A RP Survival Guide

Earthen Ring
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Big ol’ Disclaimer: The RP information/advice I give may or may not agree with other role-players. Regardless, this guide is to help those wanting to learn more about role-playing and more specifically how to RP in-game.

I hope this helps folks. :) Have fun and Godspeed!

What’s In This Guide
This guide contains helpful ideas for creating a character backstory, Starting out, and RP tips/ideas. All this is offered to help folks, but feel free to use any or all of it to help with your characters. You can find more at my site, rpmadesimple.com - my RP project.


Table of Contents

Introduction to Role-Playing - http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/7415795418?page=1#2
A Few Terms Used In This Guide - http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/7415795418?page=1#3
Introduction to Backstory Creation - http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/7415795418?page=1#4
Part I: Lore & Your “Role” In It - http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/7415795418?page=1#5
Part IIa: Character Development - http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/7415795418?page=1#6
Part IIb: Character Development - http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/7415795418?page=1#7
Part III: The Character Description - http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/7415795418?page=1#8
Bringing It All Together - http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/7415795418?page=1#9
Helpful Backstory/RP Tips - http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/7415795418?page=1#10
RPing in a Static World - http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/7415795418?page=1#12
Talking the "Talk" - http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/7415795418?page=1#13
Helpful Addons/Links - http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/7415795418?page=1#14
Shyness - http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/7415795418?page=1#15
Starting Out - http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/7415795418?page=1#16
Finding RP - http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/7415795418?page=1#17
Events & Gatherings - http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/7415795418?page=1#18
Enhancing Your RP - http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/7415795418?page=1#19
Storylines - http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/7415795418?page=1#20
The 30-Minute RPer: For Non-RPers - http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/7415795418?page=2#24
An Introduction to Role-Playing
Role-Playing is about assuming a role of a character in a role-playing game, being someone else for a period of time using improvisation (unscripted) acting and dialogue. It’s a form of escapism, creativity and fun - starting for most us as kids in the back yard using our imagination.

Storytelling (and telling the character's story) is heavily connected with role-playing. Telling your character’s story through adventures and story arcs while playing your RPG of choice. Similar to books, movies and tv series. So, the basic idea is a simple one – having fun by creating a “role” and “living out” a story as a character of your design. Much of this is done via impromptu acting.

Why do it? For many people, it’s their version of hobbies like football, hunting, or racing – it’s something that is fun.

Mythbusting RP
You may hear -alot- about RPers and role-playing. Some parts are true, others are uniformed “labels” and stereotypes. Here’s some common and not-so-common “myths” and generalizations:

RPers are Weird
Past the pixels, we are all people. Some folks raid, others PvP - others RP. it's just another way of enjoying the game we have. Some RPers do all three!

RPers ALL have to use “thee” and “thou” (olde/middle english)
No, we don’t all do that – some borrow from it, but mainly we use sentence structure and grammar based on the type of character we play and the game’s lore. The wording may reflect another time/place - but it’s not always Shakespeare or Chaucer.

RPers walk… everywhere
While some think that is the “norm”, it’s not. Think of it this way – In everyday life, do you run everywhere? No. There are times and places where running and walking make sense to do. Hear an alarm in town, and wish to see what the deal is? You run. At a gathering and mingling? You walk. Two very clear example, but you can apply the logic to any situation by thinking of how it would be done in everyday life.

You -have- to be in character (IC) 24/7
While staying in character (or blending in if not a role-player) is important, you have to remember that everyday life takes the higher priority. Sometimes you need down-time, and go OOC.

You -must- RP if you are on a RP Server.
Not all players on a RP Server role-play or seldom do due to one reason or another. Some think they will make a mistake and embarrass themselves. Most have friends that do RP or they either chose a RP Server because they wanted to get away from “normal” servers. Some just picked the server at random based on Server Time and did not know it was a RP Server to begin with. You know what? It’s ok.

The “RP Police” will not break down your virtual door. Honest. Most games focus little on making sure that players know what a RP server is, and that you should follow the policies therein. With a little respect and understanding, we can all get along.

