If you're reading this, thank you for your interest in WAAPT! While we're a fairly informal RP, we do still have guidelines that are necessary for smooth functioning between everyone involved, and for integrating yourself most effectively into the community and being able to readily find people to interact with.
For something more related to the tone expected in your writing, see the Tone Essay.
The Do's of WAAPT
Be a good community member, and you'll make interaction with you something that people are excited for. Follow TVT rules. If you're in the Discord/XMPP chat, and you probably should be, follow the rules of the Discord server. Be kind, be gracious. If you disagree with someone, be civil all the same, and give ground graciously when the discussion is not going your way. Communicate as much as you can.
Broadly speaking, that's the most important rule. The rest are suggestions, but they're suggestions that have held up to pretty intensive testing.
When you join the RP, you might find yourself a little confused by what's going on. That's totally alright.
Ease yourself in! If you show up right off the bat with a character who's got close relationships to multiple legendaries with an Attribute to match, has defeated an evil team, wields Aura and psychic powers, and has a year-long myth arc already planned...it's probably going to cause some issues. Observe the RP for a while before you join, and interact in a lower-key capacity while you connect to the community and build up cred as someone who can be relied on, then figure out how to integrate your character into the wider world and begin assisting in the construction and execution of larger-scale plotlines. To help with this—
Learn as much as you can! WAAPT is a wide milieu of setting elements from various Pokémon franchises, and given as we've been going for a decade or so, we've also got a lot of elements uniquely our own. If you're interested in knowing about how some element of the Pokémon world interacts with the WAAPT world, or what's going on in the thread or Discord, check the wiki and then ask the community. Before you invent something wholesale, check in with people if you're not sure how it'll be received, or just in general. Useful resources for this include the FAQ and Background Lore Index. These should be your first go-tos while you're working out the nature of the WAAPT world. Another useful page is the WAAPT Lexicon, which goes over common phrases used both in the RP proper and in the greater community.
Some quick notes on early characters:
- People aren't likely going to understand Pokémon right off the bat, though with mons that they've been working with for some time, there's usually a reasonable degree of comprehension. Being able to fluently understand Pokémon without being taught the language requires a translating Psychic-type or machine, or being turned into a Pokémon for a while (a surprisingly common occurrence in this RP).
- There are a lot of powers that humans can canonically have in the world of Pokémon, and a few more that show up uniquely in WAAPT. In general, when you're making your first character for WAAPT (and it's quite likely you'll end up making more later), try and work on making them an interesting person without relying on powers. The Auric Essay is a useful article on this specific subject.
- Overall, this is an RP about Trainers (and Rangers, and Coordinators). If your character's approach to fighting doesn't involve some Pokémon, they may need tweaking.
- Pokémon are sapient beings. They may and probably will have different methods of viewing the world than humans do, but they can communicate and have the same spectrum of intelligence as humans, and a Trainer's team is made up of characters in their own right.
Once you've started writing yourself, you'll generally want to make yourself an attractive partner to RP with. We write plenty of solo posts ("fanfic mode") both on the main thread and in the second forum, but we are an RP, and interacting with other people is fun. Some advice:
Share the spotlight! You're a PC, but you're not the PC. There are a lot of active players in WAAPT at any given time, and everyone is looking to be seen and heard. If someone's doing something, even if it's not to your taste, trying to overshadow or ignore it by finding something even cooler— isn't fair to them. Let everyone have their moments. To that end—
Work with scene partners, not against. The RP is, first and foremost, an exercise in what should be fun collaborative writing. There's nothing you can win but the validation of your peers— while there's a degree of occasional PVP, it's still collaborative in nature, and the writing should serve the narrative, since no rules exist to confine it. Ultimately, it is on the shoulders of the person receiving an action to "sell" that action, and both sides of an IC conflict should respect that contract. Battle Mechanics (Please read) of WAAPT run loose and flexible, so think of it as a choreographed fight— stay in communication with your RPing partner or partners to determine what should happen.
- Avoid making major edits during fast-paced scenes. It trips people up. If you badly need to edit something, let your scene partners know first so they don't accidentally post responding to the wrong thing.
Put some effort into posting. We're not an awards council. There are no prizes. There is not and should never be pressure to post. But when you do, write with some spirit— we're doing improv here, and it's tough to do improv with a partner who's not feeling it. Interact with what your RP partners are saying, make them feel good about taking the time to interact with you, and they should be doing the same for you.
- When you're posting, please do post with a reasonable degree of spellcheck and grammar checks. It's much easier to read posts when they're made to be readable. For help with proper formatting, see here.
- Don't be rude to other people about their posting. If they solicit feedback, feel free to give your thoughts politely. Otherwise, assume everyone is doing what they think is effective. If you disagree, such is life. You can make your own calls about who you want to write with, but you can't be mean about it. Of course, if you feel that someone is writing something bigoted in some fashion, feel free to bring attention to it whether asked for or not, but please try to state things in as constructive a manner as possible.
Let people post at their own rate. We've all got lives, we've all got other things taking up our spoons, we've all got other things we want to do at any given moment. If you've been left hanging for a day, you can politely ask the person how they'd like to move forward, but nagging or complaining about it won't solve it or make people like you.
- Options for moving forward if your partner isn't around: Wrapping up the scene quickly and continuing, letting the plot thread die offscreen, or setting the scene into "Time Shenanigans"- it has already occurred, and will be resolved later onscreen but with an assumption that it all occurs during the past. Please get consensus with the people involved in your scene before making any of these decisions.
Eventually, you'll be comfortable enough to start interacting with the nuts and bolts of the story, assisting with or running story arcs. While Tagg and Tangent are our official GMs for TVT purposes, anyone can act as arc runner for plotlines of varying sizes.
A more in-depth look at what goes into an arc can be seen here.
If you have an idea for an arc, event, or side plot, propose it in the Discussion Thread. Understand that you may not stir up interest, you may not get as many participants as you want, parts may end up being altered as needed in order to fit better with the RP, you may not be able to go through with your plans right away, or any combination of these things. There's generally a lot going on in WAAPT and in RL— if someone doesn't want to be part of something you're doing, don't take it personally unless they make it personal.
Working with and not against scene partners applies double when GMing.
The Don'ts of WAAPT
Unfortunately, there are also some fairly notable don'ts. Being a long running game involves seeing some shit.
Don't be a creep about shipping. Harassment isn't funny or entertaining. IC harassment isn't an improvement and it will get you banned just as fast. Don't be a dick about someone not wanting to ship with you. Yes, it's been an issue.
- No Poképhilia. No asking about why we had to institute this as a rule either. There are pairings between humans and mons, but they stay both human or both Pokémon when doing anything more intimate than G-rated affection.
Don't sockpuppet. Whether because you want a fresh start in the community, or because you feel a need to have an extra voice, or whyever— don't do it. You'll get caught, you'll get banned, it's annoying for everybody.
Don't boss other people around. Even if you think you know better, even if you've had prior RPing experience, even if you think you've caught them breaking a rule— talk to the mod team if you're frustrated with someone's behavior.
You won't be penalized if for one reason or another your writing isn't perfect, but if you're breaking the meta-relevant rules, repeatedly and willfully being a bad interaction partner, or otherwise just being an unpleasant person to be around, there will be consequences.
So, now that we've gotten all that unpleasant but unfortunately necessary stuff done... welcome to the world of WAAPT! Enjoy your stay, and don't feed the wandering Pokémon!
Also, if you're new, please put "I agree to the terms of the Content Essay" in your signup sheet.