[Guide] As a new Roleplayer, I wish I knew...

Wyrmrest Accord
That sometimes less is more. I wish I'd realised in the beginning that being a "multi-para" RPer isn't mandatory or even desirable every interaction.

Every minutae of my character's body language wasn't always necessary. In fact I am sure I came across at times like I was high on my own verbose monologue and in love with the sound of my own typing.
Your don't need to bedazzle your RP profile with flashy coloured text, background art and embedded music. It might actually work against you finding folks interested in RPing with you, especially if you're wallflowering waiting for someone to initiate walk-up RP with you because most likely your profile is unreadable.

I could rant and rave forever about unreadable RP profiles but please know that just because TRP and w/e addon you use provides you with the tools to customize your profile, you don't always have to or need to.
10/08/2018 03:52 AMPosted by Elystiah
That sometimes less is more. I wish I'd realised in the beginning that being a "multi-para" RPer isn't mandatory or even desirable every interaction.

Every minutae of my character's body language wasn't always necessary. In fact I am sure I came across at times like I was high on my own verbose monologue and in love with the sound of my own typing.
I'd like to protest my inability to like this 1 million times.
I wish I knew better naming conventions. But alas, it's too late for me now. I'm too far gone.
Just because we only seem to have one side of this argument:

Detail is fine!
You're not an elitist if you enjoy writing a story, or ensuring your writing partners can accurately envision what your character is like in their heads by describing their thoughts, feelings or small actions. Write your story the way -you- want, the way it's fun for you.
To avoid elves.
10/08/2018 11:09 AMPosted by Balthezar
To avoid elves.


I did ask in the OP to keep sarcasm out. Please continue to keep this thread on topic and meaningful, thank you.
10/08/2018 11:38 AMPosted by Lindiwe
10/08/2018 11:09 AMPosted by Balthezar
To avoid elves.


I did ask in the OP to keep sarcasm out. Please continue to keep this thread on topic and meaningful, thank you.


Elves are pompous and mean IC generally.
I am serious.
Playing a bit or background part in another person's story can be just as fun and rewarding, sometimes even more so, than being the center of attention.

Conversely, if you're always playing second fiddle to someone who just has to be in the spotlight, you may need new RP partners.

RP at its best has an ebb and flow; everybody gets their chance to shine, if done right.
A good tip for carrying conversations in RP (and in real life) is to always give the other person an "in." When you're writing out a response, take a quick second to think about whether you're leaving it closed or open-ended. If someone says "I really hate mages" and you just say "me too", it's a lot harder for the other person to keep the flow going. Drop in a short anecdote they can relate to, a hook they can ask about, or just ask them a question. Eventually you'll get used to writing open-ended and it'll just be second nature, and you'll see the wonders it does to lessen awkward pauses or choppy RP!

Secondly, don't feel like you have to provide 100% of the entertainment. The other player is here to RP, not read a novel. A good chunk of their fun comes from playing their character as well as getting to know yours. A lot of the time, being an enjoyable RP partner comes down to indulging the other person in their story and trusting that in time they'll also indulge you in yours. It's exhausting to feel like you have to be providing interesting and engaging content 24/7-- try sitting back from time to time and going along on somebody else's ride. You might find yourself having more fun than you'd think. ;-)

When you're first starting out, play to your strengths and feel free to start small! WoW lore can feel huge and overwhelming, especially if you're new. You might want to eventually play a centuries-old Night Elf Death Knight with a complex and accomplished history, but it's okay to work yourself up to it. If you don't have a lot of lore knowledge, start with a character who doesn't, either. If you feel like RPing combat is out of your depth, have your character be new to it, too. This is a great way to learn the ropes stress-free, because you and your character get to figure it out together! And if you feel like you're getting the hang of it, feel free to roll a new RP character. You don't have to be married to the first character you make!

And lastly, "show don't tell" works wonders for revealing backstory. You wrote up a super cool backstory for your character and you're really excited to share it with the world, and that's cool! But I've learned through my years of RP that people will be a lot more interested and invested in your backstory if it starts to come out naturally and in pieces rather than as a sudden autobiography. Drop some bread crumbs into conversation and let people latch onto them if they want to. If you are gonna flat-out spell something out for someone, make sure your character has some reason for it. And as always, keep it conversational. No one wants to hear your character monologue for an hour about their history, but most people would have a blast swapping crazy stories with you.
Take a moment to observe what's going on before walking up to a group who is already roleplaying. It may be inappropriate and disruptive for your swindling gadget salesman or elf hating orc to barge into a serious or feelsy scene. Ask first OOC if you think your approach will derail things.

When you disrupt or hijack a scene in motion and shift the focus onto your character with a gimmick, you risk people ignoring or avoiding you.

It's much better to join a scene in progress as a contributing participant instead of as a disruptive hijacker.
RETCONNING IS OKAY.

if something isn't making you happy, or you think your character has gotten too complicated from all the little interactions they've had over time, it's okay to edit things up a little bit. you are not beholden to a sacred rule of commitment. you don't have to canonize that weird walkup you had if you don't want to.

don't be a flake who constantly retcons, but sometimes it's necessary and no one should make you feel bad about it. if you are worried about damaging other peoples' stories by no longer being involved in them, they can just use an NPC very similar to your character to fill in that void.

on the subject of gimmicks:

gimmicks are only a starting prompt for a stronger character.

both you and everyone around you are going to become extremely bored, extremely quickly, with that cute little cupcake seller idea. an RP hook is meaningless if there's nothing below the exterior because after a while the onus of keeping the scene going is always going to be on the non-gimmicky characters when you have nothing to offer but more cupcakes.
I wish I'd better understood many tags and terms used in peoples' profiles: Multi-para, mirror, Godmodding, OC, etc. And not in the literal sense but rather, how it actually tends to translate into actual RP.

