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 A Guide To Roleplaying In MMOs

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The Vigos
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PostSubject: A Guide To Roleplaying In MMOs   Sun Jun 27, 2010 11:34 pm


I hope people will add to this guide and one day it will become part of a linked list of guides, to help people better understand the concept of roleplaying. So take any piece of this guide to use as you wish, as long as you credit me where appropriate. - Azoth


1, What is Roleplaying?
1a, Why Roleplay?
2, Common Roleplaying concepts
2a, Emoting
2b, OOC and IC
2c, Roleplaying Plots and Scenes
3, How do I Roleplay.
3a, Choose a type of character
3b, Find a guild or group
3c, Just get out there and roleplay
4, Things to avoid.
4a, Godmoding, also called bunnying.
4b, Godmoding, mixing OOC and IC information
4c, Disruption
5, Tips and Tricks
6, Erotic Roleplay
7, Advanced Roleplaying Concepts
7a, Fluid Time
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PostSubject: Re: A Guide To Roleplaying In MMOs   Sun Jun 27, 2010 11:35 pm

1, What is Roleplaying?

Roleplaying is taking on the role of a character in your day to day playing. It's a very broad question but roleplaying at its core, is experiencing something through the eyes of an alter ego and reacting to it as that character, not yourself.

1a, Why Roleplay?

It brings your character to life and adds an extra layer of depth and interaction to an otherwise predictable world.

When you find the right group of friends or enemies that suit your playing style, there is nothing more immersive or more entertaining than having a living, breathing character, with real friends, enemies and true meaning behind them. You’ll connect with the gameworld and those around you in often unexpected and entertaining ways, which can leave a lasting and meaningful impression on those you roleplay with.

2, Common Roleplaying concepts.

2a, Emoting, in our case using * * to indicate what your character is doing.

For instance:
*bends down to examine the blade*
*roars and charges at his enemy, bloodlust raging in his eyes*
*brushes her hair behind her ear, glancing slowly at him*

This helps to convey actions and feelings as well as words during your playing, there is a danger in over emoting and taking too much of the attention in a scene but that's your balance to find over time. Using emotes will add an extra layer to your interaction and immersion into the world, it's one of the cornerstones of roleplaying.

2b, OOC and IC

OOC is the acronym representing Out of Character and IC is the acronym for In Character.

When someone is speaking or acting OOC, they are acting as themselves, the person behind the screen.

When someone is speaking or acting IC, they are playing as their characters would and speaking to you from that perspective.

This is a crucial and often difficult concept for people new to roleplay to grasp but take your time and you'll slowly pick up whats obviously OOC, movies, technical questions, real life news stories etc. IC is equally as apparent, someones hatred of the Jedi, someones worship of a the Dark Side of the Force, someone playing a thief stealing your credits etc.

The main thing is to separate someones love, friendship or hatred of you IC from OOC. You can be great friends OOC with your worst enemy IC and I would encourage thanking people OOC for the roleplay, to avoid any OOC misunderstanding.

2c, Roleplaying scenes or plots.

A roleplaying scene can be chanced upon, whereby your character interacts with another for a period of time, other times they are prearranged to develop a character or relationship between players.

A plot is usually a more long running story of scenes, which ultimately allow characters to shape and contribute to the end of that story. If done right, the plot contributes to the development of a character as well.

3, How do I Roleplay.

There are many ways to roleplay and indeed degree's at which you'll feel comfortable. I will eventually have a tips section near the end of this guide to give you some more specific pointers, for now lets focus on some very general concepts.

3a, Choose a type of character you want to roleplay.

The depth to which you pick and flesh out your character, depends on how much roleplaying you'll be doing. Some basic ways to get started roleplaying, are to choose some flaws or handicaps your character has and use those in your day to day playing, equally choose some unobvious strengths, this helps you to appear more human and less of a blank slate.

For a slightly more in depth experience, you might choose where your character was born, what his family were called, what religion they follow, some childhood friends that you knew.

To go into even more detail, you would pick out events that shaped your character and made them who they are today, subtle things are usually best for this, the more the better!

