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Twe-Guide to TBRP

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Twe-Guide to TBRP

Dedicated to My Lunch & My Childe

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Twe-Guide to TBRP

Table of Contents
Welcome!...................................................................................................................................................4 Getting Started...........................................................................................................................................5 Naming of Names......................................................................................................................................6 Faces (Playbys)..........................................................................................................................................7 Canon vs. Original Characters...................................................................................................................8 Vampires.....................................................................................................................................................9 Weres and Shape-shifters.........................................................................................................................10 Faeries......................................................................................................................................................11 Witches.....................................................................................................................................................12 Humans....................................................................................................................................................13 Congratulations!.......................................................................................................................................14 Tweet-dropping........................................................................................................................................14 Storylines.................................................................................................................................................15 Twitter: One-liner Hell or Short Attention Span Heaven?..................................................................15 Twitterspeed and Twitter Time............................................................................................................16 The Role Players: Independents, Families & Partners.............................................................................17 Independent Players...........................................................................................................................17 Families and Groups............................................................................................................................17 RP Partners..........................................................................................................................................18 Do's and Don'ts........................................................................................................................................19 Do:.......................................................................................................................................................19 Don'ts...................................................................................................................................................19 Safety.......................................................................................................................................................20 Final Thoughts.........................................................................................................................................20

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Twe-Guide to TBRP

Welcome!
Congratulations! You've just take the first step into the amazing universe that is TBRP, or True Blood Role Play, on Twitter. If you are new to role play on Twitter in general or to TBRP in particular you've come to the right place. This guide is intended to help you get started in the dynamic and creative world that is TBRP swiftly and smoothly without having to worry about making any missteps that often plague newcomers. TBRP is a rich and creative collection of characters, groups and story lines enacted via Twitter, the international microblogging provider. Those involved are fans of the original HBO series True Blood or the Sookie Stackhouse/Southern Vampire Mystery series of novels by Charlaine Harris. Before we go any further, we should make it clear that neither the author, editor or publisher of this Twe-Guide nor any other role player or role playing group is in any way endorsed by or affiliated with HBO, Turner Broadcasting, Charlaine Harris, Berley Publishing, True Blood, or Twitter. True Blood is a trademark of HBO. Twitter is a real-time information network and trademark of Twitter, Inc. The views and opinions expressed in this Twe-Guide are our own. The do not reflect those of any other person or organization, named or unnamed, except for ourselves and those to whom quotations are directly attributed. This Twe-Guide (a really short e-book) is intended to introduce newcomers and fans to the TBRP-verse and help them begin interacting with the many creative individuals found there. It is also intended to help established role players extend their RP beyond Twitter. The important thing to remember as you read this Twe-Guide and get to know TBRPers online is that we all started out right where you are now. So relax and get ready to have some fun! If you are looking for us on Twitter, you can find us at: @TB_PamR, @MenaGrazie, @Pret_News and @InformedIdeas as well as others.

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Twe-Guide to TBRP

Getting Started
The TBRP-verse can be a daunting place when you first stumble upon it. In actuality, however, it isn't that different from any other part of the Twitter-verse and the basic requirements are the same. 1. A valid e-mail address that is not attached to any other Twitter account. 2. A unique Twitter username. 3. An image that will represent you/your character online. That's all you really need to get started. As you become more comfortable and get more involved with TBRP or really any role play on Twitter (and once you get started in one role play fandom others with begin coming to light) you may find other tools will come in handy but for now, let's keep things simple. Most role players have a Twitter persona (or several) dedicated to RP. It usually, but not always belongs to their role play character. Whether you start with a “personal” account for the real person, an original character or even a canon or stock character (one modeled after the characters in the books or TV series) depend on how familiar you are with role play, twitter and the TBRP community. Generally speaking, if this is your first foray into TBRP or onto Twitter, you may want to create an OC that is similar but nt identical to you. This let's you interact with the community of RPers on the same level and also doesn't expose the real you to potential embarrassment or harassment. Later, when you've gotten comfortable and determined the kind of character you want to play and with whom you can change the account or just delete it. If you decide to create a Twitter account for a RP character we suggest you create a free email account with the same name. Not only does this allow you to keep your real and RP lives separate, it also allows you to interact with others as your character away from Twitter. If you join a role playing group or family there may be times when you need an email address to access a web site or chat room. There may also be times when someone, either a fellow RPer or a fan will want to email you something and having an email account in the name of your character will help you maintain the illusion. A character email is also an easy way to organize things and consolidate all the accounts (Facebook, YouTube, Vimeo, Deviant Art, MySpace, LiveJournal, WordPress, Tumblr, Formspring, Polyvore, Ping, Posterous, Pinterest, Flickr, Instagram, and just abut any other type of site or platform on which your character might wish to interact) related to that specific character. You may even want to subscribe to email newsletter and other websites related to your preferred fandom using your characters email. Just remember, your character is fictional, so if you are entering a contest or accessing a site which needs your true identity, you can still use your character's email address you'll just have to use your own name.