RPers are (all) elitist #$%^&s
Another label applied to many (if not all) role-players. Most RPers are cool with other role-players. It’s a mixed lot of different styles, mindsets and attitudes. Some are “perfectionists” but most do (and should) treat everyone equally, regardless of style. Some are shy, believe it or not, which sometimes gets seen as “snobbish”. Remember we are all human, and are not just pixels out there. :) Some appear “exclusive” or cliquish – there is a good reason for that.
But wait! There’s more:

For some reason (either for spite or just bad form) small groups of people set out with no better goal than to harass or hurt others. This includes making fun or ruining role-playing and role-players. People with this intent really need to get help or get a good dose of the golden rule. Sadly, behavior like this does form a wall or barrier for others wanting to role-play. That is what some people “see” when they encounter some role-players – a defensive reaction. This is not the norm for all RP guilds or groups, but you can get an idea if a group or individual seems skittish to new RPers.

Just play responsibly (like in any other game or hobby) and explain to you family/friends (nicely!) what’s going on if it hits the radar. It’s better than letting them get the wrong idea. :)

RP’ers can’t Raid or PvP
Role-players can indeed Raid and PvP, it’s just not a high priority to some players. RPers can be very PvP and Raid-minded too. We can like to bust heads and kick bosses just like you – really. Sometimes we Raid or PvP ICly. :)
A Few Terms Used In This Guide

Backstory: The background story/history/details of a character.

"Bending" / "Breaking" Lore: Bending Lore is an idea or concept that pushes the "envelope" of the game's existing "canon" lore or genre, while Breaking Lore "breaks" the "envelope", which can disrupt role-playing.

Character/Player Character (PC): A player role-playing out his/her character.

Character Description: How your character or a NPC (Non Player Character) would be described if seen for the first time using words.

Griefer: A particular onery critter that regales itself by disrupting RP. Most notably being rude, jumping into the middle of the RP area or fires. Most times "nekkid". :P

IC: Short for “In Character”, for when the player is playing his role.

ICly: Short for “while in character”.

Immersion: The suppression as much of OOC as possible for a more immersive RP experience. The more immersion, the more you can focus on your character and his/her role-playing. The “holy grail” of role-playing.

Lore: The mythology, history and background of a place, item or game world.

Mary Sue/Gary Stu: Idealistic characters, capable of doing almost anything and with little or no consequences. There characters know everything and can literally do no wrong. They are, in a sense, “perfect”. Most games frown upon using them.

Metagaming: Using OOC information or game/rule mechanics to influence your IC roleplay or used against another player without permission. An example would be knowing a persons name or class if you have never met in character.

Non-RPer: Someone who doesn't role-play.

OOC: Short for “Out Of Character”, for when the player is not playing his/her character.

OOCly: Short for “while out of character.

RP(ing): Short for role-playing or role-play. Immersing yourself in a game as another persona/character using impromptu acting.

RPer: A role-player.

Story Arcs: A series of storylines and plots devices/series of adventures over a period of time. Also called a Campaign.

Storylines: The adventures and stories that the characters participate in.

Storyteller: A RP designated to watch over/direct a storyline, much like old school DMing. Also known as an "ST"
Introduction to Backstory Creation
In simple terms, a Backstory is the background information (history/details) of a character. This is something that makes great books, movies, television and other storytelling uses - like role-playing games.

For role-playing, your character’s Backstory is very important. It provides character depth and forms a “blueprint” for your RP and what happens next with your character. Creating a foundation for your character’s past, present and future. It’s like your favorite characters - they are not cardboard cutouts. Neither should your character be. :) The details bring your character to life.

You have a backstory in real life, so why not your character? The following steps can help bring some depth to your character creation.

Do you need a “full” backstory to role-play?
The answer is no. However, the more info in your backstory, the better you can define your character and how he/she exists in the game world. Some role-players keep a few notes on hand and “wing it” adding as they go. Get a couple of index cards, jot down some basics to remember, and go from there.

Either system can work. Just use what works best and is fun for you.
Part I: Lore & Your “Role” In It
The first step in making your character’s backstory is to know some of the lore (world details and background) of the game world. This is done through research on the genre and game’s lore. It’s timeline, history – prominent characters and even details like customs, language and such. Remember that there will be some things that you and/or your character will not know. That’s ok - some mystery is always cool.

