In light of the transition we have made from one forum to another, there have been some frequent questions and concerns we wanted to address along with the matters of “group anxiety”. Trust me when we say that we know how rough it can be to read through someone else’s material and adapt your baby to fit to it… or to make a new character trying to not “screw it up”. We are here to tell you to take a deeeeep breath and relax; it's just a game. Before becoming panicked, anxious, or unsure where to start, just talk to us.
Most find that everything is FAR simpler than their minds made it out to be. Think of our site lore and world design like reading a short story. Then when your ready to build or import a character, chat with us about what you want to do and we can point to the specific areas to focus on so you don’t have to sort through all the information to figure it out on your own. If you do, that is FANTASTIC! But we knew from the start we would have to help people through joining and we are ok with that.
Now please, go make yourself a cup of tea, coffee or booze.. or coffee with booze or whatever you need to relax.. take a few deep breaths, keep and open mind and read the following to help settle some of your anxieties and concerns.
I am overwhelmed with the massive amount of information on the site.
The epitome of freeform roleplay is based in reading and writing. We cannot help you with this anxiety because it's such an integral part, but we can help the way you might look at it. Think of it more as a "starter" for an RP that builds the world you are in rather then hard core instructions you must read and memorize. None of the site information is designed to be memorized. It is a catalog of pre-established information for you to look back to whenever you need it, so you do not have to make it up yourself or try to figure out how to balance it with other players.
Why pre-established? In the 20 years of my roleplaying experience I, Mipps, have found that most people struggle with world building. It is much preferred by the majority to live inside a pre-designed world which is why fandom is often more popular. And that's fine, not everyone has to build a world. What we have done is built a setting and provided the information to you, for you to use. It's no different than reading a book, playing a game, watching a show or movie; only ours is just a website. That's how we look at it at least, so take a deep breath and just view it as a story you are about to be part of.
I want to join but I have no idea where to start.
This is far more common than you might think. When I, Mipps, joined groups and communities before it was a bit of a struggle to get going. There is always a bit of a learning curve with everything that is new. So here is a checklist to maybe get you in the right direction:
Read the Group Lore first and get an Idea of the primary story and what The Order of the Black Rose (OBR) is about. Don't get into the nitty gritty details of all the sub links for OBR until your ready to join.
Read our World Design to get an idea of the Ten Realms and how they connect. You might find in this that you'd rather start not on Earth and in one of our other locations if it fits a genre you are more familiar with:
Earth is Modern Era
Talamh is more Victorian + Steampunk
Xiassoros is medieval fantasy
Pandemonium is more post apocalyptic
Pelagius is more "waterworld" and Pirates
Our other worlds haven't unlocked yet, but we have a frozen wasteland, as creepy forest and the lost realm is a mystery to solve.
Click on the "Join us" tab and read that general page as it tells you when, where and how we RP.
Read our Rules & Guidelines. You have to follow the rules at all times so its good to be familiar with these and ask questions if you don't understand any of them. Write down the code in here for later too.
Read the characters link to understand the sort of information you'll be asked to fill out and what types of characters won't be allowed. This is a character sheet in which you can use to prepare for joining.
Whether you are importing or creating a new character, our Magic and quick stats page is there to help you build and adapt NOT to overwhelm you. It provides you all you need to know about racial stats, magic and what limits we have put on magic.
Now your ready to make an account! Your first account can be just a player account or a character account. We don't mind either way. But if you want a player account we recommend making it first. Player accounts get validated right away. If it's a character account you will pend in validation until the character is ready to go. There is no need to make it perfect from the start, you can save it, walk away and come back to it. You have literally 30 days to work on it and utilize us to help you.
I am terrified I will misread something and get it wrong
Don't be! Even us, the creators (Mipps and Morrigan) get our own stuff wrong a percentage of the time; We have to go back and amend our posts or edit our characters to make stuff work. We are only human. Mistakes happen but in our community we are not super critical. We work together to fix things in as nice a way as possible and then get back to having fun. All it requires is a little extra communication on both ends.
Everything looks too complex for what I am used to.
We understand. It's a lot of information. For the most part, most all multi paragraph based roleplayers already adhere to most of what we present. D&D people might see what we have as a stat-less version of their own game styles. In a sense, it is. The nutshell version is Light and Dark don't get along but also require each other to balance the world (ying and yang); there is a prophecy about bringing this balance; and magic is not as easy as snapping your fingers. It's really that simple and so long as you maintain perspective of those simple three things, the rest comes a lot easier.
I do not think I am good enough writer for this group. (Or English is my second language)
Well, that is subjective. Unless you are a national published author that went on Oprah I think we could all say we are not "good enough writers" for any place. We have all kinds of writers of various styles. So long as you pay attention to details in a reply, respond to what's happening, and give people a decent amount of substance to respond to then you are doing great. We have people in our group from all over the world so if English isn't your first language, it's no big deal. How about giving it a try, you really have nothing to lose. If you decide this group is not for you then you can always leave later without any form of harassment about it.