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Twe-Guide to TBRP

Naming of Names
There is an art to picking role play names, especially for Twitter. Your name is what you will be known by, so you want to pick one that you like and associate with. You also want to pick one your, your RP family and your fans can easily recognize and remember. The challenge, of course, is that many of the most popular and obvious usernames for canon and stock TB characters are probably already taken even if they are not actively being used. Start with a username. Something short you can hear/see other people using in conversation. Usernames can be up to 15 characters long. Bear in mind, however, that tweets are limited to 140 characters, so the longer your name, the less people will be able to say to you. Also your username is not your name. You can have a brief username, like TB_PamR, and a longer name like Pam Ravenscroft. Usernames are unique to an individual, however many accounts can have the same way just as many people can. Usernames are not restricted to just alphanumeric characters. Virtually any character on your keyboard can be used in a username although a few such as @ and # should be avoided because they have very specific meanings and uses on Twitter. The @ precedes user names when they are being mentioned in a tweet. The # or hashtag is used to mark keywords or indicate topics in a tweet. Slashes and punctuation should also be avoid because your username is also part for the URL for your Twitter page. In addition, usernames cannot contain “admin” and “twitter” to avoid confusion. Some role play characters have a veritable alphabet soup following their name. This usually identifies them as members of a particular family or group. In some cases the seemingly random letters may simply indicate the fandom they are part of or the community they live in. For instance TB indicates True Blood, SVM represents Southern Vampire Mysteries and BT mean Bon Temps. If you are a newcomer to TBRP chances are you are not affiliated with a group or family nor do you even know what groups exist. Given the speed with which families come and go, you may not even know which ones are still active even if you are familiar with TBRP. There is nothing wrong with not being affiliated with a group when you start or at any point. Some characters never join groups. A few characters seem to be members of every group on Twitter and then some. The good news is the alphabet soup can be added or subtracted from your username at any point. Think of your username as your Twitter signature. Like any signature it should say something about you or your character. At the same time, do get too clever or creative. You may think no one will ever try saying your username outloud, but you might be surprised how common that situation is. Many truebies participate in podcasts and online radio or video productions. If your username is something like _vampyre-Vyking_ it may look good but you're going to have to say “underscore vampyre hyphen Viking with a y underscore” every time someone asks you your name or gives your name so that people can find you on Twitter. Try it a few times and you'll discover just how tiring such a username can be. As with most things in the Twitter-verse the KISS rule (Keep It Simple Stupid) definitely applies to the picking of usernames. 6

Twe-Guide to TBRP

Faces (Playbys)
Your image is a vital part of your character. Choose it well and, if possible, customize it so that people know who it belongs to. As your circle of friends and followers grows, you will discover that many characters share the same face or playby. This is especially true for canon or stock characters, but even original characters can have doppelgangers. It goes without saying that most role players are not the actors, actresses, singers, animated characters, comic book characters, game avatars, historical figures or other beings shown in their profile picture. Most RPers indicate that they are not affiliated with the real person whose image they have appropriated. Even if they don't spell out that they are not that real person, the “RP” included in their profile/bio should tip you off. Twitter also makes it easy to identify the real celebrities by verifying their accounts. The moral of the story: don't believe anyone is their photo unless it's verified. Canon characters, those based on the characters in the HBO original series True Blood often use images of the actors who plays the part of their character. Many of the role players whose characters are based on the characters in the Sookie Stackhouse novels that also appear in True Blood, use the same actors as well. Original characters and characters in the novels that have not appeared (or appeared yet) in the television series have more options when it comes to choosing their playby. And of course, there is no reason why you can't choose another face for your character if the actor or actress portraying them on film, television or in a graphic novel doesn't fit your image of that character. Just be prepared for the backlash of negative comments that is always associated with remakes or cast changes during any production. When choosing a playby that is not already associated with your character, you will want to choose one that is neither too obscure nor too popular. If your face is too obscure, you'll have difficulty finding new images to use. If the likeness you choose is too popular, you run the risk of being mistaken for someone else or of having them mistaken for you. Also, although all that actors involved with True Blood are alive at the time of this writing, if you choose a face belonging to someone who is finally dead, there will be very few if any new images of them making even if they were popular during their life. Avoid using real people who are not public figures. That includes using images of yourself. One tip for choosing a face that is neither too popular nor too obscure is to look outside Hollywood. Models, athletes and musicians can all be great for playbys. Actors and actresses from outside the U.S. are also wonderful playby candidates. Don't just pick any face you find online however. You need to know the name they are working under so you can find more images of them. If you have a particular face in mind when creating your character, that's great. If you don't and don't really have any idea what they might look like the search for a playby can be a big help in developing the character. Consider searching for characters with similar characteristics for inspiration. 7

