The DDK Club
There are several methods of role-playing online. To be very general, there are message board, email, and chat based versions... there is also "mastered (GameMaster) and non-"mastered" games... rule based (like AD&D, Vampire: The Masquerade) and freeform.
For the moment, let us simply ignore anything that does not pertain to role-playing in the DDK.
The DDK is a non-"mastered" freeform message board and chat based medieval fantasy storytelling game. That was a mouthful! =)
To say that differently, the DDK is played on a character basis. If you want to have your character go hunting for treasure in the Phantom Peaks, he does. If you decide a Yeti attacks you on the way, it does. And if you didn't decide to have that Yeti attack you, it wouldn't. You are the ultimate god of anything concerning your character. That covers non-mastered.
The DDK is freeform. This is fairly simple, in that it only means that we have no stats and no role-playing rules. The DDK -does- have social rules, and I will get to them a little further on.
The DDK is primarily played on the message boards in Yahoo! clubs. (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/theddk/ is the main game.) So you would simply post in the DDK what your character sees, hears, feels, smells, says. Some DDKers prefer short posts, other prefer long posts. Your writing "style" will have some impact on how other -players- react to you, even when IC.
On the odd occasion members will meet within the chat room and RP there. The format is much faster that way, but otherwise quite similar to playing on the boards. Other times The DDK Council and the Damsel in Ddestress will plan a big special event where lots of people will meet and RP for hours. (These events will typically end up being chronicled within the Tronicia Times.)
While the DDK is medieval, it is most seriously NOT set within earth history. Most aspects are modeled after the western middle ages, though a good number are from Chinese tradition. The council has clearly indicated that firearms are not acceptable within Econia.
Fantasy. LOL, I don't need to explain this, right? Magic and Vampires, Elves and Dragons... oh, and a whole pantheon of gods to contend with as well.
I call the DDK a storytelling game, rather than a role-playing game. Typically in an RPG, you control your characters reactions to a world that moves around you, reacting in turn to your reactions. In the DDK... -you- control the NPCs, the monsters, the adventure and goals themselves. You tell the story. The stories in the DDK are typically of the collaboritive type, where you are writing a story with multiple authors.
Hopefully I won't forget anything important.
Most Yahoo! Club RPGs have a rule against "auto"ing. Basically, "auto"ing is where you post and action, or reaction for someone else's character. This is against the rules with the DDK also. However, in the DDK you will hear it refered to ask "Controlling" someone else.
Controlling or autoing is frowned on in most other clubs. In the DDK, that is the cardinal sin. If you want to have a happy experience here, I very highly suggest you double check yourself to prevent even accidental controlling.
An example: Brak (my PC) swings his brutal sword into Harj's side, cutting him horribly. -- That's a control. Harj was given no chance to react, so his reaction was chosen by you.
2nd example: Brak swings his brutal sword at Harj's side, intending to cut him horribly. -- Now the actual hit is decided by Harj's player, so you did NOT control.
Yes, that's right. In combat, a hit (and the damage done) is decided by your opponent. Theoretically both players will be fair and will accept hits in a manner that fits their character and their character in contrast to the opposing character.
The rest of the rules are simpler. No gods as PCs. The word of Damsel in Distress is final and not to be contested. The word of the Council is final unless repealed by Damsel. The Council is currently: Scry, Terra, Selena, Shadowsong, Clare, Huma, Firedragon and Slayer. No real world religions. No cursing. No overt sex.
This isn't a -rule- but it is a suggestion. The DDK runs not just under the will of Damsel and the Council, but under the general happiness of the players. And the players voice has been quite clear that destroying large tracts of land, even ones that were never defined, will not be tolerated.
And a final suggestion. If you feel that your character has been controlled, the best response is to ignore it. If someone posted that they had hit me in the head with a bowl, I would post back that I heard a bowl whizz over my head and clatter against the wall.
MAKING A CHARACTER:
This is easy. Take a peek at the maps, and then make your character. No stats, no rules, remember? If you want to start your character the equivalent of a first level D&D mage, that's cool. If you would rather begin playing in the DDK as thief of great skill, the equivalent of a name level (9th lvl) thief, that's excellent also.
The character I was playing (Nomad Scry, surprise) was the equivalent of a... 50th level bard?? He was "retired" by myself because he was simply to powerful to be enjoyable to play anymore. =) So, I'd recommend a lower power level character so you have more opportunities for challenge.
After you've done that, you come to the one requirement that the DDK has on characters. You must have a profile for your character with your -fantasy- name. This profile should include some sort of background information on your character so that the people you interact with can gain an idea of your character. You will also need to join the DDK with this profile so that your posts are by shown as having been written by your character. This is -very- helpful for following your story line in the midst of everyone else's stories.
That's Role-Playing in the DDK... I'll get into what my story plans are, how they differ from the typical DDK story play, and what part you would fill... <evil grin!>