In-Character Tone Essay

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Warning! You have now left the WAAPT Multiverse!

This page deals with an out of universe or otherwise meta aspect of the RP.

This is an in-character version of the Tone Essay, for a no-frills version see here.

Just What Kind o' RP is This Thing Anyway?

An essay on tone and content in WAAPT by Umbramatic.

Starring Alduin, Robin and some of his team, Odin, Gino and a special, rather pale guest.

NOTE TO NEWBIES: These characters are the creations of an experienced player and should not be used as a basis for your own.

Basic Tone

Alduin the Hydreigon: <Hi there! If you're reading this, you probably want to join WAAPT or have already joined and have been directed to this essay somehow. Either way, you should read it, because it's important!>

<WAAPT is a very informal and freeform kind of RP, with all different kinds of crazy shenanigans throughout its history. However, there's one particular thing to keep in mind when making crazy shenanigans of your own:>


Robin The Living Video Game Character: Er, what do you mean by that, Alduin?

Alduin: <I'm getting to that!>

<You see, the plot of WAAPT has three main ingredients. Humor...>

-cut to Alduin pieing Robin in the face-


-cut to Alduin playing an electric guitar as Robin drives the Ferrari they're in at high speed away from an explosion-

<And meaningful drama, in that order!>

-cut to Alduin holding a limp Robin in his arms and screaming to the skies-

<All those things are big parts of what WAAPT is, and it's generally a good idea to focus on all those things as you're RPing! Though usually not all three of them at once.>

-Cut to Alduin screaming to the sky holding a limp Robin with a pie on his face as the former drives a Ferrari with his feet-

<However, sometimes people lose sight of that and focus more on over-the-top angst...>

Random Guy: My cousin's best friend's uncle's secretary's Bidoof just died! -sobs uncontrollably-

Alduin: <...And excessive grimness.>

Odin the Cipher Admin: Muhaha! I've killed everyone you love, destroyed your hometown and Lumiose City, turned all your Pokémon into unpurifiable Shadow Pokémon, and left you with locked-in syndrome! -giggles creepily-

Generic Protagonist: Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

Alduin: <That... Shouldn't be the main focus.>

<You see, WAAPT is supposed to be a more idealistic story, where the good guys eventually recover and get their shit together while the bad guys get a heaping dose of karma.>

Odin: If I deserve karma may I be struck by-

-thunder rumbles-

...A flying ice cream truck!

-A shadow descends over him-


-the ice cream truck lightly crushes Odin-

Alduin: <Speaking of! Especially if you're new, don't kill off your PCs, especially for meanspirited reasons or just because you don't want to write them anymore. Apart from tonal issues and potentially forcing other people's characters down paths they may not want, since WAAPT is run in semi-real time, just time-skipping past the worst of the mourning period isn't an option. There are better ways if you feel that your PC has overstayed their welcome.>

-Cut to Patrick about to push Locke off a cliff, hearing Alduin, then backing away slowly-

Robin: Wait, Alduin, are you saying people can't write darker, more serious stuff? And that everyone has to write the same way?

Alduin: <What? Hell no! Meaningful drama is one of the tenets of WAAPT for a reason!>

<If every player wrote the same way, WAAPT would be awfully boring! There's all sorts of ways you can mix and match and emphasize and deemphasize the three main aspects, and that makes each player's posts more unique!>

<And on the subject of darker moments... WAAPT's had plenty of them, and when handled well they totally count towards the "meaningful drama" aspect! If something you're planning requires some angst or grimness, including deaths, it's likely doable! Just make sure to ask more experienced players for advice and don't get too excessive or gratuitous.>

<Basically, what we're saying is that darker may serve your story well, but it isn't always more mature.>

Robin: Anything else I need to know?


Alduin: <Well, there's the content part of this essay, but there's really only one big thing here!>

<Again, WAAPT is very freeform, and both references to other works of fiction and stuff we make up ourselves are rather common. However, if you've read the Content Essay before this (and if you haven't READ IT NOW OR I'LL EAT YOU) you should remember one particular point: This is a Pokémon RP. As such, you should try to mesh whatever you do with that fact, no matter how out-there or crossovery it is.>

Robin: How so?