Twe-Guide to TBRP

Canon vs. Original Characters
Two types of characters inhabit the TBRP-verse: canon characters and original characters. Canon characters are those based on the characters created by Charlaine Harris and appearing either in the Sookie Stackhouse series of novels, the HBO original series True Blood or both (i.e Eric, Sookies, Bill, Pam, Jason, Tara, Hoyt, Sam, Luna, Jessica, Nan. Alcide, etc.). Original characters are just what the name implies, characters created by the role player that wuold not otherwise exist. Both share the TBRP-verse and operate under the basic rules of that reality. The advantages of being a canon character include: being easily recognizable, having an established face with plenty of images to choose from and having a well-known backstory and and personality. It is important for role players performing canon characters to remember that they are the product of someone else's work and creativity. It is wise, if not absolutely necessary, to include a disclaimer in your character bio stating that you aren't affiliated with HBO, Charlaine Harris or the actor whose face you are using just for your own legal protection. Many characters, both canon and original, simply put “RP account” on their bio and assume this alerts people to the fact that they are not the real person. Unfortunately, this doesn't always work and you will be mistaken for the real thing. When this happens, simply explain that you are a role player and not affiliated with HBO, Harris or the actor in any way. You should also remember that you cannot profit from someone else's intellectual property. The advantage of playing an original character is that they are your creation. They just happen to share the TBRP-verse with the canon characters. While this gives them a little more legal protection, original characters still use playbys that aren't their own and are occupying pace in a world someone else created. For this reason, they too should put a disclaimer in their bio or, at the very least, state that they are an RP character. Original characters face greater challenges than canon characters when it comes to establishing their character. Not everyone will know their backstory or take the time to read it even if it is available. It can take longer to build up a following, although many original characters can and do become very popular. It just takes time. Whether or not original characters have more freedom and flexibility is an interesting question. Many, but not all, canon characters try to stay true to the spirit of the character as it was presented in the books or in the show. This doesn't mean there aren't some sweeping variations and deviations. This can cause confusion and even disappointment. It can also be highly popular, it all depends on your character and your followers. Original characters don't face the same dilemma. As long as they are true and consistent to themselves they can do whatever they want, however they want. There only constraints are those placed on their character by virtue of his or her species as they exist within the TBRP-verse which are coming next.

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Twe-Guide to TBRP

Vampires
Everyone wants to be a vampire. At least, that's the way it can seem in the TBRP-verse. Who can blame them with examples like Eric and Pam? Vampires in the TBRP-verse are: • • • • • • Known to exist by the general public Drink human or synthetic blood to survive. They do NOT eat food. Are very fast (vampspeed) and very strong. Have retractable fangs. Cannot father children or become pregnant. Find faery blood intoxicating and irresistible. Once a vampire bites a faery it is very difficult for them to stop feeding before the faery is completely drained (and therefore dead). Do not age or change. Heal very quickly and their blood helps humans heal faster, sometimes even bringing them back from the point of death. Are dead during daylight hours. If they are forced to be awake during the day they will suffer from a condition known as “the bleeds” in which blood seeps unending from their nose, mouth and eyes. Recently Turned vampires are unlikely to be able to stay awake during the day. Sunlight and silver burn them but they will heal. Staking (with a wooden stake), shooting them with a wooden bullet or decapitating them kills them. Can only be Turned (created) by another vampire.

