So, just for people's reference, these are the original RPP guidelines for SOI from about 2006:
What Are Roleplay Points?
Over time, players here at Shadows of Isildur may amass units of confidence from the staff we call "roleplay points". They are given out by staff members for various facets of exemplary roleplay, and are used by players in character generation to create new PCs in various restricted roles and races or cultures. The points are stored on your account, so they may transfer from one of your lifetimes into the next; thus, over time you may accumulate more.
As mentioned above, roleplay points are strictly representative of how much trust the staff places in you as a player. They are not indicative of how much we like you as a person, they are not indicative of how long you have played here, nor are they indicative, strictly speaking, of the overall quality of your roleplay. As outlined below, an absolutely stellar roleplayer prone to bouts of retiring numerous PCs or not logging in for months at a time will likely find himself with less roleplay points in the end than a strong roleplayer with a track record of consistent dedication to the game and her characters' roles.
Finally, to re-iterate, roleplay points are strictly used in character generation, to allow players designing new PCs access to restricted races and roles. Once you are finished with your application, they have absolutely no bearing on the game whatsoever - once out of the gate, they are completely irrelevant to your character's fate.
Do I Need Them?
Absolutely not. In fact, it's a not-uncommon occurrence to hear players with them remark that they very rarely use them; most people prefer to "build" a character from the ground up in-game, providing them with a rich history shared with many other PCs. Also, it is well-known that as you reach the upper echelons of the system, you encounter roles that are more and more restricted in their social interactions with other players; as the saying goes, it gets lonely at the top. These roles also tend to come with a great deal of responsibility that restricts your freedom as a player due to the amount of work involved in performing the required duties.
Almost anything that can be accomplished by using roleplay points on an application in character generation can be achieved through hard work in-game - and for the reasons outlined above, many of our veteran players even prefer to do it that way. There are exceptions, such as playing a Wise or a restricted race, but they are quite rare.
How Do I Know If I Have Them?
In addition to having additional options available to you in the character generation sequence, once there are roleplay points attached to your login account you will see an additional line in the SCORE command, right below your attributes, informing you how many you have.
The ability to see this information is set OFF by default; if you wish the score command to show you this total, you must first use the SET RPP command. You may enter the command a second time to once more remove that line from the output.
How Do I Get Them?
As mentioned above, awarding roleplay points is solely the province of the administrative staff. Before examining the criteria set forth below, however, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. First and foremost: roleplay points are a privilege, not a right. Many players have gone for months or even a year or more before acquiring their first point; those without the patience for such a process would quite likely not prove adequate for many of the roles these points unlock. So - be patient, and you'll quite likely find yourself rewarded!
As a corollary to this rule, emailing the admin staff to inquire whether or not you've simply been overlooked for a point award is quite fine. Contacting us, however, to demand that we give you the points you deserve, or to tell us why we were wrong in choosing to abstain from awarding you those points, will certainly not get you anywhere - unless, of course, you're looking to get on our bad side. This sort of behavior is simply not tolerated; at best you will be ignored, and at worst we may impose sanctions on you for wasting our time.
That said, the general criteria the staff are bound by in awarding points, as well as the number of players currently at each point-level, are as follows:
Point 1 (2.59%, or 148 players): Demonstration of a solid grasp of the game, the concept, and the gameworld; exhibits thoughtful, articulate and polished roleplay interaction. Has clearly learned to delineate IC from OOC information, and has not committed any serious policy infractions (those warranting loss of access to the game) within the previous 120 days.
Point 2 (1.7%, or 97 players): Consistent demonstration of the requirements for the first point; no less than 30 days have passed since the date of the previous award.
Point 3 (0.65%, or 37 players): Demonstration of low- to mid-level leadership ability; exhibits the ability to involve other PCs in roleplay plots, and to log in and play with regularity.
Point 4 (0.65%, or 37 players): Consistent demonstration of the requirements for the third point; no less than 60 days have passed since the date of the previous award.
Point 5 (0.28%, or 16 players): Demonstration of strong leadership and organizational ability, as well as the ability to create and maintain plots while keeping other PCs interested.
Point 6 (0.21%, or 12 players): Consistent demonstration of the requirements for the fifth point; no less than 90 days have passed since the date of the previous award.
Point 7+ (0.23%, or 13 players): Awarded for individual instances and scenes of highly exemplary roleplay, in no greater a frequency than one point per any 120 day-period.
Can I Lose Them?
Yes, primarily in two ways. First: as explained below, submitting an application for a character of a restricted race will dock a part of the application's point cost from your account, in order to encourage our players to keep those races rare sights in-game.
Secondly, as these points are a measure of the staff's trust in you, if you do anything to abuse that trust you may find yourself missing points. Although the most obvious way to accomplish this is to exhibit poor roleplay on a level unbecoming your point total, there are other ways as well. For example, things such as consistent flaming or harassment of the staff or other players over email or on the web forum, using information gleaned OOCly to your character's benefit, or, in general, violating any of our policies, would all suffice.
Generally, if a staff member needs to go so far as to penalize you in such a way, you will receive an email detailing what you did to prompt such a response. For a variety of reasons, this is not always the case, however; therefore, if you find yourself missing points and are genuinely unsure as to what you may have done to deserve this, you are certainly welcome to inquire via email, provided you do so in a respectful and civil manner.
What Can I Do With Them?
As mentioned briefly above, roleplay points allow you to unlock certain restricted roles and races during the character generation process. In the case of roles, you are allowed to step right into the game in one of various elevated positions, rather than having to work your way into the role in-game as players without the requisite points must do. In the case of races, only those players with the required amount of points are permitted to play them in-game.
Unlike other RPIs you may have played, we do not allow special applications. If there is a role listed below that you wish to play, you must achieve the point requirement to do so; we do not and will not make exceptions for anyone, regardless of their past history here or their roleplay abilities. That said, however, if there is a specific role you wish to play that you do not see listed, and if you have enough roleplay points for any comparable roles that are listed, you should feel free to email the staff and inquire if an application for a character in the desired role would be feasible in terms of the game's structure. We will almost always try our best to accomodate reasonable requests of that nature, if you're willing to work with us.
We also differ from other RPIs using a point-based system for access to restricted characters in that, depending on the circumstance, submitting such an application will dock a certain number of points from your account. The rule is as follows: races will subtract half of their point requirement from your account total after a certain 'grace period' of playtime, whereas roles will not. This is done to keep restricted non-starting races a rare occurrence in the gameworld and preserve thematic continuity. Furthermore, costs do not stack; so, if you want to play a Dwarvish armorsmith, you will only need to meet the point requirements for whichever of the two elements is more expensive, and not both combined.
Finally, you should know that not all races and roles available in character generation are listed here. Although these lists are generated directly from the game's database, some sensitive roles, as well as certain exceedingly rare races, have been flagged 'hidden' by the staff, and thus are only viewable in character generation to those players with the requisite points.