Alduin: <Well, generally speaking, we usually like to stick to humans or Pokémon when it comes to actual characters in the RP. However, when experimenting with anything more out there in either category or beyond, there's one thing you should always keep in mind:>

-Rainbow between the headhands and over the head-


Robin: What do you mean?

Alduin: <Well, I COULD use you, but I need you more later, so...> -calling out- <Gino! Bring in the vampire!>

-Gino enters, dragging in a pale-skinned, dark-haired young woman-

Gino: <Here she is, nyan!>

Random Female Vampire: Wait, what is this? Are you finally letting me in?

Gino: -To Alduin- <She's been bugging me about getting in on the RP for ages, but vampires aren't human or Pokémon! Well, maybe kind of human, but...>

Vampire: Human enough!

Alduin: <Hmm, the thing is, we need you to make sense in the context of the RP's setting! So by itself a vampire out of vampireland isn't gonna cut it!>

Vampire: Hrm, point...

Alduin: <Buuuut there are forms of vampirism in the RP that can be attained if you know what you're doing! Maybe you eventually have one of those!>

Vampire: Oooh, good idea!

Alduin: <Not immediately, we gotta see if you can be trusted with that and if you won't derail the setting, but it's a start!>

Vampire: Fair enough.

Robin: So you can do unusual things, but only so long as you have an in-universe justification that makes sense?

Alduin: Yep! You can't just throw in things like vampires or supermons or robots or robots that create supermons or Legendary eggs or the Latest Trend In Media™ without making sure they make sense in-universe somehow and don't set things too off course, preferably with the help of other players! And you certainly won't be able to pull that off if you're new! But if you stick around and learn the ropes, who knows what you can pull off! The RP's done some crazy crossovers that were still grounded in-universe and didn't destabilize things! Though, speaking of the universe and residents thereof:>

-deep breath-

<Also, canon characters should be treated with respect! So no beating them up or killing them or severely character derailing them, no matter how much you or the fanbase hates them! That includes anime and manga characters; this is an RP meant for fans of any part of the franchise to enjoy, not a bashfic!>

Gino: <What about Actual Cannibal Professor Sycamore, nyan?>

Alduin: <NO.>

<And whatever you do, try to tie it into the existing lore and setting of WAAPT! There's a lot you can work with! And who knows, maybe you'll make up some lore of your own!>


-Thinks a bit-

<Though, actually, if you're just starting out, you gotta be careful about that too!>

Robin: -tilts his head- How so?

Alduin: <Well! This RP has a very long history, and during that history its world has evolved into a Pokémon fanverse of great scope, incorporating things from all across the Pokémon franchise and even way beyond for crossover factor!>

-taps headhands together-

<That said... Trying to throw extra stuff in there without really being familiar with it tends to get messy.>

Robin: I suppose we'll need a demonstration.

Alduin: <Yep! I think I'll need... Dvorak, was it?>

Robin: They should be good.

-Sends out a Sceptile-

Dvorak the mad inventor Sceptile: <Hey! What's up?>

Alduin: <Congratulations, Dvorak! You've been selected to join WAAPT as a player right off the bat!>


Dvorak: <Awesome!>

Alduin: <But you still have to submit a character!>

Dvorak: <Hmmm... His name is Dominic Sneezetuff... He's a human, average build, blond, wears yellow and blue...>

Alduin: <Good, good...>

Dvorak: <He owns a Porygon-Z and a Golurk named Bunsen and Beaker...>

Alduin: <Also fine!>

Dvorak: <...And he's a former affiliate of an organization known as Ecosystems Unlimited of the Varroa region! Don't worry, I've already drawn up the maps, it covers up where Fiore normally would be!>

Alduin: <...Um, we don't have any evil organizations or regions by that na->

Dvorak: <And they're scheming to spread across the whole world so they can convert evolutionary stones into those crystals from Re: Burst and then use them to create the AI brains of an army of computer-hacking robots because information wants to be free! And then Dominic and the J-Team have to team up to stop them before the robots uncover information on how to create an army of zomb->

Alduin: <Okay that's enough Robin you can recall them now>

-Robin does so-

Robin: That went both worse and better than expected.