The process of making another vampire is not complicated, however it does require more than being bitten. In fact, a human or supe could be bitten any number of times and not be Turned. To become a vampire, an individual must be drained of blood to the point of death. The vampire must then share their blood with the individual they intend to Turn. Both are then buried for three days in the earth. On the third night, both rise as vampires. Makers (the vampire who turns another individual into a vampire) can command their Progeny and the Progeny must obey them. The two share something like a psychic bond by which the Maker can call the Childe to them and they can also sense to some degree what is happening to their Progeny, This may go both ways. Makers can break the bond by releasing their Progeny. 9

Twe-Guide to TBRP

Weres and Shape-shifters
There are many types of shape-shifters in the TBRP-verse. Only werewolves, however, are called Weres. They are also the largest and most organized species of shifter. In general shifters and were in the TBRP-verse are: • • Can only shift into a single animal, with very rare exceptions (“true shifters” like Sam). Cannot shift into people, again with very rare exceptions (“skin walkers” like True Blood's Luna). Are not generally known to exist until Dead Reckoning (book 11 of the novel series) and are not (yet) public knowledge in True Blood. Only the first born living child of two full blooded shifters/Weres will become a shifter or Were. Humans bitten repeatedly by a Were or shifter may become a hybrid Were or shifter (part human and part animal) during the full moon. All shifters and Weres must shift during the full moon. Some shifters and Weres may shift at will when the moon is not full. Usually those who can are very strong shifters or Alphas. Strong emotions, especially in groups of shifters, can cause the shift to occur, especially in the young and weak. The first shift for any species generally occurs around puberty. For the most part, vampires and shifters or Weres tolerate each other though they don't really like each other. For instance a vampire would never Turn a Were or a shifter. Weres organize themselves into Packs, with a Packleader and a variety of rituals. Not all Weres, however, join or run with Packs. Packmembers can also be ostracized and exiled from the Pack for breaking certain rules or laws. Most shifters (other than Weres) do not run with Packs or associate much with the Weres. A few communities, such as Hot Shot, where most, if not all, the residents are a particular flavor of shifter exist although they are increasingly rare.

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Twe-Guide to TBRP

Faeries
Faeries are a secretive race that generally live apart from humans and other supes in their own reality which is called, appropriately, Faerie. Some faeries may live in the human world for a time but they are uncommon. At some point in human history, they may have spent more time among and may even have outnumbered, humans, but that time is long passed. By their very nature, faeries are pure magic. The type of magic as well as the individual affinities with the elements or natural phenomena varies from individual to individual. There are Sky Fae, Water Fae, and many other types of fae. Yet all are distinctly fae. The characteristics of TBRP faeries are: • • • • • • • The appearance of great beauty. Attractive and intoxicating to all vampires. Able to “poof” or “pop” anywhere almost instantly. Are fierce warriors. Iron in any form kills them. So does lemon. Mate and have children very rarely, and therefore mostly with each other. Some fae have mated with humans. Any children produced by such relationships as well as subsequent generations may possess unusual powers, such as telepathy, or characteristics, such as being highly attractive to the opposite sex. Over time faeries may become angels or demons but this takes several centuries of consistent effort. Crave being around other faeries. Have pointed ears unless they have had them surgically altered or are hiding them by using magic. Are extremely long lived although they do age and, eventually die. Do not have to cast spells in order to do magic, they just do it. 11

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Twe-Guide to TBRP

Witches
TBRP witches are not just girls dressed up in black many people associate with the label. In fact, they bear very little resemblance to those girls at all and seem content to allow the New Age fluff bunnies without much magic to be the public face of witches. Some of the vampires, at least, know better. It is difficult to say whether mediums, shamans, healers and others with similar talents are witches or faeries. The distinction may lie with their genetic makeup or just with how they use their magic. Communications with ghosts, be it seeing them, talking to them or being possessed by them seems to be a distinctly witch characteristic although other psychic talents may stem from fae ancestry. In addition, it is possible that some supernatural creatures such as maenads may have begun as witches but were transformed into supes by the strength of their beliefs. True TBRP witches: • Perform ritual magic which uses their energy as well as the energy of others participating in the ritual. Their magic,whether a spell or a curse, can affect anyone or anything. Te strength of the effect depends largely on the focus and will of the witch performing the magic. Rituals are frequently called a Circle because Magic is often done with the members of the group standing or sitting in a circular formation. Circle may also refer to a group or coven of witches. Rituals take time to prepare and conduct although some spells and curses can be “stored” for later use in an object or person. Such storage only lasted for a limited time. Witchcraft is both learned and genetic. Some individuals, particularly those with mediumistic or channeling abilities, may be born with the potential for those gifts and be pre-disposed to becoming witches. All witches, however must learn the rituals and practices of their particular type of witchcraft as well as learning to tap into and use their gifts. Many, but not all, witches engage in some sort of divination such as reading cards, runes or palms. A select few may be able to communicate with ghosts or the dead. Wiccans may or may not be witches. Wiccans practice a nature-based goddess religion and are therefore generally considered “good witches”.

