Okay, so you’ve decided to join us. You want to get started. If you want to be an e-wrestler, you’ll have to do two things. One of them is create the character you wish to become, and the other is to choose a place to join. “E-feds”, short for e-federations, are where you’ll be looking to sign up. There are lists of those all over the place, including one that is updated regularly to prune out inactive feds right here on eWmania.
If you’re looking for information on creating your character and the basics of character roleplaying, that’s going to be in another section. For right now, I want to talk about the individual types of e-feds, the things in common and the things that will be different, as well as what e-fedding actually is.
The main thing that makes up e-wrestling is that you will submit written pieces, portraying yourself as this created character, and that the character will be a professional wrestler. In an e-fed, this created character will face off against someone else’s created character. Who will win? Well, that depends. Different feds will use different ways to determine this.
“RP feds” is the term you will hear for places that judge winners on a match by match basis. They will have a set criteria for judging your written roleplay against your opponent’s. Sometimes one person will make this decision on their own, others there will be a committee of judges. Some feds will also have scorecards with categories, and others will be based on feedback given on each roleplay. These are competitive writers, and you will be writing competitively. There is no script, although some storyline elements leading up to matches and spots in the matches themselves can be agreed upon beforehand. For the most part, you are responsible for coming up with your own storylines and your own push.
How are the matches judged? Well, that depends on each individual fed. There will be several categories, ranging from grammar and spelling to character depth to realism, even things like being funny or being entertaining. Some of these categories will mean more than others, and some might not even be part of the judging process at all. It literally depends on the individual fed. There is no set rubric or standard for RP judging. The only real rule that goes across the boards is against copying and pasting someone else’s work. (DON’T EVER DO THIS. THIS IS BAD. YOU WILL GET CAUGHT AND YOU WILL GET RAN OUT.) Just know that in an RP fed, your writing is going to be critiqued. A lot. Critique can be a double-edged sword, but both edges can be useful if you can take it in stride. It can be the same in the workplace or in academic sports; everyone is quick to praise you when you win and…well, you know the rest.
“Angle feds” is another term you will hear. These types of feds do not judge your roleplays against anybody else’s. Instead, the staff will stay in constant communication with the individual handlers playing in the fed to help everybody come up with the story being told in their matches or feuds.
An ‘angle fed’ in its purest form is probably the closest you’ll get to a ‘real’ wrestling promotion. The owner will typically book the major angles, titles, and storylines at least a few shows in advance and leave it to the fed members to write out the matches, promos, and flow of the story as they best see fit. In this case, the members are not competing against each other to win a match, but collaborating with each other to tell the most engrossing story possible.
Pushes and title runs in an angle fed are usually determined by the fed owner as a reward for writing quality, willingness to ‘do more than the minimum’ in the promotion (matchwriting and planning for more than just your angle), and the stories and characters that best fit the promotion’s needs at the time.
There are two general schools of thought as it relates to angle feds. On one end, the owner would plan out matches and feuds for his or her roster and leave it to them to fill in the details on shows, promos, news pieces, etc; on the other, the owner simply posts the show and provides minimal structure, leaving the roster as a whole to shape their own stories and feuds. The most successful angle feds will have a combination of the two, where the owner has a major hand in the championships and ‘top level’ feuds, but encourages the roster to plan their own stories. He will then take those stories and angles and modify them if need be to flow as a cohesive show.
“Hybrid feds” is something else you might hear as well. These feds are a cognate of their name; using elements from both angle and competitive feds to make their own unique set of rules. These feds will need to be explored individually to determine if the rules fit your style of play, as there is no standard protocol for these types of feds. I would dare say they are not meant for rookie players, but I’ve been wrong before and if you happen to find one that you think looks good to you, by all means give it a shot.
“Micro feds” is the last type I have to mention. Micro feds are RP feds, but the roleplays will have a word limit. The decrease in quantity does not mean there is a decrease in quality, and there is a little bit more room to relax in terms of how much you need to write. However, it also means that you have to fit more story into less space. It’s still something to think about, and both rookies and veterans of the hobby play in micro feds regularly.
Now that you know about the different types of e-feds, you can decide which one you think you would want to join.
RP feds are competitive. Straight up. If you enjoy competition and not knowing what’s going to happen next, this is where you should look. You may feel a sense of accomplishment in winning matches or titles in an RP fed that you wouldn’t feel in an angle fed because of this competitiveness. However, you will not have complete control over the story that is told going into your matches. RP fedding honestly feels like a shoot sometimes, to be honest. It’s unpredictable. It’s a lot of fun. But with all competition, sometimes emotions can run high. If you have any experience in a high-energy environment with incentives for success, then it probably won’t be anything new to you.
Angle feds will allow you to focus on writing a good story. In lieu of an unscripted outcome, you will have a lot more control over what happens and how it happens. This control will be shared with others, of course…only in an angle fed, cooperation is encouraged if not required. If you’re wanting to meet and work with new people, angle fedding is geared more towards in-depth communication with other handlers and fedheads. The biggest positive to angle fedding is also its biggest negative: as you are not competing to win matches your focus is on the quality of the story that you’re telling, and you are expected to have a much larger share of the responsibility for the smooth operation of the fed. Additionally, as major stories are typically booked at least a few shows in advance, a sudden no-show is much more significant than in an RP fed where you can simply lose a match and the fed can move on.
Once you decide which fed to join, and you’ve found the fed’s site with forums, there will be an application form to fill out and send back in. Follow the fed’s instructions on submitting the application, and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Most fedheads would much rather answer a newcomer’s questions than watch them walk out the door frustrated. That’s not fun for anybody.
Let me finish this entry by iterating this one point, and it is a point I will make repeatedly throughout this series.
THERE IS NO WRONG WAY TO E-FED. There’s a lot of bad ways to e-fed, like being a jerk to everybody who tries to talk to you, neglecting to write properly, or not following any of the rules in the fed where you choose to play. But there’s really no wrong way to e-fed.
Whether you want to be in a competitive fed or an angle fed, neither is better than the other. Neither is more prestigious and neithers’ titles have more value than the other. Both have their own ups and downs. I didn’t mean to make one sound better than the other, but only to help explain what each is in order for you to choose which one might be best suited to how you want to play the game.
Next time, let’s talk about that whole character thing. You know, the character you will be creating to play as? Hope you have some ideas ready. You’re going to need them.
Jeremy Cundiff, handler of Madman Szalinski
Pete Russo, FW Central Admin, Author of “One Chance: The Legend of Valerian’s Garden“
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