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What are RP board skill levels?


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What are RP board skill levels (Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced, Elite, etc.) and what requirements are needed for a board to fall into one of these categories? Anyone have a specific answer? 

 

I always see them around, and while I have a general idea of what's required, I wonder if there's a more concrete, staple number of requirements listed somewhere that I just haven't found out yet. Thanks!

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We on the Initiative sacked "levels" and even "word count requirements" in our directory for the same reasons stated above. Level doesn't denote skill.

 

I actually akin it to DND or other tabletop games. Just because you're level 5 doesn't mean you have all the charisma or all the strength. Writing is the same. You can prose the shit out of me and give me nothing to work with but you can give me no prose and give me tons to work with.

 

In the end its all a matter of preference, to be fair.

 

HOWEVER, I do know that tumblr RPs still use these terms pretty regularly. The best way to get a feel for what they are looking for is to look at the posts on the site. If they don't set their levels through more direct means (minimum words, minimum paragraphs etc) then the best way to know how a site operates is through how their current "acceptable" memberbase writes.

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Beginner is the only 'level' I will ever understand. For me "beginner, intermediate, and advanced" is a self-inflated way to rate yourself and boast how much you can cram into one post whilst using thousands of words to describe a blade of grass. I tend to cringe when I see 'intermediate/advanced'.  I consider it all a little self-absorbed and I would never rate myself because honestly, I'm amazeballs and clearly biased. You could always suggest having others rate you but as stated above, everyone has their own preference and 'skill' is largely speculative. 

 

However, beginner is a real thing. Someone can totally stumble upon an rp forum and it is their first one. Obviously, they will be new at the whole idea and setting. It really doesn't have anything to do with their ability to write. A site that is "beginner friendly" I would expect to have a very straight forward and simple setting or at least have obvious efforts made to make it easy as possible to settle in (while also having staff who are prepared to help). 

 

So... I typically ditch the very dated 'level of rp' and go with: "You're either new to this, or you've been on the forum rp scene for a while." 

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I agree with a lot of things people have said in this thread.

 

I think there is a tendency to assume that long posts = more advanced writer (I even went through the 'All my posts have to be huge!' phase some years ago), but as I've RPed longer and as I've gotten further into my professional career -- which places quite a bit of weight on word economy -- I've learned that longer doesn't always mean you're a more advanced writer. Some of my favorite writers to roleplay with are pretty to-the-point and have posts that average 300-500 words but are very well written and move the plot along. On the other hand, it can be frustrating to read through something that takes 1,500 words to say what could be said in 600 and does little to progress the thread (or worse, somehow completely misses the point of other posts in the thread).

 

It's hard for me to speak to RP levels on a board-wide 'scope' outside of "beginner", because I think it's easy to tell when you have a board made up of people who are new to RPing or focused toward that group. Hell, I started out on one of those. Beyond that, most of the sites I've written on have been a mix of people who are at various levels.

 

Besides, writing is so subjective it's impossible to really quantify for certain, so I think it's ultimately in the eye of the beholder.

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8 hours ago, Everglow said:

Let me insert what may be an unpopular opinion on this post.  

For me, intermediate/advanced doesn't equate to overly inflated posts filled with purple prose.  It's not a set word count requirement or a way to lord writing experience over someone else.  Hell, it's not even experience writing on a forum.  And granted, I know I'm probably the oddity... but to me it means... 

Being able to write a compelling story that's well thought out and plotted.  Working well with others in play and not power playing to ensure your character is the best character on the site.  Having a mature outlook in your writing and not making a Mary Sue or lone wolf that will never interact with anyone.  It's being there for the plot over your character's chances of getting laid in a thread.  It's being descriptive and moving a story forward, but not using 30 adjectives to describe the color of someone's eyes.  (cause yeah no one wants to read that)  

Honestly, this is the reason, as an admin, I want to talk to people before they create a character.  Get a sense of who they are and if they'll fit well in our community.  Because I try to be very inclusive and let everyone have a chance, but I also know we aren't a fit for everyone and that there are other places that may suit them better.  I have a wide range of people who write on our site.  One person has never written collaboratively, but he's a great writer and a mature adult.  (that's another thing... maturity of the writer is kinda a big deal.) 

....So yeah.  At least for me, that's what it means on our site.  It has nothing to do with word counts or being able to be overtly descriptive.  

