Guide for New People
So, if you’re reading this, you probably want to join the RP (or have already joined and just like reading stuff, in which case you should probably still examine this), and you want to know how to make a good impression. To paraphrase a quote from the SCP Foundation, showing up as if you’ve been here for the entire time makes us... jumpy. Introduce yourself in the Discussion thread, give us a little info on your character and team, and start posting in the thread. We’re a (relatively) informal RP, yes, but there are some guidelines that need to be followed for everyone to have fun and feel like they're contributing.
Important Note: More senior members will occasionally be seen bending or breaking these guidelines (except the first, fifth, 5a, 8, 8a, and 13) for purposes of dramatic convenience (Rule of Cool, Rule of Funny, and Rule of Drama). This isn't a cause for alarm, because they've been around for quite a while and know what they’re doing. If you are reading this, you are likely new to the RP, and I'd advise that you wait until you've integrated more with the others before taking any amount of creative license with the following.
1) Spelling and grammar. It’s not a guideline, it’s really, really important. While typos happen, it’s easier on everyone’s eyes (and makes your writing look much better) if your posts are well-written spelling and grammar wise. There are non-native English speakers in the RP, and they manage perfectly well. You can too.
2) This is a Pokémon RP. It is not Final Fantasy, Call of Duty, Assassin’s Creed, or any other game in which humans fight other humans. It’s fine if the Pokémon aren't the character focus of everything, but the trainers are not and should not be the go-to medium for battle except in places like Mindscapes (where Pokémon are not always present and those involved gain mild reality-warping abilities) or when they're in Pokéform. However, these are the exceptions, not the rule. If your potential character’s general response to an enemy appearing is not “send out your team” you may want to rethink things.
3) While the Battle Mechanics (read these, they are important) run loose and flexible in WAAPT, there is such a thing as too much. Can a Gigalith really dodge a Solar Beam? Can a Scyther really pull off a full Swords Dance, Baton Pass to another mon, and leave enough time for that mon to attack as well, all before the opponent can launch a second Flamethrower? Also, while feats of utter awesome can and do happen (as do feats of improvisation, such as using a Brick Break to throw up a chunk of earth as cover), if you have to shout “Aim for the horn!” to justify something, then there is something terribly wrong. However, do note that whatever mechanics you choose to battle by, it is only fair to allow the opponent the same chance. If you use Double Team the way it is used in the anime, then it is quite likely that omnidirectional attacks (Discharge, Surf, Lava Plume, etc.) would puncture multiple duplicates, or even all of them if you’re feeling generous. If you use it like it’s used in the games, then Aerial Ace is going to hit regardless of how much you boost evasion.
3a) Keep in mind that it is your opponent and not you who decides what effect your move is going to have on their Pokémon. If you think they’re godmodding the battle, please tell them instead of making an effort to one-up them.
3b) Acknowledge your opponent’s moves. Even when they miss (Stone Edge against a Ninjask), or are more or less shrugged off (Tackle on a Ferrothorn), there is nothing more annoying than simply having your actions in a battle ignored, and nothing more godmoddy than playing a battle as a one-mon-show where the opponent may as well just be a moving target. On the other hand, if you are the attacker, make some effort to be helpful. Don't edit your moves once you've made them, or in general make major edits in a fast-paced scene. All it does is cause confusion, trip people up, and slow everything down.
4) Powers. So, in WAAPT it’s established that humans occasionally have supernatural abilities, ranging from the raw power of Fighting-types to the sneaky tricks of Dark-types. There are also the Attributes, relating to various legendaries. Does that mean your character has powers or an Attribute? The answer is “not necessarily.” While the powers are listed as most to least common, that is a relative measure. Having any psychic/auric/obscuric ability is rare, and being proficient with it beyond parlor tricks (spoonbending, Pokeball-juggling, etc.) is even rarer. Attributes are more common, so if you have plans involving an Attribute, while it should be checked over with people, it should be good. If you're really insistent on having powers at some point, please read this first.
4a) Keep in mind, your character doesn’t need to have a supernatural ability to be interesting. There are all sorts of skills that normal humans have that can set them apart from the crowd that can be just as interesting as any outright superpower.
4b) With regard to understanding mons, your character probably can't at first. While they will likely be able to get the gist of what a mon is saying, actual understanding requires being psychic/auric, having learned the language the hard way, or having been transfigured into a mon. Psychic mons can also be used as translators, as well as certain machines.
5) Shipping. DO. NOT. FORCE. IT. It’s happened before, and it was almost painful. Not all characters need to have significant others. It’s cute when it works, yes, but please don’t try to set up your character with every compatible other you meet, as it has caused problems in the past. Similarly, don’t force shipping out-of-verse. If someone doesn’t support your ship, let it lie. Please don’t act like it’s a personal offense or insist that they support the ship.
5a): Pokephilia, implied or stated, is forbidden. While there are human/mon pairings IRP, all greater than G-rated romantic affection must take place either while both parties are human, or while both are Pokémon.
