A handy guide on how to use this roleplay website
So! I've been reccing cherubplay to a lot of friends because of its versatile, clever format and its incredibly accessible and easy-to-use mobile version, so I figured... Why give the same pitch over and over again, when I could write one info post and link folks to that instead? This is that post.
For a little background, cherubplay is a homestuck roleplaying site. It was originally developed to facilitate anonymous, prompt-based roleplaying for fans of the webcomic homestuck. The basic concept is: users post prompts containing a starter or information about the kind of RP they want to do. Other users read those prompts, and when they find one that interests them, click a button to answer it. RP proceeds from there.
Since its conception, the site has expanded to include a non-homestuck section for multifandom RPing, and it is for this reason that I recommend it to RPers who might never have been interested in homestuck.
The Main Page
When you load up the main page of the cherubplay website you will be greeted by "answer mode," which is where all the prompts currently posted are displayed. At the top there is a header.
These are the filters cherubplay uses to cut down the list of prompts based on what might interest you. If you aren't interested in homestuck, you'll probably want to make the same selections I have.
"Not Homestuck" indicates panfandom prompts. "Starter"/"No Starter" designates whether the prompt includes an opening post for you to reply to, or simply ideas and an invitation to plan something together. "Safe for work"/"Not safe for work" should be fairly self-explanatory; the difference between NSFW and NSFW-extreme, on the other hand, may not be. Cherubplay makes a distinction between prompts that include sex/violence, and prompts that include triggering content, such as incest, rape, or pedophilia. The latter go in the "extreme" category; the "category rules" link leads to a post explaining this in detail.
Below the header, you'll see the prompts themselves. They'll look a little something like this:
When you click on a prompt, it'll expand and allow you to read the full text. What's shown in each box is simply a preview, so you can gauge whether it's something you want to read in full. (it's also considered good form to post warnings at the top and "use up" the preview space when posting extreme prompts, even considering that they're already in their own category.)
Once you pop open a prompt, you'll see something like this. (I worked with what I had, and this one was pretty short and didn't stretch the page; if a prompt is longer, you'll be able to scroll up and down, but if you click outside the prompt field it'll close the prompt.)
If it sounds good to you, you can click the "answer" button and it'll create a new page, a "chat." Chats are what you use for threads, and you can have as many simultaneously ongoing chats as you think you can handle.
Once you have some chats going, it's helpful to be able to organize them. Cherubplay has a page for that; it looks a little like this:
The titles and notes you see here are my own; both fields are customizable. Title your chats whatever you like in order to keep them straight, and use the notes field for additional details.
You'll see that the chats at the top of my list are marked as "unread" and "unanswered." Cherubplay has several filters for your chats. "Unanswered," which means you owe someone a post, "Ongoing," which means an active chat where yours is the last reply, and "ended." If you're no longer interested in an RP, you can click the "edit chat info" button (which is where you edit the title and notes fields) and there will also be options to "end" or "delete" the chat.
If you end a chat, it remains in your list of chats and you can still view the RP, but neither you nor your partner can make further replies. If you delete a chat, it's removed from your list of chats. It is NOT, however, deleted forever. The unique link to the chat is still valid, so if you have that on hand, you actually can continue to access deleted chats (you just won't see them on your page).
The Chat Interface
At last, the perhaps most important part of using cherubplay: actually writing posts in your chats. I didn't want to screenshot any of mine, since most of my RP posts will not fit on a single screen, but this link goes to one of my old RPs with Icie. (It's the toumaki coffee shop AU we're always talking about, can you believe we met on cherubplay RPing a vanilla toumaki coffee shop AU? Us of all people? Incredible.)
The most noteworthy thing about viewing a chat of mine (which will have no text box at the bottom for you to write a reply in, because you are not logged in as me, or as Icie, and are therefore not a participant in this chat) is this: you will not see the OOC. Cherubplay has a toggle where posts can be designated as IC or OOC, and OOC posts are grayed out as such:
It's really handy because if you log out to view your OWN thread, you can reread really easily without OOC getting in the way. Or if you want to share a thread with a friend, they won't see all your messy planning, or anything embarrassing you may have written to your RP partner!
Cherubplay also allows you to pick your text color from a set of pre-chosen colors or from a drop picker, so posts are distinct from each other, and it allows you to edit posts after sending them. There are also the symbols next to posts: a dot for you, a swirl for your partner, so even if you both choose default black text, it's possible to determine which posts are which.
The last thing worth mentioning is prompt mode. From the main page, if you click "post a prompt," you'll be taken to a page that looks a little like this:
Here you can either choose between prompts you've already written, or click "write new prompt" and be given a text box you can type directly into. Besides the home page and chats page, you will have a prompts page, which is where you pre-write prompts you'd like to save and be able to post in an instant.
The other thing important to note: a prompt will only remain on the answer mode page while it is kept open on your computer. If you exit the window, or your internet connection is interrupted, your prompt will be taken down.
This all said, you are now ready to RP with strangers on cherubplay! Make an account, peruse some prompts, choose one that sounds interesting to you and get chatting with a stranger.
In theory, anyway.
If I've linked you this, I'm probably trying to promote cherubplay as a means of roleplaying with me. So the final note I leave you with is this: If you wanna RP with me, what I typically do is post up a single line with the filters: not homestuck, no starter, safe for work. It'll say something like "Miyuki Kazuya awaiting Furuya, come in Furuya" because then it's evident to whichever friend is RPing Furuya that this prompt is me, and they should answer it. You can also just type "reserved for a friend" but I like to type something obnoxious on the off-chance someone ELSE is also trying to connect to a friend.
So! If this looks like a site you'd be interested in RPing on, feel free to HMU via twitter DMs and we can pick something to RP and I can post a not-prompt for you to take and start a chat with me!
Hopefully this has been informative~