II. Preparations for Roleplaying
1. Character Development
Alright, so you probably know the general lines of what roleplay is and how to do it. However, you probably don't know one of the most important element of roleplay – defining who and what your character is. Of course, you may think I'm talking about image and personality, but I'm also talking about their history or past. This will require some research on your part or help from someone who's willing to help develop your backstory.
To make it easier for you, and to help you fill out as many details as you can (you'll want to, if it's your first character), I've gone and found a skeleton that you can use to sort out who your character truly is. RP skeleton from Sisters of Elune forums
It has many areas to research, and the only ones you really need to try and think about are the first two sections (along with a short history portion). If you want, you can save your form on your computer for reference.
Some details can be iffy, so it would probably be best to look at http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/981898955
(A Sisters of Elune Guide to Roleplaying the Races of Azeroth
) for details you can't quite seem to find. It will also give you some very small but important details on your character that you may otherwise miss, especially some that are race-only.
MANY more questions and their answers can be found here, in this giant Roleplaying FAQ Compilation
Lastly, before I go to the next section -- keep the power of your toon relatively toned down. No one wants to hear about how you solo'd Black Temple and Zul'Aman when it's almost lore-breaking to do so, nor do they want to hear about how you almost lost your life to a bunny critter. Everything in the Warcraft world should take some relative amount of effort to kill or defeat, and raid bosses should be as difficult (or nearly impossible) to defeat as they were when they were raid progression.
Imagine your character is now level 60. They won't be able to just waltz into Molten Core and solo it, and they'll need to make quite a bit of friends before they even think about going in there. Going by your character's relative power this way is acceptable; using your character's in-game, raw power is unadvised.II. Preparations for Roleplaying
2. And the Things You Need To Know
Now that you have your character's history, appearance, and other details taken care of, I think it's about time that I introduced you to some helpful roleplaying addons. I'll only list the three that I think are worth mentioning, because there are many roleplaying addons out there for more detailed, intricate things and I'm not consuming a whole post just to talk about a list of addons that are completely optional.MyRoleplay
MyRoleplay allows both a physical character description, and a spot to write in the history of your character - however much or little you'd like to give away. You can also put in your character's height, weight, what emotion they're feeling at the time, where their hometown is, what House they are from if they are nobility, etc. It's a much more in-depth addon.
FlagRSP2 is much like MyRoleplay, except that it is strictly for PHYSICAL descriptions - as in what someone would see if they are looking at your character. It is worth mentioning that if a player has MyRoleplay, they can still read people's descriptions that are running FlagRSP, and people that are running FlagRSP can read people with MyRoleplay, so just pick the one you like the most. (You will probably have a MUCH better time looking for roleplay with these addons than you would without, and on some realms, that is the only way RP still lives... so keep these in mind
Lastly, while SpeakinSpell isn't a necessity or a great help to have, it is pretty useful. Say you want to bind a certain saying (or several certain sayings) to a single spell, but don't want it going off for the number of times you're spamming the button. This addon will only broadcast that saying in accordance to what you input, and can make battles throughout your roleplaying a more in-character experience.
Another great thing to know before you start to roleplay is to try and be outgoing. If you aren't asking to join roleplays (out of character), there's a good chance you might be ignored. Griefers are everywhere, and roleplayers that are experienced with them often ignore people who actually have intent to RP, and instead of just jumping in, ask them (in (())'s or in a PM) if you can join.