Knowing some of the backstory (history/details) of the game world helps “fit” your character in the game world. Otherwise, you out of the “loop”, not really understanding what is going on. It’s much like catching a movie half way through or starting a book in the middle. You really don’t get as much fun out of the experience.

Using the game’s Lore adds immersion and flavor to the role-playing. And a whole level of fun as you play. And no… you don’t have to know everything about the game world, but every bit helps – for both you and your character’s knowledge. Just keeping some notes to the side or can help. So, take time to do some research. Go online and research to help fill in the blanks.

Bending/Breaking Lore
"Bending" Lore is pushing the envelope on the game's existing lore and should be used sparingly, if at all. This involves slight tweaks to the backstory or RP which are non-impacting to other players.

An example would be a mage that uses semantic and/or material components for all spells, ala D&D vs learn and cast game mechanics. Another example would be a Ice Mage, which just uses frost spells (no fire, period) and maybe some miscellaneous arcane spells. OOCly, the player can do as he likes.

"Breaking" Lore are huge tweaks to the character's backstory that tends to generate Mary Sue/Gary Stu-like characters and often times can cause godmodding/metagaming, so avoid this path. This includes character concepts like being a relative to major in-game lore NPCs, or role-playing a real “god” in a game.

Note: This normally is frowned upon my most rp communities.

Now, if your character is delusional and thinks he is a god – that’s different. :)

Tip: Being Jaina's and Arthas' love child may sound appealing as a concept, but it will most likely not hold water. The same would be true for being a half-Dragon, half-Vampire, half-Worgen and having the Titans on speed dial. Not a good plan. :)

Handling Exotic/Lore Breaking Concepts

Disclaimer: I’m not going to say “No! Don’t do that.” mainly because it’s a player decision. What I am going to say is that it would be difficult to try to play that off and probably should be avoided. Most RPers will not accept it and it just causes problems. Seriously, you can have a lot of creativity without resorting to breaking lore.

Some role-players may really want to play (half) dragons, vampires, demons and the like. I would suggest to see what “openings” are actually in the game’s lore first. Then see if it actually can work and make sense logically within it. If it isn't, save that concept for a different game.

But I really, really want to!
While it can lead to issues in role-playing, there are workarounds that could lessen the impact. Let's take that "I'm a Dragon!" example.

If you really, really really have to play a half-dragon or “dragon”, you -could- just be a disguised dragon, much like some Dragon NPCs are in World of Warcraft. Just watch who you tell and how you RP it – or not tell anyone at all. That way, it impacts nothing, but can lead to interesting RP with close friends that are cool with the concept.

Another loophole is that your character is perceived as being delusional. While you may be the "Dragon" ICly, it might be just in your head. (Or is it?)

In theory, you could use this to get away with more "exotic" concepts, but it's best not to make them too public. The more extreme or exotic the concept - the harder it will be to RP effectively and fit into lore. Less folks will accept the concept and will seriously hinder your role-playing interactions. RPers who are very into lore, however, may not be as amused with your character concept. So be warned.

The secret to this to kinda working is to never do anything that really god-modes or metagames another RPer.

Tip: Just running around bragging ICly “I’m a Dragon!” and Godmoding everything is a definite NO. Welcome to Goldshire. /cringe
Part IIa: Character Development
A good way to create a character is to pull out some paper or notepad and brainstorm. Simple terms first, then add details, using the research you havedone. Toss out the things that might not fit the game’s lore or your concept.

Think concept first, the class: don’t let a game’s “class” paint you in a corner! Note: You do not need a full backstory to role-play. However, the more info in your backstory, the better you can define your character and how he/she reacts in the game world. Some role-players keep a few notes on hand and “wing it” adding as they go. Just use what works best and is fun for you.

Here’s a few example questions to help flesh out your character. You do not
have to answer all of these, but it can’t hurt! :)

The Past:
1) Where were your character born and raised?
2) Who were your family or guardians? Siblings?
3) How did your “family” and upbringing influence your character?
4) What had your character learned through education and childhood?
5) What major events and/or people influenced his/her childhood?
6) Overall, what was your character’s childhood like?

