Hello, and allow me to welcome you to our forum-based game of The One Ring: Company of the Gray Wolf. Our game is designed to take us all on a journey through J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-earth, a world he worked diligently to create from the 1950s to the late 1960s, which has been made into a series of books about Middle-earth and those who journey in it, as well as an animated movie, The Lord of the Rings, in 1978. Between 1999 and 2014, six other movies were made by Sir Peter Jackson and his co-horts for both The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. In 2004, an MMORPG (Massive Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game) named Lord of the Rings Online was introduced to the world, and it is a game I play to this day. Yet to come is an Amazon-based adventure television series delving into the time between those august volumes; another MMORPG based in that same time-frame is also due within the next few years, and much more is coming for this world-wide phenomena known as Middle-earth.
Now to the nitty-gritty... everything contained in this forum thread is designed to help you understand the rules and guidelines necessary to play in our game to the best of your ability and, sometimes, to refresh your memory and/or knowledge. Some of it will seem like common sense, some of it you may well already know, while the rest of it should be new and informative. Links exist in my signature block and yours too (an example is seen at the bottom of this post), and you are welcome to click on all those links to find your character, their journal, and game rules and ideals in this thread as often as you like. Don't worry about memorizing anything on these forums, because you can always access a link to see them, again; anything you write/record in these forums will not go anywhere unless there's some manner of unrecoverable glitch, and then we'll simply drive on as much as possible.
You have chosen to come and play in our game, assuming the role of a Player-hero (PH) you believe would be fun to play. The goal of our Fellowship, consisting of new and old friends and their companion characters to yours, is to tell a collective tale of imagination within the world created by the Master of Fantasy, J.R.R. Tolkien, using the supporting companion, a role-playing game known as The One Ring. Your Player-hero, aka Character, is documented on your character record sheet, which is packed with skills, traits, and numbers outlining their abilities as they apply to our game; a link to this character sheet will be in your character’s signature block on every single post you make.
We use this forum, primarily, to play our game, writing story pieces for our characters in the game world set by the authors of The One Ring, Francesco Nepitello and Gareth Ryder-Hanrahan. Thus, not only will there be rules and guidelines for playing in the game, but also how to maximize your ability to write and play in this forum. However, there is one last piece to consider: Roll 20. This forum is wonderful for writing stories, descriptions, actions, and attempting to resolve all manner of skill tests; however, no amount of description can replace a map used in concert with tokens, for your character, for enemy characters, and for inanimate objects, so you can better see where your character fits in the world. Thus, we use Roll 20 for the graphical representation of the world while telling our story here, and the two can be used interchangeably. All of these are why this thread exists and, again, it would behoove you to read everything here, even if you've read it, before, and then come back to read again from time-to-time. We all have busy lives and more on our minds than any of us care to admit, so these rules and guidelines will remain here throughout the life of our game, in case you need them for any reason.
Where possible I will define terms I believe you will need to know; if you see something you don't know, you MUST ask me about it, and I will define it for you and, if necessary, place the definition in THIS thread, as well. Let's start out with...
- Post: A post is a single block of text within a forum thread. Demarcations between posts will be represented, at the top of the post by either your character image or that of one of your fellow players in our game, and at the bottom of the post with a horizontal line blending into the immediate background. To write a post you may use Post Reply (roman numeral I on the image immediately below) at the top and bottom of the thread page; within a particular posting block, however, you may hit the quote button (roman numeral IV on the image immediately below), which looks like quotation marks.
You will also notice item II, which is the page links within the forum thread, so you can go to other pages, as you feel necessary, and item III which looks like a pencil inside a box, so you can edit your own posts; you may not edit another's post.
When writing a post you will have a series of 'buttons' you may use appearing above the white block where you will actually write your post. Clicking on a button will place the code within the text where you set it to be placed. Immediately below the word Forums, you will see a capital B, followed by an i and u. These are your bold, italics, and underline codes. Some important ones for beginners will be Quote on the top line and ooc on the second line. The remainder of those codes are for you to feel free to experiment with, though preferably in the Out-of-Character (OOC) thread or in your own character thread, please? Once you have a grasp of those codes, you may feel free to use them.
