OngoingWorlds blog

News & articles about play-by-post games, for roleplayers & writers

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Things All Ongoing Worlds Members Should Know

The Ongoing Worlds community is about as open as you get. Anybody who can access the internet and understands English can join. There are no rules nor protocols listed anywhere except in the game information sections and descriptions of some of the games on the site, and those vary per game. Yet despite that, really becoming a comfortable member of the Ongoing Worlds community and getting the most out of the Ongoing Worlds experience is not quite as simple as it may first appear. Ongoing Worlds offers a substantial number of tools whose value and utility may not immediately be recognizable, and the Ongoing Worlds community itself has a unique microculture, with a lot of values and beliefs that may not be readily apparent either.

In an attempt to help newcomers and veterans better understand the tools at our disposal, how we use those tools, and understand the beliefs of the Ongoing Worlds community, I have worked with the people of the Ongoing Worlds Community Platform to put together a list of ten things that we would like everyone to know and understand about Ongoing Worlds. Many of these are lessons that I have learned through making mistakes, resulting in hurt feelings for me or those that I have interacted with. Hopefully, by sharing this information, others can learn what I have learned less painfully than I did.

Tools

1. Email is Ongoing Worlds’ method for Private Messaging. You can find the email address of any given member by clicking the links to their profile page. Email communication is extremely valuable here on Ongoing Worlds, as it is the primary means through which different OW members can discuss things that don’t need to be publicly displayed for everyone to see. The Ongoing Worlds experience is not meant to be enjoyed alone, and email is the primary means of bridging the physical distance between you and other OW members. Keep in mind that you cannot see another member’s email address until you are an accepted member of a game that they are also in. A quick way to be able to see the email addresses of a lot of other members is to join the Ongoing Worlds Community Platform. Read More

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Every RP has a Crutch

This post was written for us by OngoingWorlds member Writing Bug.

Hello guys, it’s WB from OW. I want to tell you about something called a Writing Crutch. If you google it, it talks about how writers use safe-words in their writing. But that isn’t the only crutch I see in RP’s. Every role play has some form of crutch, that allows for a writer to lean on when giving an explanation. Some examples can include… Read More

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Using a Personality Test to Flesh Out Your Characters

This article was written by Nim, creator of the OW Community Platform & Engines of Chaos.

After a substantial amount of peer pressure, I finally took a personality test called the Enneagram. I didn’t really expect anything to come out of it, but the results actually surprised me with how true they rang. I then proceeded to read the descriptions of the other eight personality types (called enneas) and I realized just how much a person’s personality has the potential to affect their worldview. Read More

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How to RP on OngoingWorlds

This article was posted by Hosea Tuinakelo in the game New Mutants. I’m sharing here with permission because this article will be useful to all OngoingWorlds members, and people wanting to know more about play by post roleplaying. Over to Hosea:

sadaadsI’m going to give a quick run-through on how to participate in PbP (Post by Post) roleplaying. My observations and suggestions are based off of roleplaying in Ongoing Worlds, and are not in any way professional or derived from a professional standpoint. With that disclaimer out of the way, let’s get started!

Post by post roleplay to me is a story-builder. The cool thing about it is that there’s a chance that everyone can be a main character (depending on the story). Read More

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Spelling Tips: Part Deux

Nearly four years ago, I published an article titled Spelling tips – It’s your game they’re looking for.  The concept was simple: Since what we do is sometimes called creative writing, shouldn’t we show some competency with the writing part?  We also certainly don’t want to turn new players off with our own poor spelling or grammar, right?  That piece covered the proper use of its/it’s, your/you’re, and there/their/they’re.  Today we’re going to look at five more situations that are often confused. Read More

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Child’s Play – Back to School

The back-to-school shopping season, second only to the holiday season in terms of consumer spending, has been thrown into uncertainty bordering on chaos as parents and retailers do their best to plan for what school will look like in the coming weeks. Most of the time office quality products are the best, for example this mohawk superfine paper.

Set against the backdrop of a highly contagious viral pandemic and the devastation it has woven across the U.S. economy, 2020’s back-to-school season is unlike any other.

“It’s the most challenging time in history for back to school,” said Burt P. Flickinger III, managing director of Strategic Resource Group, a consumer consulting firm in New York City.

The back-to-school season is “a critical catalyst that the country needs for an economic comeback whether it’s Wisconsin, the Great Lakes region or anywhere across America,” Flickinger added.

Whether back to school ultimately serves as a jump-start to a pandemic-ravaged economy remains to be seen.

“What retailers have to do is understand the downdraft of back to school and catch the updraft of selling more goods related to living, learning and working from home,” Flickinger added.

“Most parents don’t know whether their children will be sitting in a classroom or in front of a computer in the dining room, or a combination of the two,” Matthew Shay, president and chief executive of the National Retail Federation, said in a statement.