Recent Past:
1) What has your character done recently prior to being “active”?
2) What does your character actually “do” for a living?
3) How would your character explain it to a stranger if he/she had to?
4) What is your character’s present mental/emotional/physical state?
5) What is your character’s world view, beliefs and/or mindset?
6) What is your character’s morals or values?
7) What are your character’s quirks, merits, flaws and/or traits?
8) What are your character’s likes/loves and dislikes/hates?
9) What does your character do well? Doesn’t do well?
10) What does your character do when “off the clock”?
11) What does your character sound like? (dialects, accents, etc.)
12) Does your character use certain expressions or words, if any?

The Present (and Future):
1) What are your character’s short term goals?
2) What are your character’s long term goals?
3) What’s your “Carrot on a stick?” What motivates your character?
4) How “social” will your character be when interacting with others?
5) How would your character to be remembered? Or would it matter?
6) Does your character have any friends? Enemies? (Ex)Love interests?
Part IIb: Names & Naming
I cannot begin how stress important this can be for your character and role-playing. Names can make or break your RP, so put some thought into it.

In some MMORPGs, there’s the “Random Name Generator” (RNG for short), which is a curse and a blessing. It’s nice that they included it and it sometimes works. Other times… not so much. I remember trying to use it in Star Wars Galaxies. “Rtyufjjweuwdg” I think is what it came up with. :P

While the RNG is ok, it’s far from perfect. So, we need to improvise. Sometimes you can find a name easy. Sometimes you can’t.

The "basic" rule is to try to pick names that are logical based on race, environs, and lore of the game. The tone of your campaign may allow for parody/joke names. It’s ok to have a bit of fun, but try to find a name that fits the game. Tip: Sometimes taking a look at the way common names are done in the game’s lore and such can give you a good idea of what you can name your character.

Tip: Don't forget that RP "Flagging" Addons used in-game can change/add/alter your name and add details to your character.
Part III: The Character Description
A Character Description ideally tells people what your character looks like physically, including any sounds, “vibes”, scents or mannerisms. Try to keep it as brief as possible and relay what one may see/feel outwardly.

Think of how you would describe your character’s appearance to someone else. It really helps paint a picture and makes your character a bit more realistic for you and for your gaming group.

In Pen & Paper games, it is a real help. The DM would give a short description of a NPC (non-player character) if a player asked, or if there was a prominent person nearby. The same idea can be used to describe your character to another.

Here’s a sample Character Description:

The attractive young woman nearby has with short blond hair and blue eyes. Her skin is a light tan, and her blue dress seems to be common, but well kept. She wears a shell-shaped necklace.

From there, we got a basic idea of what she looked like. If a player spoke to her, the DM would give further information, such as how she speaks, mannerisms and anything else relevant while role-playing the NPC interacton. The things to hit on when creating a character description are these:

  • Outward Physical Appearance (Basics plus any prominent features)
  • Mannerisms (if applicable, can be expressed during rp)
  • Prominent (important) Items, such as weapons, jewelry, clothing details.
  • Sensory Details (smell, sounds - if applicable)
  • Vibes or Auras (if applicable)

  • You might not cover everything, but that’s ok! The rest can be delivered via role-playing over time. Just focus on basic and prominent features. The list above gives you some things to think about.

    Remember: Other players are not mind readers or the like. So resist adding too much information that other characters may not really know. Bring that stuff out in time during role-playing.

    Tip: In mmoRPgs, you have on average 5-10 seconds for someone reading the information you may have on a rp "flagging" addon. Make it count :)
    Bringing It All Together
    When you get done, should have a couple of paragraphs and/or a decent list of information regarding the character’s backstory – how the character sees the world and interacts with it (and other characters).

    We did some digging to find out more about the game’s lore, setting and other information for reference, bringing it together as a role-playing aid.

    Here’s an generic example bringing it all together for a Backstory for a fictional game world, but the basics apply to any game/genre:

    Name: Tatelyn (Tate)
    Character Description: This young man appears to be in his early twenties, sporting light brown hair, a short beard and grey eyes. A trace of a thin scar is evident on his left cheek. We is wearing green-dyed leather armor, black belt and high boots and has a short sword hung from his baldric.