Once you have completed the construction of a post, click on the Preview button below the box where you constructed it to see what the post will look like when you Submit it; understand, however, that your post is NOT submitted until you click the Submit button next to the Preview button.
Sometimes, forums have a tendency to go haywire, especially if there's a sudden disconnect from the internet, sometimes a power surge, etc. Once you have worked hard to carefully construct a post, prior to hitting the Submit button, highlight (Ctrl+A) and copy (Ctrl+C) your post. If you hit the Submit button and your post does not appear, you can always return to the posting block, click anywhere inside the post construction area, and hit paste (Ctrl+V) to retrieve your post from the clipboard on your computer.
- Thread: The forum text you are reading, now, in this block on the web page, is known as a thread, which consists of the Original Post (OP), like the one you're reading, now, and all responses that come after it. A thread is done when the last post has been written in it.
Many of the threads throughout this forum, and especially the game-relevant threads, have links to the continuation of the game, at the end of the thread. After a while, a session becomes too long and hard to find information within, and the story has to be carried to a new thread. This is, generally, only when a chapter change is needed for an adventure to continue, or as mentioned, when the session becomes too long.
- Session: For role-players a game session consists of one or more hours of game-play, where you and your friends get together on a tabletop in order to play a role-playing game. The most typical session length is 4 hours, though some role-playing sessions can last as long as 72 hours. Been there, done that, in my youth.
Definition ~ Experience Points: Like you, your Player-hero in our game has to be able to improve, through learning and growth during game-play. As YOU grow in the game, become better professed in writing, defining situations, building dialog between yourself and your fellow players, and thinking to overcome riddles, puzzles, and situations I will place you and your fellow players in, you will gain what are known as Experience Points. These are used, as a form of currency, to help improve certain portions of your character, so they may face bigger and bolder challenges in this imaginary Middle-earth. There are several types of awards of Experience Points I can give you, based on all of the things I mentioned, herein, but also your posting volume and the quality of your posts. Read on...
Each post you write in a thread may count toward Session Experience points; I count up the number of player-written role-play relevant posts (I do not typically count anything having to do with game rules or die rolls) for each character in the game at the end of a thread/session. They are totaled and each players individual number of posts go into an algorithm which calculates the total number of posts, determines maximum Session-driven XP, and then calculates, based on each individual's activities, how much total Session XP each Player earns for their Player-hero (PH). I feel I must put in three caveat's, here...
- I do not count posts by or for volume, I count them for quality of aid in moving the story forward. For example, if you only write that your character is shining or sharpening their sword, that is NOT going to count toward Session Experience points; however, writing a non-speaking dialog demonstrating to everyone how important it is to keep the blade in top shape and that it was a family heirloom and your character becomes emotional when sharpening the blade, whether tearful with memory or prideful with duty, that takes some work to write and will count. If your Player-hero has a past and you feel it's relevant to expound upon that past in the main forum thread during play, that is something I am likely to give XP for; writing like that may also go for posts you write in your character journal. Finally, there are some stories and relevant game ideas that will go either in your personal character thread (more on this, later) or in our OOC (Out-of-Character) thread, dependent on the content I will give XP for those, as well. These are just examples of the vast amount of reasons experience may be granted.
- Session XP is only one type of experience you may earn for your character. If you have good ideas or relevant information that you share with the Company, if you use your traits, skills, the Fellowship Pool and your Hope for good reasons, you will earn XP for specific attributes, skills, and more as the game progresses.
- I do not expect you to be as prolific as J.R.R. Tolkien, William Shakespeare, or even your fellow authors in this game, but I do expect you to keep up, and try. You may not achieve the number of XP given for game sessions or good deeds, but you will, at least, gain a minimum amount. However, I will heavily recommend that you TRY to emulate your fellow players; if you don't know how to write, or how to describe people, things, situations, etc., THIS can be your school house so you can learn it. Ask one-another, perform research to become better, and see your ability to write improve over time.
Alright, friend, read on!!!