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Roleplaying Guide

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Just starting out? Been here for years? Somewhere in between? This guide will help make your RP in the TP feed even stronger.

Abbreviations and Syntax

Know how to post in Twitterponies!

Abbreviations

Forums of Communication
  • RP: Role-Play(ing)
    • IRP: In Role-Play
  • RL: Real Life
    • IRL: In Real Life
  • TP: TwitterPonies
  • IRC: Internet Relay Chat
References to Characters
  • IC: In Character
  • OOC: Out Of Character (also specified with (()) or [] enclosing brackets)
  • SC: Show Character
  • OC: Original Character
  • PC: Player Character
  • NPC: Non-Player Charcter
Types of Messaging
  • DM or simply D: Direct Message, a Twitter function
  • PM (also /msg): (not used in the Twitter Feed) Private Message, through email, Skype, IRC or Chat
  • TB: Tweet Bird, used for messaging IC as well as referring to Twitter itself
Player States
  • AFK: Away From Keyboard (usually used to indicate RL pulled you away unexpectedly, you can't respond)


Syntax

"Text" in this section represents any arbitrary text.

  • ((Text)) or [Text]: Text is Out of Character
  • *Text* or -Text-: Text is an action
    • {Text}: Text is the name of a character that is being proxied (not always used, especially in one-on-one situations)
  • "Text": Text is read or spoken by someone else
  • <Text>: Text is in translation from another language
  • (Text): Text is internal dialogue (thoughts)
  • ++Text++: Text is telepathic communication (ONLY usable by and between Alicorns/Princesses)

RP Definitions

Let's all speak the same language.

Player

That's you. Any person who's involved in TwitterPonies, either in the feed or IRC.

Players come in two types:

  • Active Player: You've got one or more character and you play them on a regular basis in the feed. Let them all lay fallow too long and you might become...
  • Inactive Player: You just watch the feed, you don't have a specific RP account, or you do but they're totally inactive, or have been for a long time, or you're active only "backstage" in the IRC. We used to call these folks "Audience," but no longer.

How long until an active player becomes inactive? No one can say for sure. And of course, you can become active again with a single post, if you really want.

Internet Relay Chat (IRC)

This side of the RP is not a part of Twitter at all. IRC is an old, but good, free chat service. Twitterponies has an IRC room where our players can go to relax, plan strategy, hang out, gossip and more. It's the TP "backstage". For more see: Twitterponies IRC

Feed

This is the arena in which all RP takes place. It's made up of the ever-growing scroll of accounts you're watching as part of your enjoyment of TP. Every Player's feed is different, depending on what accounts they're following.

Account

Your login to TwitterPonies, through Twitter or any client you use, or your presence on IRC.

Post

A post is anything you send to the feed, always 140 characters or less.

Character ("Char")

Character is the basic unit of RP. Everything is a character, even the background mountains. Characters come in two types:

  • Player Character (PC): Anyone or anything with a player behind them, usually as an account, but not always.
  • Non-Player Character (NPC): A character with no Player. For example, most ponies play their IC TweetBirds as NPCs, saying things like,
     mlp_Applejack's tweetbird flies up to  mlp_Rainbow Dash and pecks her on the forelock, chirping until the pegasus wakes up.

There's no account for  mlp_Applejack's twitter bird, but it has agency (it moves and does things), it might even have a personality, and even talk, but it's @mlp_Applejack's Player using her @mlp_Applejack account to "run" the NPC.

NOTE: In TP, NPCs have a remarkable tendency to become PCs, as people pick up accounts and turn them into actual PCs. For example: @mlp_Twibot began as simply Twibot, an NPC creation of @mlp_Twilight Sparkle, who just wanted something to take the pressure off of being a librarian all day, checking in books and stamping out cards, which wasn't all that fun. Some Player came along and created "@mlp_Twibot" and began running the character as a PC.