    Backstory: “Tate” grew up near the village of Werth, not too far from the Capitol. He’s fairly educated and came from a good family, although he’s had a taste for getting himself in over his head as a child. His Uncle Norhan told him stories of adventures and such, which got him “curious” about seeking fame and fortune.

    When he was fifteen, he decided to explore the Blightwood Forest near his home, where he was grazed on his left cheek by a small bear. Since then he’s slowed down “a little” in his ways as part of the town militia, but if there’s something exciting to do and he gets wind of it, he’ll definitely pitch in.

    Now in his twenties, he’s a bit more respectful towards the forests and a bit mindful of those dwelling in it. He doesn’t like being called Tatelyn, his given name – and is first to correct someone using it, except his parents. In his belt pouch, he carries a locket he found with a drawing of a rather attractive young girl and the word “Anna” in styled calligraphy.

    So, “Tate” here is ready for whatever awaits him. He has some character development - a past, present and a future to grow and role-play with. When creating and role-playing your character, use the Backstory as a guide to how he/she acts and reacts to the game world. Put yourself in his/ her shoes and see through those eyes.

    It does get a little getting used to, but after a little practice it’s easier to get into your character’s “head”. We all have a story. Just like characters in movies, tv, literature and roleplaying games. Just like Tate here. He still has a story “in progress”. Maybe he’ll find “Anna” someday and return that locket. Who knows?
    Helpful Backstory/RP Tips (In No Particular Order)

    A key factor in good Role-Play is fun and being respectful of others, especially when out of character. The less bad drama, the better!

    Sometimes the little things can liven up your RP. Using certain words, signature items, actions or sayings can immerse yourself (and others) into character.

    For most games, keep your “brushes with fame” or “relations” with major/minor lore characters at a minimum, if at all. It can be looked down upon by other roleplayers.

    Forge your own path and story, not copy someone else’s. Adapt or borrow lightly from books, tv and movies, but don’t “steal”. Be creative!

    Learn to separate in character (IC) knowledge from out of character (OOC) knowledge. Your character doesn’t know everything that you do.

    Role-Playing conversations can be about anything, not just adventures or drama. Even IC “small talk” is RP. Take cues from real life and adapt them.

    When role-playing, don’t go “too” overboard - just keep it simple. It’s like using spices: Sometimes a dash is better than a handful.

    When adding role-playing to your game, try to keep it in pace with the storytelling and keep both IC and OOC drama low.

    Not everything will fit sometimes when creating a backstory. Some leftover ideas can be great starters for future characters!

    Give new role-players a chance and help them out. We all start somewhere!

    If you think you’ve angered someone OOCly with your RP, let them know it’s your character and that’s everything’s cool in case they took it the wrong way.

    Remember that role-playing games are social gatherings too. Make friends, be cool with each other and share the fun in your group.

    Use the stat rolls at creation and difficulty rolls while in game to your advantage in role-playing. Make the most of it ICly and OOCly.

    When role-playing, remember to share the stage, don’t hamfist your way through a scene. Give other role-players a chance to shine and have fun too.

    Nothing sinks a gaming group quicker than a disruptive/abusive/irritating character. Tone it down if it’s causing bad drama or disrupting things IC and OOCly. Know when to say when. :)

    Come up with a character concept first, then class. Think outside the “class” and adapt - don’t let it diminish your fun. Each class has many potential variants and alternatives - just use your imagination.

    Don’t get discouraged if you find it hard making a backstory or getting into character. It takes some getting used to and even veterans get “RPers Block”. :)

    It might be cool to incorporate/adapt in-game skills and secondary professions into your backstory as hobbies or talents.

    Even “regular” folks can be great heroes. Not every hero slays the dragon - sometimes they just have to hold out for one minute more...

    Be respectful IC and OOC - We are all people.

    In case of harassment, first ask them politely to stop, then if that fails – report and ignore the individual. Foul language can and possibly will show up. Too many people think the chat filter gives them the green light to curse and grief. My take on it is that people should exercise some manners, self control in their actions and speech. There is a big difference in cursing verbally in real life and physically typing it in game. Just because you can curse and there is a filter, doesn’t mean you should.