It’s unlike anything anyone has ever seen. 

“How do you forecast who needs new jeans or sneakers to wear to school and who doesn’t because they are going to be staying at home?” said Dick Seesel, principal at the Mequon consulting firm Retailing in Focus and a former retail industry executive. “Do they still need school supplies if they are studying at home? Maybe. But do they need backpacks? Maybe not.”Get the Coronavirus Watch newsletter in your inbox.

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If you’re in a school system where the students wear uniforms and your school may or may not reconvene, parents and the retailers who sell school uniforms also have to deal with the uncertainties involved in that part of back-to-school shopping, Seesel said.

“The other thing you don’t know, for the schools that are reopening, how long are they going to manage to stay open?” he added. “Nobody’s had to deal with anything like this.”

Toss in high unemployment and overall uncertainty as COVID-19 cases continue to spike and, “Consumers are very cautious right now,” Seesel said. “They don’t know what the next six months are going to look like.

“I’ve never seen anything that has put a dent in consumer demand quite like this,” he added.

Parents left to make choices amid uncertainty

If you think retail forecasters have a tough job, try being a parent who is trying to  plan for kids going back to school without knowing whether classes will be in person, online or both.

A recent survey of parents shows there will be plenty of penny-pinching, foot-dragging and angst.

About 64% of 18,000 parents surveyed said they were not excited about back-to-school shopping this year because of health risks going into stores or risks to their children going back into classrooms, according to Piplsay, a crowdsourcing research firm. 

More than half (52%) of the respondents in its late July survey said they will spend less this school year than last year. 

 Brad Wright, a dad of three teens — twin daughters and a son — said his approach to back-to-school spending is the opposite of the panic buying and hoarding seen in the early days of the pandemic.

“You buy a little bit, wait to see what happens, then you buy a little bit more if necessary,” said Wright, of Bellevue, Nebraska.

“You slow play this one,” Wright added. “One pair of Lululemons might make it through the year.”  

Lululemon is a pricey active clothing line that teens crave. A pair of pants runs $88 to $118.   

Appleton mom and early childhood teacher Amy Nogar is also on the wait-and-see side. 

“We haven’t done any back to school shopping yet,” she said. “Before we do any shopping, we’ll see what can be reused from last year.”

One son, a high school junior, “will be doing online learning first semester for sure, so he won’t need much,” she said. His school-issued laptops to every student. 

Her eighth grader “will be in-person, so we’ll have to get him some things.” He has a hand-me-down laptop if he needs to do remote classwork. 

“We’d definitely spend less if both boys were remote learning because we already have the technology,” Nogar said. “We’re fortunate. I can see how it could be a challenge for some families.” 

Focus shifts to technology

If remote learning takes over, some parents might be forced to spend more for back to school this year because kids will need laptop computers, headphones and things such as flash drives, printers and new routers for home Wi-Fi connections.

Retailers have pivoted to meet that demand should it occur.

“Toward the end of the spring semester, we saw a huge uptick in electronic items, like headphones and chargers and headphone sets with microphones attached,” said Phil Kelley, store director at the Meijer in Oak Creek.

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Level Up – Description

I know many of us don’t want to be writers for a living, though some of us might consider it. The descriptions we use often paint pictures. While some aren’t as descriptive as others, this isn’t about the level of skill. It is more a matter of how that skill is acquired. As Role-Players, we have adjusted ourselves to describe our characters and what they do in detail, sometimes venturing into the X-Rated zone.

While many find this exciting, the level of description is easy to see. Those who have RPed for awhile, or those who write stories in their free time, tend to be more descriptive than those who haven’t written for long periods. It is in the descriptors. But what are descriptors? Simply any word that describes something, including (but not limited to) color, smell, and sound. Read More

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12 tips for writing Star Trek fanfiction & roleplaying

Star trek characters comic

Star Trek fanfiction is as old as Star Trek itself, and heavily dominates the world of online roleplaying. There’s many giant Star Trek roleplay clubs, like Starbase 118 and Star Trek: Borderlands. We’ve even got Star Trek games running on OngoingWorlds (see here). Here’s some tips for anyone who wants to write fiction in the Star Trek universe: Read More

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From TV to RPG – How Our Favourite Shows Can Enhance Our Roleplaying Experience – Part 2: Juggling Characters

This article was written for us by Diego Herrera from the Star Trek game Outpost Eden.

Lots of futurama characters

Welcome back to the second in a series of articles designed to look at how sci fi and fantasy TV series can prove useful for writing roleplays (read part 1 here). In this article, I’m going to focus on what we can learn from the way TV shows manage large casts of characters when running adventures with our players. Read More

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Beyond the Senses

Spidey sense

Just because we use five senses in our everyday life, and even do describe a scene in our games, this doesn’t mean we should stop with them. “Never ignore your gut feeling” is a saying that refers to your sixth sense. Read More