Character is very fluid. After all, we live in a world of magic and pastel ponies who talk and fly and walk on clouds. Just about anything can become a PC, and in a way, just about everything is an NPC. In extreme cartoonish cases, you can NPC-ify darn near any object. A fun gag is to have a totally inanimate object have an opinion. For example, after a long day of plotting how to get their cutiemarks, the Crusaders dash out to become pegasus air traffic controllers. @mlp_Applebloom might have a post where the Treehouse says, "*sigh* Those crazy foals!" This newly anthropomorphic treehouse is, for at least one post, an NPC. Probably will never "speak" or think or emote again, but even so.

Characters have two states:

  • In Character (IC): You're posting to the feed as your Character, and everyone should be imagining you're saying (regular text) or doing (text between asterisks "*text*") whatever you posted as that character's actual words or actions.
  • Out Of Character (OOC): You're posting to the feed as your Player, and everyone should be imagining you, the player, are speaking your mind or taking an action. All OOC posts must be enclosed in the proper brackets.

For more, please see Chat_Tips.

Proxy

If you want to play with a character who is not online, this is called proxying. There are many reasons why you might want to do this. For instance, the account may not exist (such as  mlp_GrandpaSparkle) or the player might be offline or AFK.

If you want to proxy a character that does not exist (is an NPC), go ahead! Just be aware that this is pretty much like creating a new account, and you are responsible for this character's actions. For instance:

*while talking to  mlp_Twilight,  mlp_GrandpaSparkle walks up* {Grandpa} Young lady! Quit your talking, get back to work, give the Sparkles a good name!

If you were to do something like this, chances are high that either  mlp_Twilight will Ignore that tweet (usually if you have low Trust) or that she will be Forced to do something she hadn't wanted to, hurting OOC relations between the players. Not to mention that you just invented and introduced the Grandpa Sparkle character without any reasoning as to how he got there or why he's upset with Twilight for simply talking. Now, if you're a good player, you might be able to redeem all this and make a good scene out of it, but that would be hard to do. A safer and very common use of proxying an NPC is interacting with unplayed background ponies over multiple tweets:

* mlp_BubbleTrouble walks up to the stand* Well, hey, there! What'll it be?
 mlp_BubbleTrouble Gimme a cup o' cider! *licks his lips and digs through a bag of bits*
Sure thing! That'll be four bits. * mlp_BubbleTrouble pays and she gives him the cup*

This is a great way to RP alone, and is best seen when  mlp_Celestia does her civil court. She often talks with ponies, and sometimes entire groups or organizations, that no one has ever heard of before, much less played.


If you want to proxy a character that already exists and is being played, that is a whole other ballpark. First off, you need to ask for or be given permission to proxy the character. This usually happens when the player has to leave unexpectedly or is unable to get to a computer for some extended period.

After you have permission, you can then proceed to proxy the character. Be aware, however, that this character has a pre-established personality and, therefore, guidelines to follow. The easiest way to know how to play a pre-established character in Twitterponies is by looking their page up on this wiki (e.g. if I wanted to play Twilight, I would go to the Twilight Sparkle page, etc.).

Asleep/Awake

A character is "asleep" when their Player isn't on Twitter. This doesn't mean the character is actually sleeping, they could be doing anything, but it's a shorthand term for "the Player is out, they won't be responding to anything." Leave them a DM, look for them in the IRC, @mention them, they might see it later when they rejoin TwitterPonies by logging into their account. While they are active, they're "Awake."

Trust

Trust is something you've built up, one Player to another, slowly, after lots and lots of time RPing together and probably even chatting "backstage" in the IRC or through DMs or PMs. See below for more on Trust.

Offer

An "offer" is any suggestion, encouragement, call-to-action, or invitation you give or recieve (even from/to yourself). It's the IC way to say, "Hey, wanna play?" See below for more on Offers.

Accept

Any time you accept an Offer by going with it, even if you tweak it a bit. See below for more on Offers.

Deny

Any time you deny or ignore an Offer by refusing outright or serving up a CounterOffer, or by "accepting" it with so many changes and tweaks it's unrecognizable from the original Offer. See below for more on Offers.

Risk

What you have to take in order to earn Trust, and the chance you might be denied with any of your Offers. See below for more on Offers.