As far as I'm concerned, pretty much all RP is good RP, but being able to accurately assess different peoples' listed preferences and being able to communicate your own helps a lot.
I wish I'd better understood many tags and terms used in peoples' profiles: Multi-para, mirror, Godmodding, OC, etc. And not in the literal sense but rather, how it actually tends to translate into actual RP.

As far as I'm concerned, pretty much all RP is good RP, but being able to accurately assess different peoples' listed preferences and being able to communicate your own helps a lot.
Those two especially. I still don't understand what multi-para means even after having someone with it in their trp explain it.
10/13/2018 06:03 PMPosted by Kunboket
I wish I'd better understood many tags and terms used in peoples' profiles: Multi-para, mirror, Godmodding, OC, etc. And not in the literal sense but rather, how it actually tends to translate into actual RP.

As far as I'm concerned, pretty much all RP is good RP, but being able to accurately assess different peoples' listed preferences and being able to communicate your own helps a lot.
Those two especially. I still don't understand what multi-para means even after having someone with it in their trp explain it.


Generally, when speaking of Warcraft, it is someone that will go over the character limit of the in-game chat (255 I think?), and post a long post that may require scrolling.

In regards of chat as a new roleplayer, I wish I knew that out of character (OOC) is sometimes necessary. It keeps feelings from being hurt, enriches roleplay and makes you friends!
IC=/=OOC

I've seen it in many profiles, and have it in a fair few of mine. The concept itself wasn't really introduced to me until mid-late Wrath/Cata, but I had started playing in Vanilla. I used to assume back in 2006 that if a character I was interacting with was angered by my Dwarf's actions, that they were also angry at me, the player. Given the nature of roleplay it's natural to get frustrated or somewhat upset if someone else hurts or insults your character, but it should never be assumed that they are attacking you, the player.
Something I wish I knew that relates to conversation both IC (in character) and OOC (out of character):

I read a book that broke conversation down into 3 stages, and I've found this breakdown immensely helpful, not only while RPing but in daily social life as well.

1. (least personal) small talk about observable events. (eg. the weather, current events.)
2. (somewhat personal) discussing and finding common viewpoints and interests (eg. favorite music, favorite food -- OOC avoid discussing politics, religion, or sex, but IC politics and religion might be okay.)
3. (most personal) stuff going on in your personal lives and your feelings about them. (eg. I'm so happy I just got into university, I'm scared because my sister is an undead killing machine in a position of power.)

Normal conversational progression starts at 1 and eventually progresses to 3, although it may take a while to build up the trust/bonding to get there. Jumping ahead to 2 or 3 when you've just met a person feels awkward and unnatural.

::Edit:: Also, if you don't like/trust the other person, like they're all skeezy or something, conversation may never progress past level 1. If the other person tries to push ahead to a level you don't feel comfortable with, you can always try pulling back to a lower level... and if that doesn't work, politely take your leave.

I'm really glad I know this now, because now I can avoid the awkwardness of trying to jump straight to level 3 in order to reveal my character's backstory.
Your characters can tell YOU their stories.
Creating a character with a fully-fleshed out backstory, personality, habits, and so on can be daunting, difficult, and can become an unfortunate roadblock.

Sometimes, creating the character, giving them a name and a job, and flinging them into the world of roleplay interaction can help with this immensely. They can tell you their stories and personality quirks without you having to overthink it while staring at the character creation screen, a notebook or piece of paper with brainstorms, or your X/T/MRP type interfaces.
I wish I'd known that it's okay to whisper somebody OOC if an IC interaction leaves you confused, uncomfortable, or feeling you just did something wrong, or if you want to walk up to someone but are too shy or don't know how. For some reason I was actually less shy about initiating walk-up when I first started than I am now, but there were several interactions in which I:
1. Got completely confused about lore details in the course of an IC interaction, and spent the rest of it trying to bluff my way through and getting stressed about probably looking like an idiot, and not even thinking about whispering ((hey, sorry! I'm super new to this game, is there something really important I should know here?))
Or,
2. Met with a hostile reaction from another character, and wasn't sure if I had ticked the player off somehow, not yet being used to the idea that players and characters are separate and can be engaged separately.
Or,
3. Went along with strange directions that random RP encounters took, while I got progressively more uncomfortable, until it got bad enough that I ran away/logged out. Part of this was naivete, part of it was not being confident in my right to say no, and part of it was, again, not having it occur to me that I could whisper someone and say ((Excuse me, where are you wanting to take this, exactly?)) rather than having to just wait and see.

Essentially, I wish I'd known that OOC communication during RP is doable, not wrong, and very important, and that being confused or uncomfortable isn't something you should hide from people out of fear that they'll dismiss you as a noob.

(Edit because formatting errors make me unable to let go.)

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