    Griefers and Griefing can and will happen sometime, but be the better person and first politely ask them to stop, and then report and ignore. It's not worth the stress.

    Set up RP boundaries and keep them in mind if an role-playing scene or encounter goes a bit overboard. There is good drama and bad drama – bad drama spills into “real life”, which messes up people. Knowing your limits helps guage these moments and know which ones to stay with or avoid.

    If in a bad situation – if that ever happens, attempt to work it out OOCly first. If the person is being rude OOCly or otherwise abusive, warn politely at first – then report if it persists. You will find many people in different mindsets and such – make sure you understand which actions/talk is OOC or IC.

    There will be times and places where you may need (or should) break character and talk oocly with people/groups. Be respectful and flexible with people who rp differently or not at all. Hopefully it will be returned and all will work out well. Griefing one way or another causes more issues than it avoids.
    If you can, inspire and encourage others to role-play. At events, make light conversation, or respond ICly if you get tossed into a RP scene or encounter. Don’t panic, go with the flow and just try. RP Bluewalling can have it’s good points.

    You can RP at ANY level. Some role-players think you have to level up to a “respectable” level to RP. In some cases, maybe, but you can RP at level 1 if you want.

    Use emotes to “flavor” your role-playing. For example, reading a book from a shelf, picking up goods in a shop or tossing a couple coins unto a table. Using objects and actions with them can be expressed simply by constructive uses of emoting. Just remember to respect others and do not spam, “God-mode” or go too far with your emotes.

    Be active in your server/realm RP Community. Working together and getting to know your fellow role-players in the RP Community can be a great help in finding, fostering and creating role-playing on your RP server/realm.

    Look for good RPers and see what they do. While this may not work for everyone, sometimes just being a spectator can give you an idea of what’s going on. Find and go to good Role-Playing events, talk to people – learn the ropes. Don’t be afraid to ask someone a question. Role-players are human, really! Most will like to help if they can, just understand they may be busy.

    Know what the terms IC and OOC mean. IC means In-Character. OOC means Out of Character. Basically, use IC chat for things your character would say “normally” (/say and /yell), use OOC chat for non-rp info (RL stuff, game discussion, etc. – General Chat, Trade, Defense, LFG etc.). Whispers can be optional, depending on the intent and usage.

    Level =/= Age. Some role-players confuse a player’s Level with age, sometimes using the term “Seasons” in place of age. Seasons should be used to describe years if it’s going to be used. Most Level 1 are not toddlers. :)

    Learn to see past the Game Mechanics. Another thing is names and other items you see due to game mechanics. Ignore the class. Go by what you see as your character would. Just as in everyday life you do not know people’s names automatically and what they do. Take that idea ingame. While someone may be a Rogue, it doesn’t mean he’s RPing one. Be “realistic” and react “normally” ICly to the world as your character would.

    Learn to see past the UI (User Interface). This can be the first stumbling block for some. All the , Character Names, and other UI stuff can really bog things down for some folks. With a little adjustment in your user interface settings, you can help a bit with immersion and getting into character.

    See past the static game world. Some zones and quests targets persist after your character has defeated them. Just RP past it and let someone else have their moment.

    RP Combat for the most part it's a topic of debate. Some do it this way, others that. Others want to just set up a duel, while others want to freeform script it. If the combatants can agree on a method, that should work. :) It's just hard without clear rules that don't evolve into OOC squabbles. :)

    Encourage role-playing and fellow role-players, but do not demand it.

    Borrow from everyday life for ideas on topics to talk about that can be adapted to fit your character. It's not all dragonslaying and heroics.
    RPing In A Static World
    In alot of mmorpgs, virtual worlds are “static” – the world never really changes aside from expansion packs or content patches/updates. Granted, we can do some temporary things, but for the most part it all reverts back by respawns and resets unless said patch, expansion or feature is added to the game “world”. While persistent, the “physical” world can be unwavering to time and player efforts. Role-players starting out sometimes have a similar question…

    How do I role-play in a static world?
    Static worlds are great to look at and you can immerse yourself in them. It’s just the canvas and frame to a bigger “picture” for folks that RP. It can also be a hurdle for folks that want to role-play in a more dynamic environment, but cannot due to game mechanics.