Hook

Some plot or character possibility left open for others to latch on to, perhaps to improve or expand an Offer, or to create an Offer or a Counter-Offer of their own. See below for more on Offers.

Force

Any time you make an Offer that forces someone to do something without any choice, either by making it impossible for them to Deny or by saying they already did it somehow, thus you've retroactively Accepted it for them, without their permission. Forces are almost always bad. See below for more on Offers.

Pimp

Any time you make a Force that's just so damn funny, entertaining, low-stakes, hilarious, or with someone you've built up a lot of trust with, so much so that you know it'll be amusing if they accept and maybe even funny if they don't accept, that's a "Pimp." Use VERY sparingly and only where there's a lot of trust. See below for more on Offers.

Powergamer

Someone who Powergames. Powergamers use other characters (and even Players!) as puppets, directing them without permission, without consensus, without regard for their character. They use force after force, they have their own agenda and won't listen to anyone else. Often accompanied by actual power, such as giving themselves "super hypnotic abilities so everyone has to do what they say," or incredibly powerful magic items, often used as threats to coerce action or to "rewrite history" anytime they want. Always bad news.

Trust

If a Player is the basic unit of participation, and the Character is the basic unit of existence in the TP world, then Trust is the basic unit of RP, even more basic than Offers. Trust has many levels:

Low Trust

Not much is going to happen between you:

  • No Trust at all: You're not following them. You've blocked them. You won't talk to them OOC as a Player, you're not even going to respond to them in the backstage IRC. Maybe you're fighting. Maybe you're convinced they're a Powergamer. You won't RP with them, even if they @mention you directly. They may be following you, you don't care.
  • Stranger: You're not following them, you've never spoken to them anywhere, but a total stranger @mentions you out of the blue, or someone you're following/interacting with introduces them to you. They may be following you, you don't know or don't care. You're not even going to say or do much with them, at least until they show they're not a Powergamer.
  • Cold Shoulder: You're not following them, you won't talk to them OOC and you're not about to strike up or respond to any conversation attempts OOC. However, you will react to them in the feed, IC only, so as not to break up scenes or cause problems. They may be following you, you don't care. Maybe they Powergame, but not so much that everyone ignores them, so you want to at least be aware of what they're doing, which is why you don't block them.

Basic Trust

  • Acquaintance: You're not following them, but you'll talk to them both IC and OOC. They may be following you, which is nice, but you haven't yet decided to follow them.
  • Following: You're following them with one or more of your Characters, you RP with them and also OOC with them. They may be following you, you'd like them to follow back, but hey, nothing you can do about that but play brilliantly and hope they are amused and follow you.
  • Playmates: You're following them, they're following you, you RP together a lot and are probably pretty chummy on IRC or elsewhere.

High Trust

  • Relations: You're strong friends, relatives, have decided to bring your characters together in some way that ties them. You expect to RP together a lot.
  • Paired: You're paired with another character or Player, you rarely RP without the other, and kinda wish they were awake whenever you were.
  • BFF: Your character is positively joined to another, perhaps their very premise is based on someone's else character. You don't have much meaning without them, and will often not even wake up your character if they aren't on. It's almost assumed you'll RP with them. (Note: BFF status is very tricky, and requires communication from both parties so that one does not feel forced into it)

Trust Becomes Action

These three levels of Trust have real meaning, and lead to action.

If you have Low Trust with another character, you're not going to accept any Offers from them, and probably won't make any Offers to them, and might even Deny an offer from someone you do trust, because you find out it includes a third party you don't trust. No trust = no play.

If you have Basic Trust with another character, you'll probably look at any Offers they make carefully and decide if you want to accept or deny the offer. You might even test the waters by extending an Offer to them, and depending on whether they Accept or Deny it, you might build or lose trust. Basic Trust = Potential for play, and the chance to build more Trust.

If you have High Trust with another character, you almost always accept their Offers and fully expect them to accept all of yours. High Trust = lots of Play and a chance to build even more Trust. Trust goes up to infinity.