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Twe-Guide to TBRP

Humans
Believe it or not, the vast majority of the population of the TBRP-verse should be human. Looking at TBRP on Twitter it would be difficult to prove this. Everyone seems to be some kind of supe. Very few role play characters are truly human. At best they are humans with extras. This is unfortunate because, while being human might sound boring, human characters have a great deal to offer including: • Humans represent the majority of the population and, perhaps more importantly, the government and organized religion. Humans can be out in the sunlight, use iron, drink lemonade and sleep through full moons as well as doing many other things supes cannot. It's easy to think of humans as prey. The truth is they pose a far greater threat to supes than supes pose to themselves. Can eat, drink, tan, have children and all the other things real humans do. Depending on their heritage, some may have extra powers or abilities, this however, is rare. After coffin night, the general human popular knows that vampires exist. Only a small number of humans know that supes of any other kind exist, even sometimes if they have relatives who are shifters or Weres. Humans are the preferred food source for vampires although the development, manufacture and wide-spread distribution of synthetic blood means vampires do not have to rely solely upon living humans for sustenance. Humans who feed vampires voluntarily are called donors. Those who frequent vampire establishment and who have fed multiple vampires are often referred to as “fangbangers”. Such humans may or may not aspire to a sexual or romantic relationship with a vampire. They use vampire blood, also called V, like an illicit drug. As with any drug, humans can and do become addicted to V. They also deal in it. Those providing the V to the dealers are often called “drainers” because of their habit of leaving the vampire from whom they obtained the blood so depleted and weak that the vampire requires years, even decades, to recover, if they recover at all. The Fellowship of the Sun is a quasi-religious organization that promotes a human-centric, some say human only, political agenda. 13

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Twe-Guide to TBRP

Congratulations!
You are now a TBRP role player! Welcome to the club! Of course, creating an RP character is only the first step in joining the TBRP-verse. Now that you have a character, or at least a Twitter account you don't mind talking to fictional characters on, what do you do? What attracts most role players to TBRP is the social interaction. Let's face it, if we didn't want to actively interact with others, we'd be writing our own books or screenplays or playing solo video games or something else like that. Instead, we're on Twitter, talking to people, performing our SLs and having fun. The best thing any newcomer to TBRP can go is spend sometime just lurking and watching the interactions going on within the various facets of the TBRP-verse. Meeting people online can be just as scary as meeting them in real life. Sometimes it can be even scarier because you don't have the clues from the other person's body language to rely on. Here's a secret: if you don't talk/tweet to someone (mentioning them by @username in a tweet), they probably aren't going to know you are there. Take advantage of that to learn a little bit about the characters you think you might want to interact with. It's useful before jumping into conversations.

Tweet-dropping
Tweet-dropping in the practice of “listening” to a conversation and adding your own comments. Some people conduct entire conversations this way. It's a double-edged sword, however, especially for newbies. For many, tweet-dropping is a means of introducing themselves to established players and characters. It can also be a great way to annoy people to the point they don't want to RP with you. To avoid the latter outcome, you need to be smart about how, when and who you are tweet-droppiing. First, and most importantly, understand that the person you are talking to may be involved in a storyline and thus not able to respond immediately. Very few RPers will respond to outside comments while in an SL though many will follow-up later. In addition, some popular characters have thousands of followers. If they aren't following you or know you, it may take some time for your comment to appear in their mentions and when it does, they may not notice it. This isn't because you aren't important, it's just because of the sheer volume of mentions they receive. The bottom line is this: DO NOT EXPECT A RESPONSE. If you do get a response great! Keep in mind, however, a response is NOT an invitation to jump into a storyline or group. It may, just may, be the beginning of something. Don't assume you are immediately BFFs. You aren't.

