Role Playing Basics, Rules, and Tips

Moderator: RLG MGMT Team

Post Reply
Posts: 6064
Joined: 29 Jun 2002, 18:11
Location: San Diego, CA

Role Playing Basics, Rules, and Tips

Post by Softball » 02 Dec 2009, 14:12

For those of us that are playing on the BG RP server. Here is some good RP info from my Shadowbane days.

Role-playing - Basics, Rules, and Tips
1) What is it? - Role-playing is just what the word sounds like: Playing a role. You, the player, adopt the persona of your character in the game world.

2) Why role-play? - Role-playing (RP for future purposes) has a point: fun. What makes it fun? Being someone you aren't, creating an entire person, developing their story and their life, their relationships to others and to the world. Immersion is the key, and combined with an environment where the others around you are consistent in RP-ing as well, creates an in-depth and detailed setting that is far more enjoyable and lasting than anything else a game has to offer.

3) Staying in-character! - This is THE key to being a good RP-er, period. If you aren't playing your character, you break the immersion and destroy the setting built up for everyone to enjoy. What does this mean, and how do you do it??

• Develop a character with a complete persona - this does not mean you have to use a template-style character sheet with descriptions and such, although they do help. What it means is, as a player, you need to develop a separate and unique identity for each of your characters. Background information and stories is VERY useful in guiding the actions you make as that character. IE: if your village was ravaged and destroyed by a horde of Minotaurs while you were young, perhaps you have a deep-rooted fear (or hate) of any members of that race that you come across.

• BE the character - You, the player, do not interact with the other people you see on your screen. Your character does. Speak and interact with others as the character you develop would, not according to your personal desires. This is not completely exclusive, as most any character developed from your own mind will contain some part of your nature, but the point is for you to not play you, but play your character.

• Learn the lore - All MMORPG's develop some sort of history to the world that they create - this is the lore, the backdrop to the environment in which your character lives. Reading and learning the lore of the world is essential to creating a believable character within the realm you choose to play in.

• Avoid discussing game mechanics - people in a world don't know that a magic sword gives +150 to their attack rating, they see it as it is described (ie: Legendary Sword). Your character doesn't know about stats, or skills, or levels. If you really need to ask about these things, use the chat channels designated in the game for such things (ones your guild has set as non-RP chat channels).

• Avoid discussing "real life" - you are your character, not the player. Don't talk about the football game on TV, the party you had last night, or anything not relating to what your character is doing in the game. Again, use the communication methods your guild has designated for such out-of-character (OOC) discussions. While RP-ing, TRY to avoid using OOC comments unless absolutely necessary, as it breaks the continuity of the interaction between the characters.

4) Talking and *acting* - You do not have to speak in Elizabethan English to RP, and it is probably better that you don't unless you have a clear grasp of how to use the "thee, thy, and thou", etc, in talking (otherwise you might sound just a little goofy!). Plain, everyday English (or whichever natural language you speak, thanks to translators) is fine. Do not use abbreviations, slang, or other terms that wouldn't be found in the world your character lives. (lol, k, brb, sup, omg, etc. etc. etc - none of that is appropriate for any RP-er, and l337 sp34k is even worse) To express your character's actions, use emotes! Most games now come with a slew of built-in expressions, but to show any actions your character makes in the course of interacting, use *action* emotes. (ie: *laughs* *grins* *throws up on your foot*, etc.) Have fun with it, but don't get out of hand! *wink*

5) Avoid the "Superman" complex - Your character is NOT a super-hero, you are not invincible, and any well-designed character will have flaws and make mistakes. Everyone wants to be a hero, but remember that you are not an all-powerful being who can smite enemies with the blink of your eye; your character is a normal person with limits, just like everyone else. Sometimes you lose, but perhaps working together with your friends and guild-mates, you can overcome the challenges that would normally leave you wounded or dead!

6) Interacting with Non(or anti)-Role-Players - There are people in every game that will choose not to RP, and that's fine. They pay the same money as everyone else, and they have the right to enjoy the game as they see fit. However, as a RP-er who is following all of the above guidelines and reacting as their character would to any given situation, what do you say to someone when they're spouting things like "sup, can i hunt with u?", or any variety of things that could be far worse-sounding? The answer that I have found to work best is to simply respond as if they're speaking a foreign language (which they are, if you think about it). A few emotes of *looks confused*, or statements of "What? I didn't understand you" is usually enough to either have them respond in kind (and maybe even start RP-ing!), or simply walk away in frustration.

While this might seem rude to some, the fact is that consistent grouping with players who either do not RP, or are constantly OOC while trying to RP, will generally result in a loosening of your own character and so detracts from the RP environment in an ever-descending spiral.


"SILENCE, I KILL YOU!!" - Achmed the Dead Terrorist

Post Reply