Trust is, in many ways, THE CURRENCY OF TWITTERPONIES, because the more people trust you, the more people you trust, the more follows you'll have and get, and the more play you'll do--leading to of course tons of fun and big adventure, which is why we're all here.

Offers

If a Player is the basic unit of participation, and the Character is the basic unit of existence in the TP world, and Trust is the basic unit of RP, then the Offer is the basic unit of action.

Recognizing an Offer

So what exactly is an Offer? An Offer answers the question "What do you want to do?", even if you're alone and asking it of yourself. If it means you have to stop idling or stop doing whatever it was you were doing and go do something else, it's an Offer. For example:

*gallops up to  mlp_Twilight* Drop that book, Twilight, we got a situation!  mlp_Applebloom fell down a well, we need you to magic her up!

That's a pretty strong offer. It's a call to action. There's no mistaking what's going on, who the players (potentially) are, and what steps to take next. If you're  mlp_Applejack's player, clearly you've got something in mind (even if it's only "sister is stuck in a well" with no other plans, at least you have that much!). If you're @mlp_Twilight's player, you've got a choice to make: Accept or Reject.

When and Why to Offer

When? Any time you want to do something, or include someone in what you're doing, or even exclude someone in a really gentle and fun way. It's when you want to "direct the action," move people and things around, be moved around yourself, ask folks to do things and set up situations where you get to do things you want to do.

When not? Any time a player is Asleep, the character is clearly engaged in some other RP, or they've just finished something big. If you make an Offer while the other character is busy, you're "crashing the scene." You wouldn't walk up to Twilight Sparkle just as she's struggling to get Applebloom up from the well and go, "Hi Twilight, my name is @mlp_Crasher, can I check out a book?" You're crashing the scene, it's never a good idea. Similarly, if a great big adventure just ended, respect the player might be tired. Similarly, if the Player just awoke (became active), they might be there to start a scene. Give them a moment to establish they're free to RP before you toss in an offer.

Why? Because life in TwitterPonies without Offers is boring. How many times can you get up, brush your teeth, go to the kitchen, wave hello to Derpy as she delivers mail, etc. Note, all of these are Offers, every single one of them, but they're so routine as to require no one else and precious little imagination. They still have power, we'll talk about it below.

Why Not? There are many times an offer is inappropriate. Don't give an Offer if you're fueding OOC--that's an offer in bad faith. An offer in good faith is made for the obvious reason: to start a scene. An offer in bad faith comes from some other source: to apologize, to use the other character as a means to a private end, to get your RP "legitimized" by having a popular SC respond to it. Another bad-faith offer: you're desperate to "ship" with an SC and you figure if you just RP with them, you can get around to shipping with them eventually. You don't care about the offer you made, you only care about your desire to ship--bad faith.

Bad Offers

Not all Offers are the same; some are terrible. Offers are like any RP tool, in that they can be used for evil as well as good. How do you know it's a bad offer? In general, a bad Offer has a certain shape, and almost always includes little or no Risk. Let's analyze some examples:

*gallops up to  Twilight and slaps her across the face* How dare banish my sister forever, I hate you and never want to talk to you again!

It's clearly not in the spirit of Friendship, but that's not what makes it bad. What makes it bad is that it's a nasty Force. Imagine this post coming out of the blue. You've made Twilight (the character) do something in the past, where she had no way to agree to it or not. You made it something very out of Twi's character, which has long been established by the show, so clearly you aren't listening or paying any attention. @mlp_Twilight's player would probably ignore this completely, and if you pestered her, she might block you. NOTE: This is a bad Offer only if you and @mlp_Twilight have Low Trust or Basic Trust. If you had High Trust, this could be a brilliant offer!

