Roleplay 101

  • Welcome back, Iwaku! While we are still working on the site to get it back into shape, we've come back online so you can get back to doing what you love. Check out this announcement for more details.

What is roleplaying?
Roleplaying is Iwaku's main purpose. It is to assume and play out the role, actions, and personality of a character in a fictional setting with one or two more other players through collaborative writing. A roleplayer steps into the shoes of a character and experiences what they experience in a fandom or original setting. A roleplay can be private, with only two players, or group, with at least three players. We aim to create an inspiring and friendly environment for roleplayers of all levels of skill and diverse fields of interests!

On Iwaku, we also allow for sexual content and themes to be included in our roleplays. Roleplays focused on sex scenes are termed Redstar or Bluestar roleplaying in their appropriate age-locked forums. We are very free with what type of content you may include in your roleplays. However, note that there are things we do not allow despite the generous creative freedoms we like to promote. So feel free to write those sexy scenes with a partner of the appropriate age group, but know where to draw the line! We don't want you to get in trouble. The Terms of Service page will help you gain a better understanding of what is okay and not okay here.


The Roleplay Resume
What is this roleplay resume, you ask? The Roleplay Resume is an optional but recommended feature that members may use to display their roleplay interests and preferences. You may add in what are your preferred posting levels, your posting frequency, and other things to help make things more convenient for both you and people who are looking to roleplay with others! It also can help you let others know what genres and kinds of content you enjoy exploring and writing, letting you find others with similar interests.

The Roleplay Resume has various fields that you may fill out or select options from, and can be accessed in the Personal Details section of your account settings. Give it a go; it wouldn't hurt to try, and you will likely find it to be a helpful list that keeps track of what you're seeking currently.

For Redstar/Bluestar roleplayers, you may also fill out Star preferences for your resume.

Joining a Roleplay on Iwaku
Interested in a game with at least three players, or prefer a private roleplay of just two? Iwaku can accommodate you with both through the group roleplay advertising, sign ups, and interest checks. Be sure to read the INFO sticky thread to learn about thread prefixes, rules of the section, and more.

For group roleplays, just take a look at the Group RP Signups and see what you can join! You will know by checking the prefix when a game is accepting new players or whether they are closed, or what requirements they have in order to join.

Not finding what you need? Try the Group Brainstorming & RP Search forum. This is where you can put up what you're looking for in a group roleplay, and people looking for people to join their games will invite you. Interest Checks are threads where people have announced their game or roleplay ideas and check for interest, as well as plan out these roleplays.

For private and one on one roleplay, the Partner Connections threads are full of roleplayers looking to play with people who share their interests. You may also put up your own search threads with your preferences and interests!

First Response is a special one on one prefix indicating that the thread creator will take the first person to respond as their one on one partner.

So now that you know where to look for roleplays, how do you sign up to join?

  • Most group roleplays require a character sheet or bio. If you don't have it finished yet, but you are interested in joining, just let the Game Master know and post your sheet when you're done!
  • Partner searches let people simply respond to the poster's request, but some prefer to be approached through the thread itself or through private messaging.
  • Remember to read the roleplay's rules before joining! It is considered polite and respectful to understand what the Game Master is asking of you before you sign up.


Creating a Roleplay of Your Own
When you have an idea that you want to see realized, often the easiest way to achieve your vision is to create a roleplay of your own. Before you do that, there are a few considerations to have in mind.

  • Do I want help developing my idea first?
  • Do you want to create a group roleplay or a one on one?
  • Do you want to create a jumpin roleplay, a typical one with character sheets, or only allow players that you invite to join?
  • Will this roleplay have sexual content?

These questions will help you choose the correct location on the forums to begin your roleplay and better connect your idea with those who are looking to join a roleplay like it.

If the answer to the first question is yes, head on over to Roleplay Help to get feedback and assistance. If you want to play a one on one idea, the section to seek a partner is here versus the area for group roleplays here.

If you intend for your roleplay to be sexually explicit, both the one on one and the group sections have special areas (Redstar for 18 or over and Bluestar for 17 or under) to place your roleplay.

When you create your roleplay, be sure to use the appropriate prefix (like Open Signups or By Invitation Only) and applicable tags to help others find and join!

Advertising a Roleplay
After you have created your roleplay, you might be nervously awaiting others to join it. To increase your chances of getting responses, you might want to Advertise your roleplay!

For banner ads, selecting the right package for your roleplay banner is important. If you're an adult member posting an ad for a roleplay in the Red Star section, choose the Red Star package. The same goes for underage Blue Star members and Blue Star banner packages! Either group posting a normal group roleplay or one on one request can go in the roleplay banners.

For one on one requests, it's usually best to only post a banner if you're looking for more than one partner, since it will probably not last long otherwise!

Helpful Tips to Start!

  • Fill out your roleplay resume, especially when you want to make a one on one request. This helps potential partners get a better feel for you as a writer and help them decide to start a roleplay with you.
  • Use your best spelling and grammar: this not only makes it easier for others to understand you but also gives a good impression of your work.
  • Read before you post! Check and make sure you're posting in the correct area, that you aren't asking a question that has already been answered (maybe even more than once), and that you haven't missed anything important (like another player responding to your character or a request from the GM).
  • Check out the Content sections like Refining Writing and Roleplay Skillbuilding for useful guides on creating roleplays, participating in them, and more!