Alduin: <You tell me!>

-shakes his heads-

<But as Dvorak there demonstrated, trying to introduce new concepts, including new regions, organizations, and plots, right off the bat can really derail existing material and plans! If you're making a new character, you should use what you know of the canon incarnations of the Pokémon franchise - especially the main series games, the anime, and Pokémon Special/Adventures - and what you know of the WAAPT world from its recommended reading to build a character! Now to demonstrate... Robin, I need Dvorak again!>

-Robin sends them out-

Dvorak: <-And then the zombies and J-Team pirates fight the aliens in a three-way battle to get all seven Dragon Ba- Oh, right, you weren't listening, let me repeat all tha->

Alduin: <Er, you don't need to. Let's just say your character's A-OK but his backstory isn't. There just too much that messes up the RP setting!>

Dvorak: <Wait, really? Aww...>

Alduin: <But fear not, Dvorak! Dominic could easily be a repentant ex-member of [INSERT CANON EVIL TEAM HERE] and work with the implications of that instead!>

Dvorak: <Wait, really? Gee, thanks!>

Alduin: <And if you stick around long enough you can maybe retool some of your old ideas to fit the RP world!>

Dvorak: <Thanks then!>

-heads off-

Alduin: <See? If you stick to what we've got lore-wise in your signup, you'll be fine! And if you stick around long enough to get chummy with the locals and become more familiar with the RP setting, that's when you can start getting creative and incorporating your own ideas for the RP's world - so long as you ask permission first! Ask if you're just plain unsure as well!>

Robin: Is that it?

Crunch Vs. Fluff

Alduin: <...Wait actually, there's another thing I should note... crunchiness versus fluffiness!>

Robin: ...Are you sure you aren't talking rock candy vs. cotton candy?

Alduin: <Not this time!>

<You see, crunch vs. fluff is a concept common to all kinds of roleplaying, and its exact interpretation depends on the RP, RP system, and/or RP community... But for this RP it means the following:>

<Fluff is approaching the RP more as story; doing this means you'll be making any decisions from what's narratively better, more interesting, and more fun in terms of plot and characterization.>

<Crunch, on the other hand, is approaching the RP as some sort of highly competitive game that can somehow be "won"; decisions are made on the basis of strategic advantage as well as beating anyone possible in a fight and accruing as much power/wealth/influence as possible, etc.>

<As you may have hopefully gleaned from the Content Essay and this one, we very much lean fluff in most cases; as for why... Robin, I'll need your help demonstrating again!>

Robin: ...Er, go on?

Alduin: <Well...>

-whispers in Robin's ear-

Robin: ...Oh, so take this RP's version of the minmaxing and eugenics stuff from you-know-what first and then... Got it!

-Rushes offscreen and returns wearing a backwards baseball cap, torn, baggy jeans, and a t-shirt with a Koffing on it-

Crunch!Robin: Yo, dawgs, I'm Smogonite Stan, and I'm the latest playa' to conquer this weakass RP of yours! My parents are Devon and Sliph executives so I can get anythin' I damn well want, I've got an unlimited supply of Master Balls and Legendary artifacts y'all chumps could only ever dream of touchin', and I've defeated every region's Elite 4 at least three times!

-Sends out a team of six mons that are high on the tier lists as of point of reading-

My whole fukcin' team's been honed to perfection! I've bred and trained 'em all to have max IVs, exactly right EV spreads, the very awesomest of special moves and Abilities, everythin'!

Random OU Mon: <I'm so inbred my life expectancy is a tenth of what it should be!>

Crunch!Robin: The bad news is they've all got extremely shallow, obnoxious, and unlikable personalities, but you expect someone as top-notch as me to give a fuck if it doesn't stop me from winnin', the most important thing in the history of, like, ever? I'm lookin' forward to pwnig all you motherfukin' n00bs and your Eeveeution teams and teams with fucking male Combee straight into the ground and become official top dawg of this RP!