But let's look a little deeper. There's another reason why this is a bad Offer. @mlp_Jerk is trying to build his character at the expense of @mlp_Twilight's. S/he isn't doing anything to help Twi grow. They want to establish things about themselves, force a Mane 6 to interact with them on their terms, all "take" and no "give." The Player behind @mlp_Twilight would be wise to view any such Offers with extreme skepticism, even if they weren't as blatantly bad as this one. Note also that this Offer carries no Risk. So what if @mlp_Twilight's Player Denies this Offer: Jerk is in his/her own little world, and might even run off without an answer from Twi, because they don't really care, they're not so much trying to start a scene as build up their own plot by their own rules. Another example:

*holds up the Great Gem of Command*  mlp_Twilight, I hereby zombify you! Come to my lair where my army will grow, until we overthrow  mlp_Celestia!

Actually, this isn't quite as bad as @mlp_Jerk's above, because it's weaker. It's still a force, a nasty one--what is @mlp_Twilight supposed to do? If she doesn't Deny the offer, she has to become a zombie and go with his plan. If she does Deny it, well, she still has to engage him pretty hard. However, at least this Offer gave Twi a choice! It wasn't in the past tense. Twi can resist the Gem of Command with her magic, or draw strength from her friends to overcome it, or heck, take it from him and use it on him. This is still such a lousy Offer that @mlp_Twilight's Player will probably Deny it, ignore him, mayd OOC DM him that he needs to really read up on the Guidelines. Once again, there's no Risk here. They've got a Gem of Command, if Twi refuses them, they'll just move on to the next character. NOTE: This is a bad Offer only if you and @mlp_Twilight have Low Trust or Basic Trust. If you had High Trust, this could be a brilliant offer!

Notice again that this Offer does nothing to help Twilight with her character, it's all about @mlp_Powergamer and his ideas, his plot, his desires. He's at best drafting Twi into his story, and who wants to be drafted? How about asking? Another example of a bad Offer:

*gallops up to  mlp_Twilight* Drop that book, Twilight, we got a situation!  mlp_Applebloom fell down a well, we need you to magic her up!

Hey, this is the example offer from above! Wait, you called it a "strong Offer," why are you listing it here under "bad Offers"!? Because unless @mlp_Applejack and @mlp_Twilight have High Trust, this is an Offer that Twi can't refuse. What's she going to do, say "no"? She doesn't care if @mlp_Applebloom is hurt? She's going to let her friend down in a moment of crisis? Of course she can't, and @mlp_Applejack's player knows it, so this Offer has a Force hidden inside. At best, @mlp_Twilight has to think of some way to Deny without being a jerk or ruining her character. It Forces Twi to wriggle out of something unrefusable. There's a little Risk here, but it's not like a denial from Twi ends the scene: @mlp_Applejack would just get help from somewhere else. Either way, not fun for @mlp_Twilight. We're not here to be put in positions where we have to betray ourselves or commit ourselves to RP we don't want to do, just to avoid hurting your feelings or disrupting the world. Don't make Offers like this without High Trust. NOTE: This is a bad Offer only if you and @mlp_Twilight have Low Trust or Basic Trust. If you had High Trust, this could be a brilliant offer! (Sensing a pattern here?)

There are dozens and dozens of kinds of bad Offers, there's not enough room to list them all. Just ask the question, if you've made (or received) an offer, what are you really trying to do? An honest answer to that will show you if it's a good offer or a bad one.

Good Offers

No need to be paralyzed out of fear you're forcing. Remember how Trust works! High enough Trust makes practically any Offer good. Still, there's a shape to good Offers, here are some examples:

*gallops into the Treebrary*  mlp_Twilight, can you help me find an Elf dictionary? I think I found an Elf treasure map, I want to translate it!

That's a lovely Offer. It doesn't Force @mlp_Twilight or her Player to do anything they haven't established they'd do every day: help ponies find books. It outlines the need and the adventure and leaves a Hook for @mlp_Twilight if she wants to counter-Offer ("Hey, can I come with you?!"). It's a call to action, but it's wide open. After all, Twi can just hand you the dictionary if she's busy. You're free to continue your adventure by yourself or wth some other pony. If any other pony is in the room with you, they can latch on to the hook too ("Did I hear you say "treasure map"!?). This is also a rather Risky Offer. You're putting yourself into @mlp_Twilight's hooves. If she Denied you, you could be screwed. "That's not Elvish, that's Dwarvish, and we don't have a dictionary for that." Well now what the heck are you going to do with your grand adventure? You better hope you can wriggle out of that Denial or someone comes along to Accept ("Hey, I speak Dwarvish!"). You're also asking Twi to "do her thing" by being a Librarian, because you trust that she will. True, she might be called AFK, but hey, that's always a risk with everyone. Another example:

