Author Topic: Roleplaying Guidelines and Suggestions  (Read 3984 times)

Offline Noa

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Roleplaying Guidelines and Suggestions
« on: February 07, 2007, 01:53:42 PM »
DOs and DON'Ts for Roleplaying
 Taken from the EQ2 Message boards.
Here's the whole thread.
DOs and DON'Ts for Roleplaying

Note: "OOC" = Out Of Character, "IC" = In Character


-- Do give your character one or more interesting flaws or weaknesses. Characters who are perfect are incredibly boring to play, and to play with. For example, your character could be: cowardly; lazy; selfish; stupid; naive; clumsy; physically impaired; physically weak; have an addiction; annoying; dyslexic; hard of hearing; old; ugly; a nervous tic. If you're going to do this, I recommend really sticking to your flaw at all times, versus just picking and choosing when to have it. If you're a big clumsy barbarian and some little elf wants to duel you, don't dance all over the tavern evading his blows; maybe you should even trip and be knocked down!

-- Do create a character that is fun for you to play. If you don't like playing a healer...then don't. Or a warrior, or mage, or whatever. Play what you enjoy. This is not to say "don't stretch yourself with a character concept you haven't tried before," because that is a good thing to do. But if you try it and don't like it, don't box yourself in!

-- Do use customized emotes in your roleplay. This really adds variety and unique flavor to your roleplay. So instead of just using "/smile Brutus," try out "/emote gives Brutus a huge, goofy grin."

-- Do try out an accent, speech pattern, or catch phrase on your character! Characters I've known have done things such as never used contractions, talked like a pirate, used a lot of slang, talked like a stupid or uneducated person, stuttered, or lisped.

-- Do communicate in private /tells or chat with people you are roleplaying with to facilitate the flow of the roleplay. This can make a world of difference for coordinating efforts, and for clearing up misunderstandings. Very, very few roleplayers are so "hardcore" that they will not talk to you OOC in a /tell. If they are that hardcore...find someone else to roleplay with until you feel confident enough to fly solo.

-- Do stick to what's in the game for creating your character. If elves in the game can't fly or shapechange...then for goodness' sake PLEASE don't say that your character can do that. Ditto on having "amethyst eyes"...if it's not in the game, don't pretend that it is. Or being the love child of an ogre and a high elf (or any other preposterous pairing), BLEH.

-- Do try out a comic character. How about a gnome who falls in love at first sight with an ogre maiden, and pines for her over his ale in the inn? See the comment about weaknesses/flaws above...some of them will absolutely bust your fellow players up. (Lisping, for example.)

-- Do create relationships for your character, above and beyond "marriage." While marriage is great for roleplaying, it's not the only kind of relationship your character could have. Try hooking up with other players to create new relationships to roleplay. For example: superior/junior officer; family members such as parents, uncles/aunts, siblings, cousins. Archenemies. Best friends. Trade partners. Work colleagues.

-- Do keep an IC journal of the events that happen to your character and how they change in response. This can be so fascinating to read back on. Journals can be posted on the roleplaying forums or your particular server forum. You could become a celebrity!

-- Do allow your character to grow and change. Characters that stay in a little box get really boring. Let your characters play and see where it takes you. If necessary, create situations that will make your character grow. A corollary to this is, at character creation, unless you really feel you have to--don't pre-determine every detail of your character's life! Instead, go with the flow of roleplay.

-- Do let your character "take over" while you are roleplaying. This is acting, essentially...and if you understand who your character is clearly enough, you can let THEM determine your roleplayed response to what happens. For example, in Real Life you are an honest guy, a mild-mannered accountant by day, would never hurt a fly. But when you get online, you play the shifty-eyed captain of a pirate vessel. A player comes to you, wanting to purchase some information on the whereabouts of another character. YOU, the real person, would never do a deal like this in Real Life...but in the game, you not only do the deal, but you make sure to haggle it up to get the most money you can. This is letting who the character is determine your actions...not who YOU are.

-- Do use good spelling and grammar. It's very off-putting to many roleplayers if you can't spell or write properly; it breaks our immersion in the game world. This doesn't mean you have to be Shakespeare, but for goodness' sake, please take the time to type out "you look nice today" instead of just "u look nice 2day."

-- Do keep OOC chatter out of IC channels as much as possible, such as the spatial area (/say or /shout). This "breaks immersion" for roleplayers, when you are chattering about last night's game or what you're eating at your keyboard.

-- If you must say something OOC in spatial (like an emergency afk message), do indicate that it's OOC somehow to the people around you. Options for this include: "OOC sorry, need to afk for a min" "((sorry, need to afk for a min))" and others. Check out what the RPers around you are using and just go with their convention.


-- When you meet a character for the first time, don't assume that you know their name just because it's floating over their head. Ask them what their name is, instead. The floating name is OOC (Out Of Character) information, so please don't use it IC (In Character). In Real Life, people don't have names floating over their've got to introduce yourself.

-- Don't be intimidated by roleplayers and feel afraid that they will judge you. The vast majority of the roleplayers I have known are super-cool people, really nice OOC, and completely willing to help you out. Yes, there are a few who are so "hardcore" or judgemental about new players that it borders on griefing. Just find someone else to RP's like in PvP, some people are griefers but many people who PvP are great.