...Alduin, is that good for that bit? I'm fighting an urge to vomit right now.

Alduin: -Nods all three heads- <Yeah, sorry about that, go set up Part 2.>

-Robin nods and rushes off as Alduin continues-

<But yeah... We don't want stuff like that. While the RP's Battle Mechanics (as with the Content Essay, READ THEM OR I'LL EAT YOU) do draw a fair bit from the main-series games, we still aren't the actual main series games, or a Smogon simulator for that matter. So trying to approach the RP as something hyper-competitive that you can somehow "win" is an exercise in futility that, as shown above, just leads to godmodding and Sueishness and other icky things. Now, having a competitively viable team and such in and of itself isn't a bad thing, especially if your character's genuinely the sort of person to do that to a far more reasonable degree than "Smogonite Stan", but it should be far from your primary focus.>

<As said earlier, that focus should be on the fluffiness! And for showing that... Let's see what Robin is really like, shall we?>

-Cut to Robin, who has dropped the Smogonite Stan guise and is with a Garchomp, Salamence, Druddigon, and Noibat; notably, Robin's having a friendly conversation with the Garchomp, the Salamence is curled up asleep cuddling a Pikachu plush, and the Druddigon is reading a crime novel intently-

<Now, as seen here, Robin is far more of a "fluffy" character than Smogonite Stan. His full story's complicated and one best not fully explained here for the sake of any newbies, but in an Apricorn shell he's a guy unsure of his place in the world and trying to find ways to and places where and people with he can truly belong, and that drives his actions in the RP's plot - not a gratuitous and futile desire by him to trump literally everyone else in a fight or something.>

<On that note, he also has a mono-Dragon team, which isn't particularly competitively viable, especially with-> -shudder- <Fairies around. However, Robin's team still holds its own in RP battles because due to the RP's focus on "fluff" said battles focus far more on being interesting in regards to the tenets of humor, awesomeness and meaningful drama gone over earlier in this essay than hard numbers. And the individual mons have "fluffy" aspects to their personalities with no ties to winning battles - his Garchomp's friendly and amicable but has a strong sense of right and wrong...>

Florence the Garchomp: <Alright! Just making sure this is best for both humans and Pokémon!>

Alduin: <...His Salamence is simple-minded and naive but affectionate and fond of stuffed toys...>

Helix: <Zzzz... Cuddly... Zzzzz...>

<...His Druddigon is an aspiring master sleuth...>

Sawtooth the Druddigon: -reading- <Hmmm... I could use this!>

<...And his Noibat... Steals anything not tied down.>

Sam the Kleptomaniac Noibat: -sitting amid a pile of valuables- <What? Smogonite Stan's parents gave me the money for this stuff, I swear.>

Alduin: <...Right.>

<But on the note of keeping battles interesting from a humor/awesome/meaningful drama perspective... There are times where a battle can lean more heavily in the direction of crunch (or fluff for that matter - we've had circumstances of normal battle rules being thrown out the window for Jojo's Bizarre Adventure-tier over-the-topness before) depending on plot needs and player desires. However, those are the exceptions, not the rule, and even when they happen they need to be approved by all players involved!>

<And regardless, in an RP like this, if you're expecting your ultra-optimized Smogon-Approved™ team to inherently beat out, say, a lone, elderly Marowak...>

-Cut to an elderly Marowak grumpily sitting atop a mound of OU mon corpses-

<...You're gonna have a bad time.>

Robin: So I suppose that's all?

Alduin: <That's it! Enjoy your stay at WAAPT! Remember, Hydreigon deserve cuddles, not Moonblasts!>

Robin: Can I have some more pie?

-Alduin tosses another pie at Robin's face-

Gino: <Psst, newbies! Please put "I agree to the terms of the Tone Essay" in your signup sheet, nyan!>