*shelving magic books* Hey  mlp_Twilight, have you ever noticed some of these magic books have weird gem-seals on them? *licks one and POOF! Spike vanishes!!*

That's a heck of an Offer. It's an emergency, very like the "@mlp_Applebloom down a well" above, but look more closely. First of all, everyone knows that @mlp_Spike and @mlp_Twilight have the absolutely highest level of Trust with one another, character-wise. And after a year, they have that trust Player-wise as well. And while just about anypony could help @mlp_Applebloom down the well, it takes precisely a @mlp_Twilight to help with a magical catastrophy in Ponyville. It's ALMOST a Force, but not quite, thanks to all that Trust. Clearly it's the start of a big adventure. This Offer has almost no Hooks either. Twi is on her own to react, and it's very likely her player and @mlp_Spike's player talked about this in IRC or some other way, setting things up. Without super-high Trust levels, this is a terrible Offer, a nasty Force, because @mlp_Twilight can't really refuse to react.

Pimping

A Pimp is a super-Offer. It's a flat-out Force, but done in an atmosphere of such Trust, and with stakes so low, that it winds up being totally hilarious. Here's a great Pimp:

*walks into her chambers* A present? For me? *unwraps the present, and inside is a tiny figurine of the Princess, only Pink* *Note reads, "You're Pink at Toys 'R' Us, Ha ha! @ DrWhooves"* Of course you realize, this means PRANK WAR!

This came entirely from @mlp_Celestia. Neither @DrWhooves nor his Player knew anything about it. She is Pimping @DrWhooves, saying, "I'm Forcing you to have done something in the past." It's even worse, I've made @DrWhooves break the 4th wall and reference RL (there's no Toys 'R Us in Equestria, after all). I've just committed @DrWhooves to a prank war which could last weeks. I've also done it while practically breaking Celestia's character (not quite, but close). A Pimp like this requires HUGE Trust and is a HUGE Risk. I might have just pissed off @DrWhooves's player bigtime. I've disrupted the feed with an RL intrusion. But look closely--the stakes are very low. @DrWhooves isn't being Forced to do anything NOW, he just has to wait for @mlp_Celestia's retaliation. The chance to Deny gently is right there--if no one ever mentions this again, it'll just fade away. And most of all, the stakes are very low. It's just a prank war. It's a bit of fun. Note: When in doubt, ASK before you PIMP. And it better be with a BFF.

Risk

Everything we do is Risk. After all, it's just TwitterPosts: if you say or do something that makes everyone unfollow you, well, you're risked it all and lost. So a few words about Risk.

The Golden Rule of Risk: You have to take Risks to earn Trust

Nothing ventured, nothing gained. You have to put yourself out there, with a big chance of failure. Don't worry, all of TwitterPonies is founded on love, friendship, fun, it's unlikely you'll be let down. But that risk is there. Worse, many of us who've been in RP environments are used to seeing Risk rewarded with a nasty burn. Risk is almost a weakness in most MMORPGs. The other Players in most RPGs of any kind are either your artificial "friends" (you're all in the same party), or they're trying to kill you to gain experience and take your stuff off your bloated, rotting digital carcass. The way we react to Risk is what makes TP so special.

Every Offer is a Risk. Some have extremely low Risk. Yawning and waking up and getting out of bed? Low Risk. Dragging yourself into Sugar Cube Corner and passing out? Some Risk, but not much (after all, people won't exactly ignore something that dramatic). Setting up a Free Hugs stand in the middle of Ponyville? Medium Risk. You do have to stand there, waiting for people to come and get their free hugs, and you don't have much control over the situation (someone might be suspicious of you, someone else might glom on to you and hug you all day, either of which could become uncomfortable). Just being a pony and wandering around Ponyville, delivering ice, watching the action and occsionally commenting, enjoying your own company but still reacting to (and lightly reaching out to folks to deliver them ice)? High Risk. You could spend hours doing that and never RP. You Risk being lonely, bored, feeling ignored.

