TFW Freeform
-TWF Freeform-

A Guide to the Freeform RPG of The Fallen World

Freedom of creativity and the limitless imagination—it is the heart of ‘Freeform Role-Playing’. Where even though RPG’s using decks, dice, statistic sheets and a Gamemaster are awesome and addictive, there is something vital that many of them lack: the color of the mind’s eye. We personally spent several years venturing the role-playing realms of MSN, treading the rough waters of out-of-character turmoil and relishing the fulfillment of in-character adventure—which came hand-in-hand. But there was something else that we gained from our experience: knowledge; knowledge acquired through first-hand tribulation and our weary yet determined drive for the marvelous world of role-playing. Whereas some role-players are, in fact, only there for the socialization and the escape of life’s drudgery, most of them—like us—were and are there because we love it.

‘Freeform’ in RPG’s means: freedom of the creative mind, with no boundaries or limitations. Freeform role-playing allows the player to be whatever he desires in a fictional world, without having to rely on a set of strict and sophisticated guiding principles that are sometimes complicated. Depending on the roll of a die to determine the outcome can be discouraging, because a die doesn’t know the extent of your character’s abilities. It doesn’t understand that your character may be more knowledgeable than what the die gives credit, and no matter who or what your character is, his or her fate can ultimately be sealed by nothing more than a roll of unfortunate luck. The use of decks also has their variety of limitations. Using cards pretty much forces a player to take on the role of a pre-made character in which is made to fit perfectly within a given game. Granted, tabletop card RPG’s are great, but with pre-made characters, the player doesn’t get the opportunity to really go into depth with his character, to give him an extensive background history of the player’s choosing, or to even choose the character’s appearance. Sure, anyone can create their own characters with these mentioned extras and play them within card RPG’s, but what becomes more of a task than an adventure is trying to actually work a storyline into the game without having to constantly check statistics, add and remove hit points, etc. Freeform is not about points and out-of-character strategical moves, it is about how far a role-player can take his character into fantastic worlds and amazing storylines. It is a game based on the stories, rather than the players who play within them, and it is an opportunity to play a character instead of point system.

Our experiences in online freeform role-playing revealed how stressful, conflicting and problematic it truly was. With so many misunderstanding the term ‘freeform’ by viewing it as a way to play without regulations of any kind, ‘Freeform RPG’ was not an RPG at all, but instead a real-life drama where the people behind the characters were the characters. Although freeform has no boundaries or limitations, like any game, it must have a 'Foundation of Logic'. This is not contradictory to everything explained thus far, so let me explain further. The boundaries and limitations that freeform adheres to is not the right to play a character that carries a 9mm in a setting where guns do not even exist. It is not the right to play a god-like character that is beyond more powerful than all other characters and has the freedom to pick and choose who lives and dies, on a whim. It’s not the right to defy that foundation of logic, which keeps the game together and makes it worthwhile. It is the right to play without dice telling you what to do, without a lengthy stat sheet hanging over your head that is looked at more than the storyline. And without having to worry about being dealt a bad hand that you as the player must abide by no matter what your character would have and could have done differently. Freeform is about limitless opportunities. It gives the player the right to choose from countless decisions and most of all, it allows a character to be a living, breathing fictional being with a past, a present and a future.

By far, the one thing that arose above all other conflicting problems and oppositions in online freeform RPG was the death of a character. All problems, in one way or another, seemed to have stemmed from character deaths. Freeform RPGers are often attached to the characters they create. No one likes to worry about losing their character, and because it is any freeformers most discouraging fear, it is what they are most threatened by. Often players would get angry at other players out-of-character and the best way to get back at someone was by taking full advantage of that threat. This is a form of what is called ‘moding’; which will be fully described and defined later on. Because of the threat of unfair and even fair character deaths, role-players were constantly trying to devise ways either to eliminate it, or to form a system of sorts to lessen the chances and relieve the worries. Few systems worked, but not one of them was agreed upon by all other role-players; which only brought even more real-life conflict to the realms. Role-playing began to decay before our very eyes and eventually it did not exist anymore—with very few exceptions. It was replaced by a colossal group of people with fictional screen names and unrealistic abilities that did more out-of-character bickering and hating, rather than role-playing.

In all honesty, when it comes to freeform, there really is no system to solve such a problem, trust me; I fried a few brain cells trying to figure it out. The one and only sure-fire way to make it work and to be able to play in complete harmony is if all players were fair, honest and honorable towards others. Face it, the chances of taking tens of thousands of people and expecting them to all be fair is an impossibility that the most optimistic cannot fathom. Therefore, against my own convictions, this is why games involving decks, dice and stat sheets are good. However, telling that to people who prefer the freedom and imaginative adventures of freeform, does little to give relief to their weary minds.

I may not be able to figure out a way to solve all of the role playing world’s problems, but I have been able to invent a way for fair freeform in The Fallen World. The things you are about to read do not in any way guarantee a problem-free experience. No matter what, it still takes people who are willing to play within that fair and reasonable system.

-The Foundation of Logic-

The ‘Foundation of Logic’ for freeform role-playing is a basic principle structure that helps to eliminate unfair, unreasonable and illogical events. All information contained in this section can be applied to any variety of freeform role-playing. Almost everything that you will read is more logic than rules or strict guidelines, but all information will be explained using ‘The Fallen World,’ its inhabitants, sources of magic, etc.

Since Freeform RPG’s are a magnet for instances that are unmerited and faltering, there are several things that any role-player must educate themselves on to avoid committing such discrepancies.

- -*Playable Characters
- -*Character Location
- -*Wounds, Contradiction & Affliction
- -*Separating Players & Characters
- -*Moding
- -*Detached Character’s - DC’s
- -*Real Life & Role-Play Use of Words
- -*Forum Board Role-Play
- -*Chat Room Role-Play
- -*Acronym, Terms & Definition
- -*A Fictional Sense of Time & Age
- -*Character Behavior & Dialogue
- -*Character Placement
- -*Conflict & Death
- -*Those That Exist, Those That Do Not
- -*Those That Exist, Those That Do Not II

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