 

Not insanely unpopular. I accept this but then I don't really understand why there are three different levels or sometimes four when you combine intermediate/advanced as opposed to one or the other. I'm not entirely sure I understand the need for beginner, intermediate, or advanced. How you describe it, it has nothing to do with writing and more to do with how long you've been roleplaying play by post style (more or less you know what to do and what not to do). If that's that case, you either are or your not. 

 

If I completely misunderstood then what precisely does each individual level mean then? Beginner is easy, this type of player would be very new and the forum would likely be their first. However, at one point do you go from intermediate to intermediate/advanced to advanced? And who gets to decide that? 

Edited by Tartle
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Original fantasy rpg with a relaxed atmosphere for adults.

PG-13 rpg / 18+ community / word counts be damned 

dragons - elves - human things - magic - fae - dwarves

 

 

 

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The meaning of these levels is to attract like-minded writers, is all. There is no quantified list of what it takes to be considered at any level, but a look at any site which labels itself as being at any particular level and you'll find that they tend to share similar traits with other sites of the same label.

 

I used to think this was a very snobby thing to do- to call a site "advanced," but I think back to my early RP days on Neopets (YES! NEOPETS!) and this was a label I used myself, as well as other writing communities there. It didn't mean we thought we were better than anyone else or even that we wrote particularly much, but that we didn't want people com1n6 n wr1t1n l1k3 dis, or otherwise writing in a way which was confusing and difficult to understand (which was very prominent, given that most people were 13ish and some of those 13ish kids were from countries where English was not the native language). Many RP communities, regardless of what they label themselves, have a rule like this in some form, usually along the lines of "please have a firm grasp of the English language" or "excessive spelling and punctuation errors aren't allowed."

 

It's possible that the "advanced" labels and whatnot transitioned to forum RP as writers moved from Neopets to forums, and it is also possible that the meaning of what "advanced" was changed over time as writers learned what they liked (long posts, usually) and didn't like (short posts).

Edited by Josie
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I always thought of them as kind of similar to reading levels. Not the same, but like you progressed from reading at a 3rd grade level to a 6th grade level to a 12th grade level and beyond the same way you went from being a beginner to intermediate to advanced. It doesn't necessarily mean you read longer books or write longer posts, but that you can read and write advanced sentence structures, connect longer story arcs, identify nuances, etc. 

 

It was never really a quantifiable thing for me, more of an abstract idea of what sort of things that community liked to write and could provide me as a reader. So it was more like beginner=quick and dirty and fun, advanced=more nuance and subtlety and long game satisfaction, and then intermediate was that nice marriage between the two.

 

But to go along with what's already been said, in the past a lot of people read into those labels way too much and they really just translated to how long the posts were, not if there were actually any good. Those labels don't actually mean anything. Or, if they do, they're different for everybody.

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  • 5 weeks later...
On 3/8/2019 at 2:50 AM, Sage said:

I always thought of them as kind of similar to reading levels. Not the same, but like you progressed from reading at a 3rd grade level to a 6th grade level to a 12th grade level and beyond the same way you went from being a beginner to intermediate to advanced. It doesn't necessarily mean you read longer books or write longer posts, but that you can read and write advanced sentence structures, connect longer story arcs, identify nuances, etc. 

 

I like this!

 

We currently use "skill levels" kinda like this! We use them to basically warn away people that might be beginners or not quite the "age group" that we're hoping for. For some reason, we get a crazy amount of kids on our forum who don't know how to use the computer, the forums, etc. A situation like that quickly turns into something like teaching your grandfather how to access the internet for the first time; unless you have the patience of a saint, it gets irritating fast.

 

Our skill level is in place mostly to let everyone know that we want you to know how to write in third person / past tense (doesn't really matter the skill level as long as you can write a paragraph), how to use a computer, and be familiar with forum roleplaying before you try to sign up and join. We've got our expectations listed in our forum rules, so it's all laid out there.... though I can understand how this can be subjective to those who don't specify what they mean by their literacy level and such. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I haven't heard the phrase "elite" associated to an RP before. 

 

When I think of a beginner RP I think of people who have just started RPing and aren't necessary aware of the subtle rules that exist within RPing, and who will likely need a lot of help to be established. I haven't really seen as many beginner focused rpgs around lately. 

 
 
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