May 2nd, 2002
If you're an old hand at the ROC, you probably took one look at the title and thought I was insane. Newbies? Needed? Those people that couldn't spell if their internet connection depended on it? They of the terrible grammar, the powermoding, the autoing? Why in all of Dark Forest do we need newbies?
Well, for one thing, if there weren't newbies, then the ROC would steadily shrink until there were only a few stubborn people left on it. For another, newbies don't always stay newbies. Most of them eventually learn the ropes and become valuable additions to the Redwall Online Community. Besides, admit it- you were a newbie once.
I was certainly a newbie at one time, though it horrifies me to remember it. I look back on my early days in the ROC, at the terrible stories I wrote and the equally poor way that I roleplayed. I had my moments of powermoding, my times of imperfect grammar, although it was better than that of most my age and my spelling was decent. I'll at least give my sixth-grader self that much credit. But, I learned quickly enoughÉ and enjoy roleplaying much more because of it.
What, precisely, is a newbie? Technically, a newbie is anyone who's new to something, in this case the ROC. But, how long do they stay newbies? Weeks? Months? Years? And why does the word carry such a negative connotation?
Personally, I think of a newbie as anyone who absolutely cannot write and cannot roleplay. They tend to be immature, with terrible grammar and equally poor spelling. These are the people that roleplay the "big badgur with a huge sword named Sunflash" and "Martin the warior who kills evry vermin with one slice." They godmode, they powermode, they twink and are guilty of breaking just about every other courtesy and rule of roleplaying. These are the types most think of when they hear the word "newbie," and are not necessarily new to the ROC at all.
From this point on, the title "Newbies Needed!" becomes "Newbies Need to Learn!" Newbies are heretofore defined as those people who cannot write nor roleplay, those who get on everybeast's nerves. The term used in this article does not refer to newcomers to the ROC as a whole, because newbies as defined previously can fit people who have been in the ROC for quite a while, and newcomers can be excellent roleplayers whom everyone automatically respects for their roleplaying or writing abilities.
I've been in the same RPG (though not a Redwall RPG) as a certain newbie for four years. He is the most irritatingly dense person I have ever met, online or off. We (my fellow RPers and I) have tried everything to get through to him. We have tried tolerating his terrible grammar and spelling. We have tried ignoring his habit of butting in on other peoples' private threads. We have tried overriding his actions when he powermodes or godmodes. We have tried outright confrontation, explaining what he's doing wrong and why he should fix it.
Nothing works. And the worst part is that he claims to be twenty years old.
What do you do with people like that? How do you get them to stop? How do you teach them to roleplay in a way that won't drive everyone around them insane? How do you get them to stop acting in a manner that makes everybeast wish with all their hearts to kill them, but they can't because the newbie is godmoding?
You can do absolutely nothing.
However, if you're one of those people who is constantly referred to as a newbie, and not in a way that means simply newcomer, then I hope you're reading. If you are tired of people snapping at you because of your poor roleplaying skills and tired of being a newbie, then perhaps I can help. Perhaps.
Here are my suggestions to go from being a newbie to, at least, someone who is not driving everyone else crazy with their roleplaying...
1. Use spell-check. Eventually you might learn to spell correctly and not have to use spell-check in roleplaying posts, but until then, please use spell-check. For all our nerves.This was by no means meant to be an exhaustive tutorial on how to roleplay. For that, check out the following links:
* Fort Ruddler's Code of Morals: http://xepher.net/~fortruddler/tutorial/tutorialframes.html
* Starfire's Redwall Abbey's Character Development Studios: http://www.geocities.com/starfiresredwall/studioA/