    Some games feature scripted events, either for quest or flavor-driven reasons. Many of them are very cool to watch, learn about the area/situation and enjoy. Sadly they tend to become like a broken record, but it’s better to have them than not at all.

    Most zones in mmorpgs are designed in a linear fashion, so the “Big Bad” you defeated when you just started playing is still alive, well… and kicking for instance.

    It’s the canvas and frame role-players have to use in mmorpgs. Just sometimes we are given very little paint. *grin* It does not mean however you can let it dampen your RP.

    Why does it matter?
    Immersion is a big deal for those that role-play. It’s like escaping as a character into a great story or movie. For alot of role-players, it would be great to be able to set up a camp – tent, campfire and a hammock, for example. Have or rent a flat in a city or even have our own cool shop or tavern. Walk the streets and interact with shopkeepers and passersby.

    Some games allow for some of that – others are not as into in the “cool” extras that could liven up a static area. Some games overlook it as “fluff”, but it can really make a difference to folks that role-play and an added novelty to those that don’t. Alot of it is up to us as role-players to add life to the game.

    The main thing to remember that imagination is your best tool and a static world is only as static as you make it.

    Shrug off the “Been There, Done That” pitfall
    Role-play around the static parts that pose an issue if you encounter them. Ignore the fact you’ve killed “Boss Dude #45? at least a 100 times – just move on, nothing to see here. *grin* Your adventures haven’t suffered that much and you still have much more to accomplish through questing and role-playing.

    You’ve had your virtual 15mins, it’s time for theirs
    You may find yourself helping someone RP an quest. If you’ve already done the quest or encountered the NPC that someone hasn’t, don’t spoil it for the folks that haven’t gone through it. If taking part in an event, see it through new eyes and take a “supporting” role to someone else’s “lead”. This holds true in instanced dungeons as well if you RP through them. Remember you were there too once.

    Gracefully rationalize encounters
    Perhaps your adversary was brought back to life? Most games treat death as a defeat, not as a -final- death. You can treat in-game death as that also. In City of Heroes, heroes do not kill – they defeat their foes. Perhaps another took his place to carry on the work? That can be a logical way of dealing with “Boss Dude #45?.

    Fuzzy Logic can work too
    Perhaps an instance is cursed and the villains are somehow like flies in amber – but still posing some threat to the countryside, unable to interact from their “prison”. If time travel or time shifts/magics are in lore for the game – that may be why things are as is. And an adventure hook as well to look into.

    Remember that a static world does not mean you have to be “static”
    Grow as a character, create memorable moments role-playing with friends, new folks and passersby. Don’t worry about the things you cannot alter due to a silly game mechanic. You’ve got better things to do with your time. The world may stay the same as far as pixels go – but interact with others makes role-playing fun and enjoyable.

    Create your own quests and storylines with friends
    Don’t forget you and your fellow RPers can use your imagination and create very cool things to do ICly. Use the statics to an advantage, it could work. Items in-game can serve as props. Even trash items can be a story element and a RP tool. World of Warcraft, for example, has empty areas and buildings – with a little imagination – you have a shop or a meeting place. Walk the streets, talk to folks and breathe life into the game world.
    Talking The "Talk"
    One thing that messes up some people on a RP server is how to speak in chat. First you have to understand the “world” you are in, be it a high-tech futuristic world or a fantasy one, based in a pseudo-medieval reality. We can bring your character “to life” through speech.

    A good rule of thumb is to check out how a game's race "talks" in-game, being actual voice acting quest text. After a bit, you can get a feel of the pattern, but don't be afraid to have fun with it.

    Note: You don’t have to have a special accent or way of talking to others but it can offer some fun and creativity in role-playing.

    Need something to “talk” about?
    It’s not all epic stories and such. Even “everyday” chit chat can make decent conversation. See what openings you find and try. With a little imagination and role-playing, even “killing ten rats” can be made into a little adventure on it’s own.