And yet, notice how much the high Risk action gets you. A bit of that and you're going to be a full, true, organic part of Ponyville. You're building huge trust, because you're saying to everyone, "Hey, I'm here to be part of things, to support YOUR Offers and ideas, to help build the world." So when someone does need a pony to come along for an adventure, who do you think they'll choose? The Free Hugs Stand pony builds some trust, they're willing to be patient, they're giving rather than taking, but not as much Trust. The "pass out in SCC" pony isn't building any trust, they're TAKING Trust, they're asking everyone to Trust them--better have some Trust built up already, or you might get burned (everyone ignores you or otherwise denies you). As for the pony who never does anything but get up and yawn? They're neither adding nor taking Trust. They're practically shouting, "Leave me alone, I want to just do my thing." Okay. Fine. But if it's not entertaining, don't expect anyone to follow you.

The Silver Rule of Risk: If you get Denied, Don't Take It Personally

Okay, someone denied you. You made an Offer and it fell flat. Move along. If you were smart, you made a Good Offer, and there was plenty of wiggle room for the other to Deny you in a nice way. If you were very experienced, you probably made an Offer with contingencies built in so that, if Denied, you could back out without much pain. "You can't come help @mlp_Applebloom out of the well? That's awful, but I see @mlp_Pinkie over there, maybe she can help!"--it's not pretty, but at least you can continue with your scene.

The thing is, people Deny for dozens of reasons. Maybe they have an RP scheduled to start then. Maybe they're AFK or RL is going to make it impossible for them to RP with you sufficiently. Maybe they're only online to check messages and do something light. Maybe they're simply not up for something adventurous or epic. Maybe you haven't built up enough trust with them--but obeying the Silver Rule will probably give you serious points with them, because you didn't take it personally. A Denial is NOT a comment on you, your char, your Offer, or even your adventure idea in its totality. Don't get upset. Don't try and force it. Move on. Handle it with grace and find your adventure elsewhere.

Converting Risk to Trust

What's the Riskiest thing you can do? BE ALONE. Be by yourself. Entertain yourself. Do fun, hilarious things that make people laugh and smile and go "that's so cool!" entirely on your own. In essence, make great Offer after great Offer to yourself and Accept them over and over. Even Pimp yourself. And do it with no expectation of followers or reward, just for the sheer joy of it. For example:

*enjoys her walk through WhiteTail Woods* *steps into a beautiful clearing, solitude nearly perfect around her* *gambols and cavorts like a filly!* Hee hee!

Aww! Look, the Princess, with all her dignity, found a nice quiet little place to just romp around. She's done absolutely nothing with absolutely no one, but it's adorable and deepens her character (she's someone who has a bit of filly in her and aches for a chance to let it out, but is too embarrassed or concerned with the responsibilities of her image to do it in public, so she finds a quiet spot in the woods to romp). It's not really all that great a Risk, since she's done stuff like this before, and hey, it's only romping around. But it's Risky, because of course, she's relying entirely on herself to build her character, and must be prepared to do something if someone else comes in with an offer ("OMG, is that @mlp_Celestia frolicking there! Hi hi Princess!"--now what the heck is Celestia going to do!?).

Notice I'm talking about Risk here. It's quite possible to be by yourself, to entertain yourself, and do fun things yourself that have no Risk at all. Those won't get you any Trust. Here's an example:

*stands in the clearing of Everfree, the Crown of Power on his brow, he begins his spell, and the lightning strikes! He's hatched the egg, and his new dragon friend curls around his mane*

​Okay, that's pretty awful, powergamey crud. It's also plagiarized from darn near every bad fantasy novel ever written. It's not adorable, or entertaining, or particularly cool, unless you're totally into that kind of thing (few who play on TP are, it turns out). But that's not why it's low-Risk. It's low Risk because you're not putting your character out there--you're not taking any chances. You haven't built any character--you already clearly had gnarly magic powers, you just gave yourself a few more, and/or used a few that you had. No one can deny you--even if somepony stumbled into your clearing, you know exactly what you're going to do: use your power (wipe their memory (denial), tell them they're lucky to witness your greatness (acceptance, but one that's pretty forced), and in no cases did you really risk anything.