The more depth you go into for your character, the more you'll have to talk about or draw on when you slowly become more and more involved in roleplaying. Try to pick up things that you experience in the game and slowly build them into your character, there is nothing like recounting real in game experiences that have shaped your character, it makes you much easier to connect with to those around you and builds common ground.

You'll find it a gradual experience, as you need to get to know the people your roleplaying with and develop some sort of common ground, no matter what that commonality is, just like day to day social life.

3b, Find a guild, group of friends or like minded people

This will open up many more options for roleplaying, help you become introduced to the concepts and get involved. You'll find guild organized plots and events some of the real gravy in any roleplaying community, there is nothing like being part of a twisting and often dynamic story with real people as participants rather than NPC's.

Even if your playing as a loner or evil character, joining a guild or community which supports that will offer numerous chances to get involved in roleplaying scenes or plots.

3c, Just get out there and roleplay lines of text or actions

You'll find people will be attracted to your character if he or she is openly able to appear in character in public. The easiest things to do, even without a good knowledge of the world or lore, are to pick things at face value and speak about them or emote about them.

Being of a Bounty Hunter nature, my character is often moaning about how much i'm getting paid, its a very simple concept and easy to work into gameplay. Yours might be about the weather or lack of protection for Senators, searching for your long lost love, ordering deathsticks at cantinas, or the armor your forced to wear etc.

Take something at face value in the game and just speak about it openly, at worst you'll find nobody takes notice, at best you'll start making the friends you need to make.
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PostSubject: Re: A Guide To Roleplaying In MMOs   Sun Jun 27, 2010 11:37 pm

4, Things to avoid.

4a, Godmoding, also called bunnying.

Quote :

Originally Posted by Urban dictonary
Bunnying is taking control of characters other than your own in order to make the storyline go the way you want it to.

It's an often fallen into trap, whereby you'll play and slowly develop your character to the point of being all powerful, after all you've been in thousands of battles, your level 80 and in a big guild right?

There are many reasons why godmoding is bad for roleplay, firstly it takes away from others contributing to it, secondly many people ‘want' to be able to 'win' a situation or scene but its not about winning its about shaping and developing a story, as soon as you realize that, you'll want others to become more and more involved in a scene.

The main tip to avoid godmoding is to attempt to do something in character, don't assume you have. The worst godmoding line ever written would be something like:

*Kills Kvan with a vibrosword*

Its up to the player your attacking to decide if you've hit let alone killed them, for the best form I would be put something like.

*Swings his blade, aiming low and rushing forward to try and knock his opponent off balance*

If you must think of a story or character in terms of power, you'll always find the less you assume and the more you leave up to other people to get them involved, the more people will want to roleplay with you, as your giving them more influence in the scenes outcome.

Another tip would be, to go into any scene or plot and react as if your character really was just struck with an axe or hammer and you will not only encourage people to do the same but they may actually feel guilty for godmoding in the first place *winks*.

4b, Godmoding, mixing OOC and IC information.

In some roleplaying circles, its considered godmoding to use knowledge gained OOC in your IC actions, depending on the roleplaying etiquette of the particular people you roleplay with, you might be able to explain this through stating it was a rumour, common knowledge or ‘you were told from your sources’ etc.

I tend to take my lead from others, I am happy to be followed and surprised IC by an assassin I knew about OOC, so as not to break the flow of things, this doesn’t mean I won't act IC to make gradual emotes indicating my suspicion, my preparing myself and then going to investigate.

Its really down to who your in a scene with but I would always avoid things that will completely ruin the potential plot, for instance:

*Weeks of planning*
Guild Character, I know that mans a spy!
Spy, How?
Guild Character, Erm, well, I saw you with another guild tag on yesterday.
Spy, Whats a guild tag?

Its an extreme example but I think it illustrates the point.

4c, Disruption

If a scene is ongoing, especially a roleplayed event, try to get a feel of what its all about and the direction the people are trying to take it before doing something diametrically opposed to whats going on. This is controversial, I realize but the best bet is to try and message someone in charge and say if I keep this to a minimum, is it acceptable?

