While most of the Bad Roleplay guide are explictly against RPG rules, the concepts listed on the Bad Roleplayer Behavior are generally not against the rules. They may become so in a given game, if a roleplayer insists on repeatedly forcing any of these behaviors. These behaviors are hallmarks of newbies and RP jerks alike.
Use of the term “twink” to describe a roleplayer is somewhat derogatory, but “twinky” nonetheless accurately describes a type of bad roleplayer behavior. Use this term at your own risk.
- Twinky (adjective)
- Characters that act nonsensically from an IC perspective; a gross violation of realism and believability.
- Twinking (verb)
- The act of being a twinky or acting in a manner that is twinky.
- Twink (noun)
- Derogatory. The roleplayer of a twinky character.
Twinking “conflicts with an established and defined roleplaying setting” or is a “gross violation of believability” (Talzhemir). Twinky is generally used to describe characters that act nonsensically from an In Character perspective. Secondly, twinky players tend to become upset when their IC actions have unintended consequences.
In good circumstances, all of the “wrong” examples could be acceptable roleplay scenarios. That is, when they are plotted out beforehand with the roleplayers involved. Plotting beforehand not only avoids plot holes, it helps prevent dissatisfaction and drama. The key difference between twinking and plotting: twinking is unplanned.
Plotting needn’t be intense and detailed: something simple as, “I’m going to have Azazel attack a stranger — I’d like for him to be severely beaten and left for dead somewhere. Someone else will rescue him.” This alleviates other players’ anxieties about Azazel’s player potentially wanting Azazel to walk away without a scratch, and gives some (believable, realistic!) direction to the plot.
Examples of Twinking in Different Forum RPG Settings
WRONG: In a medieval setting where characters enforce their own justice, Azazel enters a bar and starts a fight with a stranger for no reason.
WHY: This is a setting where barfights are effectively and immediately ended. A person would never do this for fear of the immediate consequences. An especially twinky roleplayer may want their character to escape completely unscathed.
WRONG: In a wolf RPG, Azazel trespasses deep into pack territory to attack Baphomet. Azazel’s player did not discuss this with Baphomet’s roleplayer first.
WHY: The premise is unrealistic if Azazel is to survive without retreating. Baphomet can easily summon every wolf in his pack. Azazel would not trespass like this unless he is very unintelligent. Additionally, it is unrealistic for Azazel to even reach Baphomet. Especially in a wolf roleplaying game, where there are heightened senses, Azazel would be intercepted first.
WRONG: In a vampire game, Baphomet repeatedly enters the Riverside clan territory. Despite fighting several clan members and a warning from the Riverside leader, he continues to harass the territory. Baphomet’s player refuses to stop trespassing or plot even an injury to Baphomet.
WHY: As with the above situation, unless Baphomet is very unintelligent, he would not continue to provoke the clan. If your character repeatedly harasses a larger and more powerful group, it is simply not believable or realistic that its members would allow it to happen. This is especially true if your character is a lone individual. This bad roleplayer behavior can be very irritating in limited consent games where physical consequences are limited.
Excessive twinking may even delve into the realm of truly bad roleplay. Consider the aforementioned example of Baphomet repeatedly entering pack territory. The player’s refusal to plot realistic consequences might, in a limited consent RPG, constitute godmoding.
Excessive stretching of believability and realism is another form of twinking. This includes extreme luck, incredibly rare skills or items, etc. Some things are just not plausible for certain settings, even though they are fine in real life.
Example: In a Victorian-era forum roleplaying game, “a character [is] afflicted with a disease only curable by rare ingredients, yet another character is ‘lucky’ enough to find these ingredients in ten minutes” (Twinking).
Example: In a post-apocalyptic roleplay set twenty years after a complete societal shut-down, a character finds headphones, a CD player, and batteries. Finding all of these items in working condition is simply not believable in this setting. Parts degrade and other people may have looted the area first.
- Cheesing (verb)
- Forcing the plotted or expected outcome of roleplay by invoking an unmentioned fact.
- Cheesy (noun)
- Used to describe a particular action or set of actions.
Cheesing frequently occurs when a roleplayer is unhappy with a scenario’s outcome. Cheesing attempts to alter the situation to their favor, but does not cross over into the realm of true bad roleplay. As with twinking, there’s nothing wrong with “cheesed” scenarios, provided they are plotted or discussed first.
Fights are a common place for cheesing. It helps to avoid cheesing in fight roleplay by plotting winners. Figure out who is going to win and who is going to lose, and make sure everyone is happy with that outcome! It can also occur in non-combat situations, too, as with the second example.