I have so many questions, but I feel like I am just pestering people.
You aren't. Mipps & Morrigan knew when they created this big ol thing that some people would have more trouble than others. We decided to take the responsibility of helping each and every person through every question so they could be apart of our world; So YOU could be a part of our world. We LOVE talking about it. You are no bother to us at all. We are happy to help.
I have joined, but now I do not know where to start.
Well, I suppose it would be too easy to tell you to Roleplay. but that is the goal right? Try a couple of these things to get your toes wet:
Once validated, you will be free to to RP! The first step is to check out our ranks | Pathways | faction thread and tell us what your interested in so we can add you to the roster. All this is for, is letting other people know if your character is a member of the OBR and if so what rank they are which is important to some interactions and campaigns.
Introduce your character in our showcase!
Make a Looking-for-Roleplay ad to share with people what your interested in doing! Equally so, check out other ads to see what you might be interested in too; respond to them if you like the idea
Look at the Campaign and mission boards and see if there is something you can and want to get involved in! The best way to make bonds is to get into the canon because it's designed to build on characters and pull people together for comradery.
Reach out to some characters you find interesting and see if they might do a 1x1 or even do a meet and greet rapid fire in discord!
I want to Roleplay with someone because I liked their character / saw their ad prompt... but I don't want to bother them / I am sure they are swamped with requests.
NO!!! Stop it! Literally everyone in the group has said this to me at some point and I cannot stop facepalming. You are all terrified to talk to each other. All of you. Literally no roleplay will happen if this thought process continues! We are all here to roleplay, people love it when they get requests and responses... so just reply to their thread or PM them. The worst that can happen is they say "not right now" or "Let me finish up this other thread first" or "I am really slammed at the moment" or something along those lines. But in the majority of cases, no one has responded to their ads or spoken to them at all. Be the person to make their day!
No one answered my looking for RP ad; I do not want to reach out because I think people do not like me or are not interested in my character.
^again. Stop it! Literally everyone experiences this problem for the same reasons above. No one "doesn't like you". Often times people are easily intimidated. However, if you just state you are looking for RP... it may leave people feeling at a loss of what to offer. Try providing more specific prompts of what you want to do. Some people have used phrases to catch interest...this works too. Tried that and still no go? Be patient... it may take some time to get someone to bite due to their own anxieties or real life. You could look through characters and perhaps select some specifics and ask if they wish to RP a prompt too. Alternatively, you can @tag their name in your ad and ask them specifically if they are interested which will send them an alert to check it out.
I am anxious about forgetting to use the stricter magic system, important information or lore in my writing.
This is normal and its totally understandable. Mipps & Morrigan also struggle with this from time to time and have to go back an amend things. But this is the beauty of having something like a help forum or discord to ask questions pertaining to lore and having a friendly players around you who remember things. We don't expect you to get it right ALL the time, and we don't expect you to address everything in a perfect way!
In our setup, you are given until the next person's reply to amend anything without it being considered a retcon (free and scrutiny free). Even after that, we are pretty relaxed if mistakes are made and communicated.
In the worst of cases, Mipps, Morrigan and other potential future moderators read most all the threads to catch hiccups in the system, and we will drop notes if there is anything that is too far out of the group lore.
Either way, active communication OOC in conjunction with our roleplay helps us avoid those hiccups and it doesn't bother us at all to answer questions again or chat about the lore so people have a better understanding to a specific situation. Some of these hiccups might not even be your fault! In a fantasy setting it's impossible to perfectly balance everything, thus the situation you might be in could be new for us to think about too!
I am anxious that due to Real-Life issues, missing something important or following so far behind I cannot keep up or may hold up the story; especially campaigns.
We understand. This is most common among adults with jobs, families and even health issues. Our group was founded by adults for adults all over the world. In some groups a "culture" is developed that if you are not here you are left behind, and that you have to post several times a day to at least once a day to be a part of them. We don't have that here; and while many still believe this is a thing, we actively try to foster a "slow down and relax" atmosphere so that when things come up and we wait a reasonable amount of time and actively communicate so that characters in important threads do not get lost in the dust because life happens. While we cannot hold anything up indefinitely, we try to at least give people a week to sort things out, longer if there is communication so that everyone can be involved even if things get away from them for a bit.
I am anxious about joining another group like this because I have been burned or hurt before in previous groups I was a part of.
