This is a quick reference guide, and is not meant to be extensive or to cover all forms of roleplay. Term usage also differs from place to place. It's a big internet!
ROLEPLAY: Cooperative writing.
Roleplay is turn-based cooperative writing, typically between two or more 'partners'. It comes in a variety of flavors and types, as each player brings their own twist and style to the table.
Most commonly, each player has a character that they control the thoughts and actions of. (It is considered impolite to control someone else's character without their permission.) Roleplay can be something you do for fun, or a way to develop your writing style and original characters. Or both at once! It can be anything, really. It's a little like writing a book with a friend.OOC
Out of character. (You're talking, not your character).IC
In character. (Your character is speaking and acting, not you). It is best to always keep IC and OOC separate, as a character's thoughts and feelings do not express those of its player.THERE ARE SOME COMMON FORMS OF RPFandom
Roleplay that takes place in an established mainstream setting, such as DC comics, Harry Potter, etc. PanFandom
Takes place across several fandoms. (Mixing Marvel and Stranger things, etc.)Headworld
Takes place in a setting you or your partner made up, but one person maintains control of the setting. (Can also be shared- but it's polite to ask permission first).Sharedworld
Takes place in a setting you made up together.
In real time, posts have a quick turn around, usually 10 - 30 minutes. (Sometimes more if desired). Real time sessions often begin and end in the same day. Long Form
Slow turn around. Sessions can last days, weeks, even years. Players post at a mutually agreed on, casual pace. Differences as large as a few times a day to once a week are not uncommon.Para
Long posts, at least one paragraph or more. Para Rp tends to be descriptive and read like a book.Script
Short posts. Less than a paragraph on average, and sometimes just dialogue!One x One
No more than two players.Group
Two or more players. (Often intermixed with one on one. It's perfectly normal to have three partners and only see all three together once in a while).
--------What about smut?
Smut is Rp that has sexual content. You walk by smut every time you visit the book aisle in walmart (those cheesy romance novels? That's smut. Probably. I haven't actually opened one so I'm not sure, but we all know what books I mean. You find them in box-fulls at garage sales and they have shirtless men on the cover).
Smut is like cheese. Some people like it. Some people don't. Some people experience extreme gastrointestinal distress, but it's offered as a side everywhere you go. If you aren't into it, politely say so and most folks will honor that.FINDING A PARTNER
The Rp community is scattered. MANY have gathered on forums (jcink, especially). Discord has recently seen an eruption of servers. Some MMOs have communities, too. So does tumblr!
It's impossible to point you in a direction and say 'this place will be your style'. This writer's advice is to take advantage of the HUBs and dip a toe in. Let folks know you're new to the scene, they might help you figure out how to get where you're going.Rpg-Directory
Forum based. Offers formal templates you can fill out and submit. RpRepository
Website. Has looking for sections on their forum, as well as tools you won't find anywhere else. Hosts character pages. Has an adults only section for those who only wish to play with other adults.BarberMonger
Offers a place to post one on one searches, or advertise your group. Spicy Cats
Discord server. Adults only, but no explicit content. Offers chats to Rp in and places to search for a partner.
I posted this journal once before but deleted it until I had time to make some edits. Here we are again!
Cowritten with a buddy. Themascura