Roleplaying Etiquette

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If you are unfamiliar with the concept of Play-by-Post roleplaying, or are new to Shadowlack, there are often a few "unspoken secret codes" that coincide with forum-based roleplaying. The following is a list of assumed social behaviours while roleplaying at Shadowlack in order to help new and old players alike get along swimmingly. Most of them are common sense, but a few might surprise you. Avoid potentially perilous poor etiquette situations!


Writing Tense

Always write in third-person, past-tense. (eg. She grinned and tipped her hat like so.)

Actions and Spoken Text

You may bold your character’s spoken words or make them a different colour if you desire. This can help people easily distinguish them from your action text. It is also very common practise to italicize your character’s thoughts. Please do not use unnecessary asterisks (*), tildes (~) or other decorations to indicate character actions. However, you may use any sort of text decoration in order to indicate telepathy or thought-speak.

Out of Character Chatter

Please keep Out of Character notes in threads to a bare minimum. Small notes on the plot are fine in the first post of a thread, but beyond that, things should be taken to a fully separate thread in the Game-Related board, profile comments, or Private Messages.

Posting Order

Follow set posting orders unless the thread starter has requested that you do not, or someone tells you to go ahead of them. For example, if three people are in a thread:

  • Person 1 (the thread starter) posts first,
  • then Person 2 posts,
  • followed by Person 3.
  • Then Person 1 posts again,
  • Person 2 posts,
  • Person 3 posts,
  • Person 1 posts,
  • and so on...

Capitalization and Punctuation

Try to use proper capitalization and punctuation. The use of fragmented sentences for style and emphasis are okay. All of the race names on Shadowlack should be capitalized (Pendragon, Lukuo, Anubi, etc.).

Activity and Frequency

Timely Replies

Try to reply in a timely manner. While we understand that everyone has their own writing speed (not to mention time zones), please do your best to keep your threads alive. There are not many things sadder in Play-by-Post games than the death of a thread due to dwindling activity. (Bonus points if you can reply within 48 hours!) On the other hand, please do not hound other people and tell them to post because they are "too slow" at responding. Shadowlack is rather laid back game. We don't operate at "chat speed." If the person hasn't posted in over a month however, then okay, go ahead and hound them. Just try to be nice about it. ;)


If you’re going to be away or scarce for three days or more, (due to school, illness, family problems, alien abduction, life happening, etc.), please update your status on your profile so that people know that you haven’t simply dropped off the face of the planet. Just remember to come back!

Thread Types

Private Threads

Do not reply to threads that have been marked as Private that you haven’t specifically been asked to join.

Open Threads

Do not join “Open threads that already have a substantial amount of replies (five or more), unless you have been invited. Jumping into a All Welcome thread after it has already been “claimed” by other players is considered to be rude. It can really disrupt the flow of the thread and mess up posting orders. When in doubt, simply send a PM to the thread creator and ask if it is too late to join.


Named and Nameless Non-Player Characters

Roleplayers often utilize Non-Player Characters (NPCs) in order to help progress and add extra details to a plot. This is useful when creating random characters for your character to interact with and essential to building crowd scenes. As a general rule of thumb: if a player introduces an NPC with a name, please ask before you utilize that NPC in subsequent posts. Usually named NPCs are family members or other supporting characters that will end up being integral to some plot - so don’t make them do things unless you have permission from that NPC’s creator. Nameless NPCs are generally considered to be free-for-alls and you can do whatever you want with them. There is no limit to the amount of NPCs you can create. However, if you find yourself using a specific named NPC a lot, you may want to consider creating them as a fully-fledged character.

See Also