6) While WAAPT does not have a GM (though Tangent and Tagg have final say in settling disputes), and overall is pretty loose about what its players are doing, please don’t assume that the second you’ve joined you will immediately be given plot involvement and command over major aspects of the universe (legendaries, etc.). Instead, ease yourself into the RP. Talk to others in the chat or discussion thread, work with them, and figure out things to do. Learn about the universe you’re joining, maybe browse the wiki (still a work in progress though). When in doubt about something, don’t be afraid to ask! It may take a few repetitions to get our attention (something we’re working on), but we don’t bite. As a rule, if you don’t know something, it’s probably best to wait for knowledge before using it.
6a) On a related note, if you are involved in a plot with someone else, do not rush them to post, or complain when they aren’t around. Everyone has RL to deal with, and people don’t have an unlimited supply of RPing energy. Your complaints are unlikely to do anything but make them feel bad that they can’t be available, or cause them to resent you for being inconsiderate of their problems.
6b) The idea of "no GM" does not mean "Do whatever you feel like," nor does it mean that every action needs to be approved by every player. Rather, it means that people should try to work with each other, as opposed to against each other (such as a PC vs. GM mentality, which nobody needs or wants here). While having a large body of approval towards your idea is nice, if people seem neutral/uninterested or simply refuse to give an opinion, do not rag on them about it. They are allowed to not have a stance on an issue, and your demanding that they produce one will likely result in them voting away from you. Finally, obstructionism (stubbornly insisting on a point despite the grand majority having overruled it) is not at all helpful. Focus your energies on fights you can win, and don't get your feathers in a twist over posts and ideas that nobody but you cares about. It's a waste of everyone's time, and loses you credibility for when you might actually be right.
This is in no way meant to say that you have to let everyone do whatever they want. Rather, recognize when you are going to lose on a point, and give ground instead of wasting everyone's time.
7) If you have an idea for a plot arc (or anything, really), propose it in chat/discussion thread (the latter mandatory since there's some degree of permaent, the former useful for discussion of details). A few things to note...
- Your idea may not be accepted. This is simply a thing that happens, and pushing your idea too much is unlikely to be taken well.
- Your idea might be tweaked, twisted, or just plain changed. Again, a thing that happens, and it’s more useful to help the new arc exist than to whine about how it isn’t your idea anymore.
- For plot arcs specifically, just because it’s been accepted doesn’t mean it’ll happen any time soon. We have a massive backlog on arcs.
- And when it does happen, it’s unlikely everyone will participate. WAAPT generally offers different options for people to be involved in. If someone chooses the one other than yours, don’t take it personally unless they make it personal.
A more in-depth look at what goes into an arc can be seen here.
8) Be polite when talking to other WAAPTers. This isn't even an RPing thing. Just...seriously. Be polite. Don’t yell at people, don’t call them names, just...don’t. It’s unattractive and doesn't really incline others to listen to you about anything.
8a) As part of that, constructive critique of someone's work in WAAPT (Or anything else) should only be given if directly solicited, and even then should be done as politely as possible. Non-constructive critique is strictly forbidden. This however does not mean that you cannot call someone out who has made something bigoted (ie. racist, queerphobic, misogynist, etc), even if they haven't directly asked for critique.
9): Don't make sockpuppet accounts. If you want a fresh start in the RP, you can roll up a new character. If you want a fresh start in the meta, there are better ways that won't likely lower your standing amongst the community.
10): While it's possible you may have been in other RPs before joining WAAPT, this one is probably run very differently from any of them. Please do not act like previous experience gives you the right to boss people around or act like you understand RPing better than others.
11) Finally, keep in mind that although you are a PC (and as such will be afforded limited plot armor, unlimited dialogue options, and free mobility), you are not the PC. There are twenty-something (possibly thirty-something at this point) other characters in the story, and if you try to be the most awesome of them all it will only end in fights. WAAPT is, at its heart, a spontaneous RP. If you really want powers, or a relationship, don’t jump right in with it all planned out and expect it to go how you want. Let things build up with time, use foreshadowing (really, it’s brilliant), and let the plot flow naturally. Some of the best (and strangest) aspects of the RP were created that way.
11a) Do note that talking over plans for your character/personal plots frequently helps. While surprises can be fun, things that have major potential to directly affect other characters almost always need to be discussed, as do things that would potentially cause you to have to reread this essay.
12) New characters shouldn't have any Mega Items (Key Stone or otherwise), due to their canon rarity and ease of abuse for newbies.
13) The rules on PC deaths:
- Newbies are barred from killing off their PCs, period.
- Even for experienced players, killing off your PCs for non-narrative reasons in general is not allowed (Ex. People simply not liking their character anymore for X reason), and even narrative deaths are strongly discouraged without prior discussion, especially if it'll have a major effect on other people's characters, as it can easily violate the tenets of the Tone Essay. That said, you still wish to do so, it's best to clear it with the others first instead of trying to surprise everyone, as that rarely goes well.
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 Pokemon!
Also, if you're new, please put "I agree to the terms of Every's Essay" in your signup sheet.