Lets say the king is holding a feast but your group wants to kill the king and often roleplays to that effect, you could just charge in to this organized feast and completely ruin it for everyone involved or you could interact with the guards there, have a scuffle or shout a few obscenities and then be thrown/driven out

You've had some roleplay, the guard who's stationed there had something to do so he's happy and the event carries on with no real disruption. All too often such events are attacked by wandering bandits over and over again, which does nothing to encourage people to set up the events trust me *grins*.

5, Tips and tricks

5.1, Ignore a characters OOC level when your talking to them IC.

When speaking about level or skill, try using relative terms such as very strong, I am weak with the sword, my pet is injured etc.

5.2, Ask for a characters name when you first meet

It helps to get the ball rolling and introduce yourself as a roleplayer.

5.2a, When meeting someone for the first time, don’t assume you know their name or guild.

There are role-playing ways to get around this. For example, when meeting a guild member for the first time say something like "I see you are wearing the uniform/badge/tabard of <guild name>. My name is <name> and I'm a member of <guild name> too".

5.3, Emote, emote, emote!

Use * * to convey actions as well as words, this adds a great deal of options for your character.

5.4, Meeting Non-Roleplayers

When faced with someone who isn't roleplaying in the slightest and becomes confused that you are, just play along IC, some of the most amusing roleplay comes from unintended or unexpected situations and this is just one of those times.

5.5, Almost anything can be communicated or done IC if you think about it.

Precisely what is says there.

5.6, When you find a roleplayer in a chance encounter, send them a /tell thanking them OOC

This will help you to build roleplaying contacts and friendships. Especially if the IC interaction was negative, for example you attacked them or you had an IC argument.

5.7, Do a little reading on some of the general concepts on the lore behind the game

It will allow you to better shape your character in tune with the world around you.

5.8, Playing the bad guy.

It is generally much more difficult to play an evil character well, this is because people have a tendency to overdo it and stereotype themselves into one kind of arch villain character, with no other aspect to them. If your playing a bad guy, try thinking in terms of shades of grey, pick elements of your character that are more positive or normal and those that make him evil, again this helps to make them seem more human, as even the most ruthless characters have human aspects to them.

6, Erotic Roleplay

Adult roleplaying situations exist in all forms on a roleplaying server, violence, politics, social gatherings etc. Erotic roleplaying is not to everyone’s taste by any means and the most important thing to remember if you ever engage in it is, erotica roleplaying is not cybersex.

It’s the same as remembering OOC and IC actions are separate.

So what is erotica roleplaying? Well it can be many things, at one end of the spectrum it might be two characters sharing a meal, maybe a sunset, then a kiss and then using the *fade to black* line to end the roleplay and leave it up to your imagination, at the other end of the spectrum you have fully blown, roleplayed intimacy.

I am not going to give a huge amount of detail about erotic roleplay, except to suggest you always ask your partner OOC if they are comfortable with proceeding, everyone has different temperaments and its best to find this out up front, use emotes and take things slowly if you don’t know someone very well.

Quote :

Originally Posted by Dark Desires
We make a distinction between “Cybersex” and “Erotic Roleplaying”. Cybersex is the text-equivalent of phone sex. Erotic Roleplaying on the other hand can get completely intimate (and very explicit) as well, but also includes ‘light’ sexiness such as flirting and teasing and dancing. From there it takes the range past erotic dancing and lap dances to touching and cuddling to more intimate practices.

7, Advanced Roleplaying Concepts
I have purposely kept this part of the guide separate, as I only want to speak about concepts that are far above and beyond what usually goes on in roleplaying, do not read this if your new, as you will rarely if ever use anything here.

7a, Fluid time

Fluid time is not an easy thing for people to grasp, its not used much and only certain groups will make use of it. That said let me give you an example of it before I try to explain it in literal terms.

You might roleplay a scene from the past, to effect your characters development and give you more developed ties in the present scenes or plots. If you've always said IC your family died when you were young, you might want your family to be slaughtered by a particular character to give you a real and developed IC hatred of them, you might want a the ceremony where you married a women developed and fleshed out in full, so the present ties feel even more connected to you IC.

Many mediums of roleplaying use fluid time to help develop characters and indeed relationships between friends and enemies, with source material people can actually reference and experience first hand.

Its literal definition is that a character can roleplay scenes in the past or even future, while still having a relative place in the present, in terms of moving forward with the development of their character.
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