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Storylines
At it's core, role playing is collaborative storytelling. It may look like idle conversation and chit chat, and, admittedly sometimes it is, but there are also real stories being told or performed (depending on your point of view). These stories or performances are generally referred to as storylines or Sls. They may involves a single character or a number of characters depending on the complexity, length and action of the story being told. Most storylines are, to some extent, pre-planned. This may be as simple as a DM (direct message) stating “Gem is being cursed, can yo some save her?” or as complex as an actual script consisting of several pages. The vast majority lie somewhere in between. Usually the characters involved will have a general idea of who is participating and what the general plot or goal of the SL is. How to get from point A, where the SL begins to point Z or whatever point it is supposed to end up at, is up to the characters involved. Unless the RPers are working from a pre-written script, no one may know exactly how they are going to get to the end point. They just know that is where they have to get and their characters actions and conversations will be intended to move themselves and those they are playing with further in that direction. Be aware, however, that this doesn't always work. That's the fun part of TBRP on twitter. What you do has an immediate effect on those you are role playing with and it may or may not be the effect you intend. Storylines can last anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours to several days, weeks or even months. Longer Sls will often, but not always, be augmented by blogs or forum posts outside Twitter. The most popular platforms for this additional SL material are Tumblr, LiveJournal, WordPress, Blogger, Posterous and Facebook. In addition many groups and role playing families have web sites which include RP forums for their members. There are several general forums dedicated to role play as well.

Twitter: One-liner Hell or Short Attention Span Heaven?
If you are coming to TBRP from one of those other spaces, or conversely attempting to expand your TBRP from Twitter into the longer forms, be prepared for some culture shock. Things that are acceptable on Twitter, such as the active promotion of characters and groups (sometimes called “pimping”) is not tolerated elsewhere. Then there's the length issue. If you're used to having unlimited space for your RP interactions cutting it down to just 140 characters is rough (fortunately services like Twitlonger can help those struggling with conciseness, though the extensive use of it can annoy those who don't rely on it or are tweeting from mobile devices). Whether you enjoy role playing on Twitter or elsewhere depends largely on the people you surround yourself with and the quality of the RP. Both types of RP have their advantages. It's very difficult, but not impossible, to engage in extended complex storylines on Twitter. The more people who become involved the harder it becomes. On the other hand, Twitter provides virtually immediate feedback and conversations can occur in “real time” and as real exchanges between the characters 15

Twe-Guide to TBRP involved. Twitter is also a more open space. Anyone can read a storyline, either by following all the characters involved or because the characters involved tack the @usernames of those involved onto the end of their tweets rather than the beginning. Which form or platform you like is a personal preference. Being part of a story line is the reason most of us role play. The reason many of us RP on Twitter is because we aren't trying to write fanfic, at least, not in the traditional sense. We're after immediate feedback and lots of interaction. Very few TBRPers on Twitter are looking to write a book of our character's adventures. That's not to say it hasn't been done. A couple of OC (original characters) have published their stories which don't involve any canon characters. For the most part, however, we are content to play out our SLs and let them pass into the ether of Twitter never to be seen again. It can be tough to find your first SL. Other TBRP players need to get to know you and your character before they invite you to participate in an extended SL. Be patient and don't try to force your way into an SL that is already underway. If you are going to tweet-drop on an existing SL, do so in character (IC) and try not to disrupt the flow of the SL. For instance if a character is crying you might offer them a handkerchief or a pat on the back. Keep in mind, that not everyone will acknowledge such gestures, particularly if they are in a private place, like their bedroom.

Twitterspeed and Twitter Time
Time and distance behave differently on Twitter. They can even behave in a contradictory manner simultaneously. Twitterspeed usually, but not always, refers to how fast characters can get from one place to another. This can be something with is specified on not. Either way, you can bet it's not going to take 5 to 5.5 actual hours to get from Shreveport or New Orleans on Twitter. It may or may not take 22 minutes to an hour to get from Bon Temps to Shreveport depending on what the characters are doing as they are traveling. Note: these time estimates are human driving times NOT vampspeed which is another thing entirely. On Twitter vast distances can be covered in very short periods of time. Time is even harder to pin down on Twitter than speed and distance. Very few characters will actually wait three full days when Turning another character into a vampire. Some children are conceived, born and grow up at an alarming rate. Others never age at all. Although most RP characters stay the same basic age, some are immortal or at least very long lived. One actually bounces back and forth between being an elderly matriarch and a young woman in the prime of life. It's not just age that is affected either. Just as distances are shorted, so too is time. Something that might take an hour in real life is done in a second on Twitter. While we're on the subject of time, we should mention that most TBRP is assumed to take place on Shreveport Time or US Central Time. Having said that role players are drawn to TBRP from all over the world and because of time zones suck, you will often see vampires awake during the day and other oddities. Sometimes the vampires will be “coffin-tweeting” but for the most part they are just “awake” and confined to whatever light-tight surroundings they are in. 16