Minor instances of cheesy behavior are almost never against the rules in forum roleplaying games. However, repeated cheesing is generally easy way to lose your roleplay partners and gain a bad reputation within a game.
Examples of Cheesing Behaviors
WRONG: Azazel and Baphomet fight and Azazel wins. In the final post to the roleplay thread, Baphomet’s player writes a post indicating Azazel is poisoned (this would be damage powerplay, too). There was no previous mention whatsoever of poison-tipped claws.
WRONG: “Two characters could have a romantic scene. When the morning-after comes, one character could say, ‘Oh, and by the way, I took a magical fertility potion and there’s a 100% chance I’m pregnant now'” (Talzhemir).
RIGHT: There is no right way to cheese. If you want to twist up a plot or have an unexpected outcome, discuss it with the player first. If you force consequences on their character, you’re cheesing. When a certain outcome is expected or plotted, stick to it.
Use of the term “munchkin” to describe a roleplayer may be considered derogatory, but it nonetheless describes a “style” of roleplay. Use at your own risk.
- Munchkin (noun)
- Derogatory. A roleplayer who plays a non-competitive game in an aggressively competitive manner.
A munchkin “plays what is intended to be a non-competitive game … in an aggressively competitive manner … no matter how deleterious their actions are to role-playing, the storyline, fairness, logic, or the other players’ fun” (Munchkin). These bad roleplayers create characters in an open-ended, non-combat game with intent to “win” or completely dominate.
Usually, this behavior is encountered with players solely interested in roleplay fights. Fighters and warriors have their place, certainly. Just remember when creating this character make sure you give it depth beyond their fighting abilities. Give it a personality and make sure the character interacts with others in ways that do not involve combat.
As with the second example, though, this behavior can occur in other ways. The characters created by munchkins almost always dance on the line of bad roleplay and sometimes cross into godmodding, but a careful munchkin (as with Bill) can create a realistically weakened character and still play the roleplaying game in an aggressively competitive manner.
Examples of Munckin Behaviors
Example: Bob, a new player at a wolf forum roleplaying game, creates a character. Their character seems bred just for fighting. Their description and personality is combat-centric. Bob begins a few threads. All of them turn into fights. Bob seeks to win all of these fights and kill other characters at every opportunity.
Example: Bill creates a new character in their Harry Potter roleplaying game. This character is very smart, plays Quidditch extremely well, and seems to have been created entirely to excel at everything that matters at Hogwarts. Bill was careful to create the character with some realistic weaknesses, but none that impact the character’s ability to perform at schoolwork, sports, and other activities.
Other Irritating Roleplay Behaviors
After you get past this point — it’s fairly nitpicky. Especially if you’re a beginner to roleplay, you will probably make some of these mistakes. As long as you learn from your mistakes, though, you’ll be fine!
- The Drop and Swap:
This bad roleplayer picks up characters like it’s going out of style. Only, they drop them shortly thereafter. Roleplay requires active participants — and if you’re switching characters every third week, you’re not establishing yourself or your characters. You may have future trouble finding roleplay partners, if you gain a reputation for Drop and Swap.
Another variety of this player hops from game to game, never settling down OOCly or ICly.
- The Selfie:
This bad roleplayer is quick to demand thread requests, but will rarely reply to requests made by others. This player may also employ slightly cheesy behaviors to twist threads and plots to their own desires. Remember, roleplay is a collaborative effort — you need to take and give!
An especially heinous OOC variety of this player attempts to make the roleplay cater to them — in entirety. They may request rules changes, alterations to the game’s basis, etc. The key difference between The OOC Selfie and a “good” player? The good player suggests, the OOC Selfie makes brusque requests or even demands.
- The Corner Whiner:
This bad roleplayer wants the community to welcome them, drown them in thread requests, and otherwise shower them with attention — yet they make zero effort to put themselves out into the community. This behavior is often accompanied by whining about not getting enough attention. Sometimes, this progresses into the player leaving the community, only to later accuse it of being unfriendly. Remember, you have to put yourself into the roleplay community. This is especially true in big roleplaying games.
- Love at First Sight:
This bad roleplayer wants romance and relationships, and they want it now. There’s nothing wrong with plotting things out beforehand (it’s suggested). However, character relationships are best decided by characters themselves.
“Munchkin.” Wikipedia. N.p., 2 Jun. 2009. Web. 16 Oct. 2009.
Talzhemir. “Roleplaying Basics!” Furcadia Community Forums. Furcadia, 22 Dec. 2007. Web. 14 Nov. 2009.
“Twinking.” Wikipedia. N.p., 7 Nov. 2009. Web. 14 Nov. 2009.