play by that player's rules, which may involve dice rolls or the ST having authority to determine outcomes of a conflict or have the final say.

While this sounds scary, in the hands of a good Storyteller, it's not. A good ST is not out to get you!

A Storyteller may ask you to provide a character sheet, a document telling him everything about your character. Even if your character has a big secret, like being a lost noble or a dragon, the Storyteller needs to know. The more information that is provided, the more custom the plot the ST provides can become.

For Example: If you don't tell your ST what your characters worst fear is, then the opportunity to face those fears disappears. That's a chance for meaningful character development to be squandered!

A Storyteller's plot may be a brief session or two, or an ongoing plot that gets daily activity for years.

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Playing with a Storyteller:

Two of the most important things to remember with a Storyteller presiding is to be patient and to communicate OOC.

Patience: A Storyteller's may be slow to respond to posts and tells, their plots may progress more slowly than you'd like. They aren't ignoring you, they may be maintaining 6 or 7 conversations at once on top of monitoring what is going on, writing long paragraphs to set scenes, and controlling half a dozen NPCs, which may or may not be in combat with the player characters. Their plot may be an outline of flexible plot points to get from point A to point B, but how players get there may greatly. Storytellers improvise a lot, and if something goes in an unexpected direction they might need a few minutes to rework things in their head.

Communication: It's important that you communicate with your Storyteller. Communicate if something is upsetting you or making you uncomfortable. Communicate ideas you might have for the plot "Wouldn't it be cool if?" Communicate information about your characters that may be handy. You may also want to let the ST know that you are having fun if you are indeed having fun, because running a plot can be scary stressful, especially for a new ST, and letting the person running the plot know that they're successfully creating fun can bring warm fuzzies. A confident Storyteller is going to be the one who keeps bringing the fun day after day, month after month, year after year.

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Finding a good Storyteller:

Your best bet for finding a good Storyteller is to join a guild or to participate in an optional server-wide event.

Many Storytellers are guild leaders ore guild officers, and as with guilds, there can be good and bad storytellers.

As with guilds, do your research!
Interview the Storyteller. Ask questions. Find out their rules and expectations. Communicate your preferences, such as not being comfortable with character death. Find out more about their plots. Ask for logs or ask to sit in on a session.

Interview other players. Ask them questions. Find out about the worst and best experiences they've had. Ask if their characters are allowed to make meaningful contributions to the story or if the plots seem to be focused around the ST's characters fighting the ST's NPCs. (This is a red flag, like with guilds, if a ST's plots are all about elevating themselves and their characters it might be time to run for the hills.)
Qualities of good, and bad, storytellers

A good Storyteller is infinitely patient, clear, and communicates well. They can express frustration in constructive ways without running wild. They are there to run meaningful, coherent, fun plots that elevate their players' characters. They are firm but fair, listen to others but come to their own conclusions, have an impeccable knowledge of lore, and aren't out to get you. They are quick thinkers and improvise and change their plots on the fly to make things work.

A bad storyteller has tempermental outbursts when running plots and does not communicate with or care about the wants of other players. They don't care about plot coherence and common sense and must have things go their way. They are out to make their own characters the star of their own plots and could care less about others. A bad storyteler may be motivated to act unfairly based on the opinions of others instead of thinking for themselves.

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Should I try Storytelling?
Absolutely!

Where should I start?
Start with a group of friends, 3 or 4 of then at most. Start small, run a litte quest that takes one or two sessions to complete. As you get more comfortable work your way up to something bigger. Let your friends know you're learning and are new at this, they'll understand and help you out.

Use a Safeword!
Establish a codeword your friends can invoke to stop a plot in its tracks when someone is unconfortable or has a problem. This allows everyone to communicate clearly and resolve conflicts before they become too much of a problem.

What if I suck?
In the words of that dog from Adventure Time, "Sucking at something is the first step to becoming sorta good at something." If you never take the first step and try, you'll never have a chance to improve. There could be an absolutely awesome storyteller in you, but you'll never know unless you try. So don't worry, just do it.

I can't think of a simple plot
This is a Gryphonheart Item that you can use to generate one of 10 random situations, locations, and initiators of adventures. The information is very generic and vague, you still have to fill in the actual information but this can help you get an idea and gain some inspiration.

Adventure Seeder:
http://pastebin.com/zVBsw1hy

I'm bad at improvising characters
Practice makes perfect!

This is a Gryphonheart Item that lists a random Race, Class, Spec, Gender, Age Range, and first letter of a name. Practice taking the information provided and, as quickly as possible, writing up a character based on the information. The more you do it, the faster you'll get until you're able to start improvising NPCs on the fly. You can even save your writeups in a google doc spreadsheet for later use.

NPC generator:
http://pastebin.com/X7b88Yk6

Where can I get more help?
Ask on the forums or in this thread.
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~~~~~Q & A~~~~~~~~
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How can you tell the difference between a griefer and someone who is just RPing?
http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/11765066394?page=2#27 (WRA Forums link)

How do I prevent GHI from being used to make my character do or emote embarrassing things?
If you go into GHI Config, you should set your settings to require prompting for things to happen. They should look like this: http://oi62.tinypic.com/f27p7m.jpg

Consent when powerful characters are ordered around by other powerful characters.
http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/11914941540?page=2#31
Incredibly helpful. It's great to see that someone finally put all this stuff into one guide. Definitely worth the read, and I already requested a sticky.
Great thread. Says I already requested sticky, no idea why.
Because the forums are haunted. :3
Well worth the read, Zandrae. I can tell you took a lot of time and effort to be thorough and concise. Definitely voted for sticky!
Definitely voted for sticky. Also, don't forget to 'like' each individual post.

I wish this had been up last week. My guild (not this guild, a different one) had a situation where one of our members had a character that was making her miserable and wound up deleting her character.

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