How To Create A Good Application
This is a guide for roleplay admins in how to make the application formant, not for how roleplayers to fill it out. Making a barely existing application is a very common mistake when creating a roleplay, same as not knowing what to ask from the applicants. Either way, this guide is for you.
The Out Of Character Section (OOC)
This is the simplest part. You should ask for
- Preferred pronoum
- Activity level — a description, not a number. An 8 out of 10 can vary from person to person.
- Age — not usually necessary, but it’s important if you’re setting up a mature roleplay, or want an age limit.
- Past Experience — although it’s easiest to roleplay with people who have done it before, this shouldn’t be relevant to accepting someone or not, only to know if they know their way around or if you have to help them out figure out how tumblr roleplay works. Everyone has to start somewhere, and the least you can do is try to provide them a good start.
The In Character Section (IC)
This part varies from what kind of roleplay you have — either it be an oc roleplay, bio roleplay or both. In either case, both have some things in common. In fact, the only thing that shouldn’t be on a bio app, that is on an OC app, is the parts stated in the bio.
So first things first: The character in question.
- Desired Character
- Why this character — I think this is an important question to ask, it makes the roleplayer show how they relate to the character, if they just like the faceclaim, and explain what can the character bring to the roleplay.
(After that, in an OC app you should add:
- Whatever factor that is pertinent to your kind of roleplay (be it school year, species, clique, ect).
Then comes the personality of the character. Even if it’s described in a bio, this should be asked for both kind of apps — you want to know how the roleplayer defines the character, and why. There are several ways to ask this, and you can do a lot of one kind, or a little bit of each:
- Personality traits and their description — have the roleplayer elaborate why is their character creative, or observant, or naive. Why are they like that? They should be able to tell, and to make you understand it.
- Headcanons — this works better with fandom roleplays, but it can in original rps too, for bio rps. After knowing the character, what habits and quirks do the roleplayers want to give them? Maybe the character can’t help but to run their fingers through their hair when they’re nervous, or one time when they were five, they did something really stupid that they still remember as their most embarrassing moment. Anything counts, as long as it’s not too off the character provided.
- Questions — if you want to know the voice they’re planning on giving a character, there’s no better way than to make the roleplayers answer things In Character. Ask about their favorite memory, where to they see themselves in 10 years, their hopes and dreams and fears, and something relevant to the plot of the roleplay.
And then comes the paragraph writing. And in that section, there should be two or 3 things, depending on the kind of app you have:
- Family background — the characters don’t just pop up in the world of the roleplay, they had parents and grandparents and maybe siblings or cousins, or none of the above, and their childhood and home life, the character’s relation to their family is important to define who they are as a person.
- Bio — this should only be needed for OC apps, but I don’t advise you to use them on the actual character bio, because if you do, every bio will have a different length, and a different writing, and you should keep things consistent. Use it to see how the roleplayer thinks the character is like, and to base it on your making of the posted bio.
- Para Sample — I cannot stress enough how important it is to know how the roleplayer will portrait the character. You need to see how they write the character they’re applying for, not an excerpt from a fanfiction they wrote some months ago and pasted to the app. You, as admin who may be accepting an application, need it to have the para written in character so you know how they write that character, any other character is irrelevant. Make it at least 300 words or 3 paragraphs long, minimum, otherwise it will be just too short.
And that’s it! Here’s some final notes you should keep in mind:
- Apps are not only how you evaluate a roleplayer and their portrait of a character, but also a way to make the rper work on the character. Most times, a character is defined simply by what is written on the application, and forcing them to develop them will only lead to a more developed character.
- Always make a section for Questions/Changes — give them room to ask for changes, or to question things about the settings.
- Asking for a second choice is useless — when you see an app, you see how the roleplayer writes that character, not any other. If you liked the app but still declined it, for whatever reason, invite them to apply again, don’t just give out another character without knowing how they’ll write them.
- You don’t have to limit yourself to those examples — you can add anything that you think it’s relevant to the app, and shouldn’t limit yourself on what others think.
- Too little questions are bad, but so are too many — many roleplays don’t ask enough because it means more apps, but it also means less control of quality. On the same note, too many questions will scare the potential roleplayers. Keep the way you ask them simple, and it’s easy to make them think they’re answering to less things than they actually are (List and explain 3 personality traits is one question, but it requires 3 answers.)
- The best apps are the ones that make the roleplayer develop the character further than you wrote them. There’s nothing better than to see an app where the roleplayer takes the character given and puts them in a whole new level that you hadn’t seen while writing them, but that makes perfect sense. You know you did a good job with an app form when you ask questions that allow this to happen — just asking for desired ships and a para sample won’t do it at all.
- If you have too many questions and need to cut some out, cut out ships and sexuality questions. More often than not ships will be made based on chemistry and not what the applicants read of someone else’s bio. And unless it’s plot relevant, why do you need to ask about their sexuality at all?