Denial for Advanced Players

Let's say you've built a lot of Trust, or you're simply a darn popular character. Maybe because you're an SC or even a Mane 6. Maybe you're brand new, but you put yourself out there in you Free Hugs booth, or delivering ice, or just standing around Ponyville fountain and smiling. Along comes someone with an Offer, and while it's not egregiously bad, it's totally not what you feel like doing. Okay, Deny them. But do it nicely. An example:

*points at  mlp_NewPony* Hey! You! Yes, with the pink tail. You look like you'd make a good apprentice to me, the Greatest Wizard Ever! Come now!

Right, not exactly the most subtle Offer, but not terrible. And for many newcomers, that kind of invitation and chance to be in an instant RP is like water in the desert, and they'd jump right on! However, not you. You don't want to do that. Being an apprentice to someone named "@mlp_Powergamer" who makes an offer like that first thing, without even DMing or @mentioning to you that they'd like to talk with you in DMs or on IRC: all red flags to you, and you're out. So how do you Deny?

This particular example is pretty egregious, so you're within your rights to simply ignore it. But let's say you don't want to, or better yet, you want to use this rather lame opportuinity to build yourself some character and earn some Trust. Here are any number of solutions:

Oh, thanks,  mlp_Powergamer, but I'm already apprentice to both  mlp_Celestia,  mlp_Luna, the  mlp_DragonKing and  mlp_SuperGod. Maybe next week?

Ha ha, sarcastic and almost breaking the 4th wall. It's not exactly a nice way to Deny, but it's at least amusing and might shock @mlp_Powergamer into realizing the absurdity and ham-handedness of his Offer. This could backfire, but hey, you just took a Risk, and we all know what that earns you. Another:

*blinks in astonishment and runs!* Help, crazy pony! *dives into Carousel Boutique* Please hide me from the megalomaniac pony?!

A straight-up denial, but you used it to propel you into meeting new people, making an Offer of your own ("please hide me!") and supported @mlp_Powergamer's Offer without Accepting it. Again, not ideal, but the offer was so sucky, there's no perfect answer anyway, might as well use it. One more:

Prove to me you're worthy of taking me on as an Apprentice! Mere words will not convince me, show me your power,  mlp_Powergamer!

A half-Denial. You're leaving the door wide open to walk away ("Sorry, not good enough") and you're establishing yourself (you've got an ego too!) and you're furthering the scene. This is Risky, you're getting into bed with this guy (just a little), and he might glom onto you. You're also helping him turn his ungainly Offer into a larger scene, and that's going to attract attention, with you only partially in control (after all, the ball's in his court now). It's darn Risky, but is entertaining and potentially funny or cool, so even if you get into trouble, you've probably earned a lot of Trust.

Even a Denial can be a tool for good. Use it wisely! Of course, you can always just DM them and say, "Hey, no thanks." No one can make you do anything you don't want to. Remember the Golden Rule of TwitterPonies: HAVE FUN!

The Formula for Success

The basic formula for success in TwitterPonies: The closer you adhere to the spirit and letter and play your character accounts within the letter and spirit of the following guidelines, the more likely you are to get Followers, avoid Blockers, be Included in conversations and adventures and have fun.

The converse is true also: the further you stray from the formula, the fewer followers you'll get, the less involved you'll be in conversations or adventures, and you might get blocked.

Read More

You've read this far, PLEASE read these pages as well. Yes, all of them. It's the secret to a fun time, and it'll keep TwitterPonies drama-free for all:

The choice is yours. None of these are rules.

That's how TwitterPonies works.

Got questions? Follow and DM the @mlp_Mod account. The Mod follows every character account, and will always respond to any DM as soon as possible.

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