Keyword: Free Form

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What is Free Form?

Role-playing, itself, is when an individual sets aside their own personality or identity and plays out the actions, thoughts, and dialogue of a fictional (or semi-fictional) character. There are many games available on the market, which make use of this concept, but all of these make use of assorted rules on how a character may act, what a character may use or know, and so forth. Most of these games also rely heavily on dice and other elements of random chance, if not the whim of a game master. Free Form Role-playing differs from the above in a marked fashion.

In Free Form Role-playing, each character is completely controlled by his or her (its?!) player. There are no dice, there is no game master and there are no elements of chance; nothing can happen to your character that you do not wish to happen.

“Sounds like a bunch of would-be gods and goddesses insisting on who’s most supreme,” you might say … but you’d be wrong. The axis that this form of play revolves around is called respect. To fully enjoy Free Form Role-playing, you must respect your peers and their characters if you expect them to afford you the same luxury. If you do not make this step, you’ll find that you spend most of your time playing by yourself rather than with a group of players.

In our Free Form Gaming areas, Free Form Role-playing takes place in conference rooms. You will also find excellent examples of Free Form Gaming on our message boards, where more detailed stories are told. The idea you will often hear is to “support the illusion.” Supporting or furthering the illusion means that when you enter our Free Form Gaming areas, you are expected to have already checked your “real life” in at the door and are ready to live through the actions and words of your character. This is known as being “in character” (IC). Nothing is more disruptive to the illusion than slipping “out of character” (OOC) in the middle of a scene or story. This makes yourself and those you are playing with dive back into “real life” again, which is often not appreciated. The best amount of OOC material in Free Form Role-playing is as little as possible.

Updated: 01/26/01