We completely understand this... and we have the cliche answers of "well you haven't joined ours yet, and we are different." Yet, despite it being rather cliche, it is true. The way I, Mipps, and Morrigan run this community is in a fair and objective manner. We stand by the fact that a 3-strike system is barbaric and drama is bullshit; we rather judge things on a case by case basis. We do not let our personal feelings get in the way of being admin/moderators and we opt to be as inclusive as possible with our campaigns. We established rules & guidelines that even the staff are obligated to follow and do not play favoritism in how we handle things. Our sort of non written motto is "if we let you do it, we have to let everyone do it" and thus we even hold ourselves to a higher standard to be an example for all members to behave. We have a no religion, politics or rant rule (especially in regard to oversharing) to try to prevent discomforts, tensions or otherwise negative feelings that eat at communities. We push for a culture of "this is just a game" so that people treat each other respectfully and fair. While we cannot moderate everything perfectly (as we are only human), Mipps & Morrigan both have open doors for you to talk to us about any concerns you might have or report anything odd in which we promise to keep an eye on, look into, investigate or otherwise moderate as necessary. This is our home away from home... and we want it to be yours too.
The bottom line is, so long as we all communicate through our games, most all these anxieties are nothing to worry about.
We got you boo.
My character worships a God to get their magic; but in reading the group info I saw gods are not allowed and religion based anything isn't allowed. What do I do now? Can I not use my character?
No one said your character couldn't have a religion, worship a god or be provided magic through such a thing. What we wrote in our group information is a reality behind the perception. The general explanation we use is that most "gods" are not gods at all but Sidhe, Specters or Aethereans who are posing as god and make people their patrons. In this case, multiples can be using the same deity name and thus create different influences on different characters worshipping the same one, even if lore that doesn't match. If there is no entity they ever speak to but do something such as worship in a Christian church, the "God" who answers their prayers may be the Sun, where as Satanists are answered by the Abyss all unbeknownst to the person on the receiving end. Ultimately, you can keep these aspects of your character in place so long as you understand who the power on the deity end is as it may change abilities and weakness. If you are struggling to brainstorm this, absolutely ask us about it! we have solutions.
If my character is an Abyssal, do they have to be evil? Does 'Light' have to be good?
No, absolutely not. The elemental alignment system is about magic, its source and how its conducted. the morals and personality of an individual are completely up to you to play. character alignments of good, neutral or evil have more to play in OBR, factions and what not then anything else.
Why are there permission only spells/abilities and locked races? Why can't I place something like a holy angel?
Balancing a single world may or may not be easy... but we had to balance 10, craft an overarching plotline story and prevent Pagan, Christian and popular Hollywood lore from clashing. If you let them linger together, they do in fact horribly clash resulting in more questions asked then roleplay being done.. for example... what's a the difference being holy light and light magic? Is Lovecraft Abyssal lore any different from Christian lore of Hell? What about the afterlife of Greek and Roman mythology? What about Anne Rice style vampires mixing with Twilight vampires; who is superior? We decided to be realistic in our approach and not say "its magic, it doesn't have to make sense" and designed our world to have specific sets of things where lore was clashing heavily and tied it in with a story of Sun+ Abyssal/dark energies that have little to nothing to do with religions and supplied other explanations FOR religions, events, mythology and other bizarre things. We worked our butts off brainstorming to try to fill in the cracks so players and their characters could seamlessly navigate our world without weird hiccups that cause arguments. That is why we have a more strict AU and system.
To be in OBR IC does my character have to be evil?
Not necessarily. The OBR is designated as "Lawful Neutral" such that it has its own rule structure and is neither truly Good nor Evil; it also sees itself as a judge of other organizations or communities believing it the hidden law of Earth. However, due to the nature of it being heavy with supernaturals who drink blood, do sacrifices, human sacrifices, rituals, kill order/ assassinations, imprisonment of people to violate Order wishes... etc. Thus, if your character takes issue with any of these things in any form of good alignment, they may have controversy with the Order and not become a high ranking member in leadership or even lead to excommunication if they speak or act in heavy opposition of. So its a good idea to take some deep consideration on how your character might react to this sort of stuff.
"Good" is often very subjective in its own right as a "Lawful Good" character may believe wholeheartedly in OBR as bringing a system of Order to the supernatural even if such things are allowed, they are controlled instead of there being mass murder in the streets. Alternatively, they can be more of a supernatural hunter following the Catholic church ideals and believe OBR is pure evil incarnate. So it really depends on your characters thought process of what OBR is about that really determines something like OBR membership.
Is there a time limit on filling out the character sheet and validation once I join the forums?
Yes, there is. I don't think it's something to truly worry about, but our forums have a minimum 30 days for you to remain in the validating pool before the forum will auto delete. This is to clean out people who have more or less given up on joining us. However, 30 days is an entire month to get yourself sorted. Most people validating only take a few days to a week to do so far. But just in case we recommend that you fill out your character sheet from our site on a word document first to help you think more about your character as the process may go much smoother.
*Remember, all we care about is that the information is there. You can always make it "pretty" later.