-- Don't "mode" or "God mode" in "quit moding, you moder." Moding is when a character forces another to follow his/her script, by pre-choosing their responses or options for them. For example, "/emote kisses Pamela full on the lips while she throws her arms around him and kisses back." Uh...if I'm playing Pamela, I'm now wondering who gave you permission to write MY response! A great roleplayer would do this instead: "/emote opens his arms to Pamela and bends his face toward her for a kiss." Then I could respond, "/emote joyously embraces Thorg and gives him a sweet peck on the cheek" or "/emote pushes Thorg away violently, with a sneer on her face." See? I got to choose my response, not you. More examples of moding: "/emote thwacks Thorg with his greater sword of smashing, cutting off his arm." Riiight. You get to decide that my character's arm goes bye-bye? Nuh-uh. Do this instead: "/emote swings his greater sword of smashing at Thorg, and slashes downward toward his shoulder." Then I get to cut off my character's arm if I want to, or evade your blow.

-- Don't confuse IC and OOC information and feelings. You, the player, will be privy to tons of information Out Of Character, that your character does not have In Character. Keep those things separate, and don't play your character as if he/she knows the OOC information. For example, I have written a character bio in the game, and players can /examine me and read it. That is OOC information, so you shouldn't walk up to me and say, "You should be ashamed of turning your parents over for bounty money!" That would be using OOC information in an IC situation. Now, if we were sitting in the tavern and I told you my story over an ale, that would be would now have that information IC and could IC berate me for it

-- When someone is using a /think emote, don't have your character respond to it. I've seen it happen this way often: "/emote thinks, 'wow, that Shamaya chick is really hot!'" and then Shamaya responds, "Thorg, you might think I'm hot, but wait til you see my sister!" did Shamaya know what Thorg was thinking? Is she a mind-reader? Hmm, I don't remember reading that in the lists of class skills...

-- Don't think that to make your character interesting, he or she must 1. have dead parents, 2. be seeking revenge, 3. be the ultimate whatever, 4, have amethyst eyes or other silly physical characteristics. Many things like this are so overdone and cliched that they are a joke amongst roleplayers. Instead, I suggest actually hooking up with some other players and creating family characters such as parents or siblings; giving your character a non-lofty goal in life, such as "Thorg's goal is to win next year's Qeynos Dart Championship;" etc. Basically, be a normal "person." Great roleplayers can make a normal character fascinating.

-- Don't use any kind of leet speek or spelling shortcuts when you are roleplaying. "Dood, u are going 2 feel the edge of my blade while I pwn u!" I appreciate that you may be attempting to roleplay...but it's really important to avoid stuff that reminds us we are just playing a game and breaks our immersion. Please take the time to type out, "Sir, you are about to feel the edge of my blade while I obliterate you" or some non-leet speak equivalent.

-- Don't think that you always must have something to say when others around you are roleplaying. Often, your character will have *nothing* to say, and that's totally fine. Instead, you can use your handy customized emotes to convey your reactions: "/emote shifts in his seat, appearing uncomfortable with the conversation." "/emote tunes out entirely and starts checking out the handsome warriors in the inn." "/emote listens intently."

-- Likewise, don't feel forced to speak in a speech pattern that you just can't do, or don't feel comfortable with. Some people will speak in Thee's and Thou's, some people in "NPC" (I got accused of that once ), but you don't have to. It's ok to have a character who speaks similarly to how you do in real life. (However, again, do cut out the slang and leet.)

-- Don't make the mistake of thinking that romance is the only kind of subject for roleplaying. Personally, though my husband and I generally play characters who are "together" in some way, we are usually doing too much other RP stuff to play the romance! I've done abductions, fugitive hunts, mysteries, illnesses, trials, imprisonments, torture, interrogation, barfights, weddings, arrests, battles, escapes, trade agreements, ambushes, state visits, banquets...there is so much more to roleplaying than huggy-kissy. (Not that there's anything wrong with roleplayed romance either!)

-- Don't think that you always MUST roleplay. It's completely fine to have OOC fun times as well, hunting or just hanging out. Some of my best and silliest times online were totally OOC...I'm thinking in particular of a fantasy-themed MUSH where we had a giant pool of jello and an any-beverage vending machine. Some people who are hardcore will never go OOC with you, but that's ok. Lots of us wacky roleplayers will If you are going OOC, remember though to keep it out of regular spatial areas so that you don't break the immersion of other roleplayers. (A private house, or somewhere out in the wildnerness are great places for cutting loose OOC.)

-- Ever hide behind the excuse "that's just how my character is" when in reality you're being a jerk. IC personality or behavior is no justification for hurting or annoying the real person behind the character you're interacting with. For example, kill-stealing and then saying, "well my character is just a bad guy." It just doesn't fly, sorry. You're the jerk there, not your character.

-- Don't forget that there is always another person at the other end of the roleplay, and above all, it's the real people who count. My personal First Law of Roleplaying is "be considerate of others and mindful of your impact on them." If something you are doing is making another person OOC uncomfortable or upset, then QUIT doing it. Apologize in an OOC tell. Whatever it takes to make it right with that person.

And the biggest guideline of them all. DO HAVE FUN!!!

COURTESY:Gimfalisette from EQ2 boards.

EQ2 again ~ Ellie (Kaladim), Noa (AB)
EQ again ~ Vee, Mak, Ellewys (FV)
ESO ~ Vieolah
SW:TOR ~ Emme
Rift ~ Noamuth, Euma
EQ2 ~ Noamuth, Ellendrielle
VG ~ Fie, Nymm
WoW ~ Izzra
HZ~ Nymm
EQ1 ~ Elloise, Radish