Twe-Guide to TBRP

The Role Players: Independents, Families & Partners
When you first enter the world of TBRP things can seem pretty confusing, especially as you try to sort out which characters play together and which don't. Aside from the canon and original question, role players on Twitter can be organized into two categories: independents and families or groups. Many role players, regardless of whether they are canon, original, independent or part of a group maintain a special relationship with another role player who is their primary RP partner. As perviously mentioned, the alphabet soup following many character names can indicate which groups they prefer to RP with. Similarly, significant others such as mates, spouses, children, makers, employers, siblings, etc. may be listed in the character's bio. Here are some general guidelines to help you make sense of it all.

Independent Players
Unlike the real world, almost everyone comes to the world of TBRP without a family or a group of fellow role-players to interact with. That is to say, they have the share the inspiration of the SVM books and TB series with the rest of the TBRP community but at least initially they don't know anyone. Some role players will eventually join a group. Others won't. It's a matter of personal choice, the character you play and the people you play with. Canon characters lean towards playing in groups just because it cuts down on the confusion however there are some good independent canons as well as canons who play across multiple groups. RPers who are not affiliated with a specific group (or groups) are independents. They may interact with members of more than one family or just a select number of people. Some my have a loosely knit group that they pay with that they just haven't named. A few have so many characters they play they constitute a group all by themselves. The best way to figure out who a character is affiliated with is to watch their timeline (TL) or stream. Chances are the people they talk with the most are the people they prefer to interact with. The biggest advantage of being an independent is that no one tells you what to do. You have the freedom to do, say and act however you want though hopefully you keep it consistent within the lines of the character you've created.

Families and Groups
There are many RP groups in the TBRP-verse. Members can often, but again, not always, be recognized by the alphabet soup in their username. Characters may also list their family or include a link to the group web website in their bio. Some groups may use a group theme for member Twitter pages and avis. 17

Twe-Guide to TBRP It's all very nice and simple until a character belongs to more than one group or family. Then it can get confusing, fast. And speaking of fast, groups form, merge and even dissolve very quickly on Twitter making it difficult to track both groups and members. The purpose of most family groups is to identify characters who share a similar history and role playing preferences. Some TBRP groups are book based while others draw on the True Blood television series. Many combine both. Others are only loosely connected to either. The advantages of belonging to a group include having a variety of characters to play with, many of whom you have a shared history with even if you have never spoken to them. They also make it easy to identify the canon characters you can expect to interact with. The disadvantages of groups are that, as with real life families not everyone gets along all of the time. Feuds can also break out between different groups. When this happens drama not only erupts and makes it onto the timeline, it can quickly and easily snowball as group members jump to defend their friends without bothering to establish the facts. It would be naïve to say that groups are hot beds of drama. Independents come in for their share of it as well. The difficulty is that it can be harder for group members to escape it without causing hurt feelings.

RP Partners
If you've watched any TBRP on Twitter at all you've probably noticed that many of the characters are paired up in some way. And we're not just talking Erics and Sookies here. There are several ways RP characters can pair off, they can be lovers/spouses, vampire Maker/Progeny, parents/children or Packmates just to name a few. At its simplest an RP partner is the character an RP character primarily RPs with. The most important thing to know about RP partners is that they can be some of the most intimate and important online relationship any role player has. Many develop into real friendships and even relationships, though we encourage caution if you're heading down that road. Keep in mind these are character and therefore idealized to some extent. The real person behind the character may or may not have much in common with their character. Most RP partnerships endure a few months. A few may last for years. RP partnerships can also be a significant source of drama. Like any relationship, people fight and get jealous and well, just grow in different directions. Further the online world is known for creating a false sense of intimacy and closeness. When something disrupts that look out. Sparks are going to fly.This drama potential is further compounded by the fact that Happily Ever After on Twitter is boring. I want to do bad things to you isn't just the True Blood theme song, it's a guiding principle of TBRP. Bad things have to happen in order to keep everyone interested. When two people go from disaster to emergency to disaster all the time however it's bound to put strain on the relationship and exhaust them. The result is just what you'd expect fights and breakups and sometimes reconciliations.

