What is Interactive Storytelling RolePlaying?
This style of roleplaying is played without the use of dice, character statistics, game masters, or a formal gaming system, as opposed to Dungeons and Dragons and other similar games. Only the cooperation and common sense of those participating in-character can make a story line come alive. The player of any given character is the final arbiter of anything that happens to their character. It is also sometimes referred to as Freeform RolePlaying (FFRP), except ISRP has some elements of the setting defined and a minimum of in-character rules to provide a common field of reference for all participants.
Defining Freeform RolePlaying (FFRP)
In basic Freeform, the only real rule is that the players have control over their own characters. Beyond that, and the expectations of courtesy, it tends towards a "no holds barred", free-for-all kind of feeling. You can have cowboys sitting next costumed super heroes, while an angel flies overhead and flirts with a paladin who is using a cell phone. No matter how unlikely the character or situation, it can and usually does happen in a basic Freeform setting. A lot of interesting stories can be played out is such a setting; also this type of environment can lead to a lot of misunderstandings and potential conflict. The Emporium could be considered a Freeform room, as the above examples of interaction are entirely possible. However, the Emporium is an ISRP room as it is located in a defined setting that is part of the greater Dungeons and Dragons universe. Characters from any genre of fiction are acceptable as long as the setting's parameters are followed.
Interactive Storytelling RolePlaying (ISRP)
With Interactive Storytelling, though the players still maintain control of their characters, the playing takes place within a structured setting. The characters are played within the framework of the setting, and the players agree to abide by the strictures of that setting. The emphasis is more on storytelling and developing a character's persona. In any good story, attention is paid to certain details, like consistency and internal logic.
Interactive Storytelling also means structure. Though there are no rules or dice akin to those one finds in published tabletop games, the players are expected to respect the defined setting and chosen genre. If the genre is supposed to be historical roleplaying in the American West of the 1800s, for instance, then a laser-toting elf would not be welcome.
In fact, any character not in keeping with the setting would be considered a Code of Conduct violation, violating the topic of the room, and would be subject to removal from the room.
The Cross Roads Tavern, Banquet Hall, and Arena all have a defined setting of a medieval fantasy, so characters from a typical fantasy story are acceptable.
Where to ISRP on Wizards.Community
The Emporium - Short for the Adventurer's Guild Emporium, the Emporium allows heroes from different realities gather to exchange stories, information, and rumors. In this safe haven, members can interact in-character with a variety of other personas. This is a freeform ISRP room thus, no specific setting is defined, but certain rules are enforced.
Cross Roads Tavern - Often referred to as the "CRT," this chat room is an Interactive Storytelling area, with a specified genre of medieval fantasy derived largely from the world of Greyhawk.
The Banquet Hall - A room available for special in-character events. Reservations through a WizO are necessary to use this venue.
The Arena - Many story lines culminate with epic battle; this ISRP room is available for such in-character conflicts and is the only room on the chat site where fighting may occur.
Message Boards - There are a few Message Boards on Wizards.Community dedicated to in-character posts. Often referred to as "corkboards," the in-character Message Board topics are topics are "Emporium" and "CRT." The topics of "CRT" and "ISRP" are out-of-character discussions pertaining to the chat site ISRP areas.