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Twe-Guide to TBRP

Do's and Don'ts
Here are a few basic tips to help you stay out of trouble, both while you are learning the ropes of TBRP and later when you've gotten comfortable and are beginning to think you know all there is to know about TBRP.

Do:
1. Remember these are characters. The real people behind them may be nothing like the character they portray. Also, they ARE NOT the actors and actresses from True Blood. 2. Be a grown-up, literally. TBRP is violent, sexy and dynamic. It can be vulgar, offensive and explicit. Sometimes it borders on the pornographic. Unfortunately, sometimes it crosses that line. This is NOT a universe for anyone under the age of 18 or those who are easily offended. 3. Practice patience. TBRPers are found all over the world and Twitter is, well, Twitter. It's easy to hate the whale, but even when he's not around communication is not instantaneous. Clients and devices can also slow things down.

4. Stay in character. If you, the real person , has something to say, start an RL Twitter account or a RL blog. TBRP, as the name implies is for role play. Get real elsewhere. 5. Do keep your sense of humor and perspective. This is a hobby. This is role play.

Don'ts
1. Godmod/GodMode others. You are responsible for your own actions and yours alone. DO NOT try to force anyone else to act a certain way. 2. Try to monopolize a character or a conversation. This especially applies to popular canon characters. Most are happy to talk but they probably have multiple conversations going at the same time. If they can pull that off, let them. 3. Copy someone else's avi/avatar/playby/background or storyline. Imitation is not always the sincerest form of flattery. At least try to put your own spin on things.

4. Take anything and everything personally unless it is addressed directly to you. Even then, take it with a grain of salt. Humor and sarcasm doesn't always come through clearly. 5. Rant on stream. We all have bad days and get upset. We argue with partners and family members. These are private affairs. Don't drag the world into it. 19

Twe-Guide to TBRP

Safety
Unfortunately, bad things can happen online. Be smart and play safe. 1. Don't disclose personal information online. That includes RL email/home addresses, photos, etc. 2. Don't threaten others. 3. If you believe a threat to be real, report the individual to Twitter and local law enforcement. 4. Don't stalk others. Fans are great. Stalkers are scary. Remember, “No” means the same online as it does in RL. Accept it and move on. 5. Block it. Don't like something or someone? Block them. That's what the option is there for. 6. Don't start with online sex. Seriously. Pedophiles, perverts and predators do this. This applies whether the sex is on stream or in DMs. 7. Enjoy yourself and your anonymity. TBRP is one of the few places where you really can be anyone you want to be. 8. Be careful when meeting people in RL. Meetings at public TB events might be inevitable (although you don't have to own up to being your character if you don't want to) but use caution for private meetings.

Final Thoughts
Thank you for taking the time to read this Twe-Guide to TBRP. Hopefully it will make your introduction to and participation in the TBRP-verse a great experience! Because this guide only touches on the very basics of TBRP on Twitter, please visit Pam's Propriety Page on the Preternatural Post at http://www.preternaturalpost.com/pams-propriety-page/ for more tips, advice and tools to help enhance your RP. The Preternatural Post (http://www.preternaturalpost.com) is the news and information resource for role players, fictional characters and legendary creatures, their fans and creators. Launched in 2010, you can find us on Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, google+ and other social networks. Staff members, including role players, also volunteer their time at events and are active truebies, creating both fanfic and RP content on multiple platforms.

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Twe-Guide to TBRP

Written by @TB_PamR Edited by @MenaGrazie Published by @InformedIdeas ©2011 and 2012 Informed Ideas. All Rights Reserved.

A Last Word from @TB-PamR
I hope you enjoyed my little tome. Although I look forward to seeing each and every one of you on Twitter, I encourage you to show your appreciation and admiration in more concrete ways. No, I'm not talking about burying anyone on a parking garage -smirksI'm talking about supporting The Preternatural Post. Please, take a moment to visit the website and donate $5, $10, $25 or whatever you can spare to help us continue providing news and information to readers and role players like you! Thank you.

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