    Avoid/limit leet and gamespeak/current slang
    Try to use caps and complete sentences. Shying away from most gamespeak is good also in yells and in open chat. If you must use gamespeak terms, please use [ ] or (( )) to denote ooc info on a IC Channel. Now, if such gamespeak is the “norm” for the game/world or server, you can use it more freely. The best way to get a handle on it is to see how Questgivers and NPC (Non-player Characters) actually speak.

    So, for being IC using /say:

    Example1: “wh3r is teh AH”
    Revised: “Where is the auction house?”
    (yes, it’s more words, but it makes more sense RP-wise.)

    Example2: “can any1 give meh +15 agility”
    Revised for RP: “Can anyone enchant my sword? ((+15 agility))”
    Revised for RP: “Can anyone enchant my weapon to make it quicker?”

    Adding flavor to your Chat
    Adding an accent or a dialect can bring out uniqueness to your character – just use it with moderation. Too much of a “good” thing can be bad. Try to be consistent in your mannerisms and patterns but don’t stress over it – have fun.

    Note: Actions and wisdom can and do outweigh fancy words. Some assume you -have- to use “olde english” and “thee” and “thou” everything. That is an old generalization – sure, if you wish to use it – go for it. Some rp’ers can pull it off well, just don’t abuse it. Same goes for broken or crude english. Broken speech or crude sentences do not have to make you an unintelligent character. Some character’s histories may limit some language types.

    Example: A tech-challenged gnome, or an orc influenced by humankind may have a better grasp of the syntax and patterns of common language.

    Note: One could go with the idea that while the language use may be “crude” to a foreigner, it makes perfect sense and form to native speakers. Another good tip is using your racial languages – just remember that other races may not understand you. You can also make your primary language more fluent and the secondaries not as good. Also, give people a break if they are using an accent or similar. If they are trying to be in character and using accents or broken speech, give them the same respect you would want if you were doing the same.

    World of Warcraft Speech Pattern Examples
    (actual tongues/usage may vary and slightly stereoptypical – but accurate)

    Dwarves: “Scottish/Irish/English”, from crude to proper
    Blood Elves/Night Elves: “English”, from crude to proper
    Draenei: Indo-European/Slavic slant, from crude to proper
    Humans: “English”, from crude to proper – some Scottish/Irish influence
    Trolls: Island slang, “Jamaican/Cajun” influence
    Orcs: “English”, from broken crude to proper
    Gnomes: “English”, from crude to proper, some with a technology/techo-babble slant to it
    Forsaken: “English”, from crude to proper – to downright eerie
    Tauren: Spiritual/Nature wording, with Native American influence
    Goblin: Heavily-stylized JerseyBrooklyn-ish Dialects
    Worgen: “British” English, with other influences and dialects
    Pandaren: Heavy Asian influence

    Note: Also you will encounter cursing or less than tactful language. While it does occur in RP, it doesn’t not give one the excuse to grief or use OOCly against another. We do have chat filters, yes – but maturity is important also. So choose your words well.
    Helpful Addons/Links

    Note: Addons can change over time, some break or conflict with other Addons as the game is updated, so check you Addon site of choice to see what's new, updated and such. Others are abandoned, and fade away - but if you are lucky, it can still work!

    RP Flagging Addons
    For Role-Players in World of Warcraft, a RP “flagging” Addon can really help.They can passively help let other RPers know you are a role-player. Some offer additional features to your in-game character tooltip like adding surnames and first names to your additional name, titles and other information. Those with the same or similar Addon can see the additional information.
    MyRolePlay http://www.curse.com/addons/wow/my-role-play
    FlagRSP MoP http://www.curse.com/addons/wow/flagrsp

    Note-taking in game
    Another good Addon that can be used in RP is a note-taking Addon. You can type out information for later use ot cut and paste text in chat or out of game to your text editor of choice.
    TinyPad http://www.wowinterface.com/downloads/info4417-TinyPad.html
    NotesUNeed http://www.curse.com/addons/wow/notes-uneed

    Item Creation In-Game
    Some Addons can even create in-game items that can be traded or mailed to other with the same addon. Neat stuff here.
    Gryphonheart Items http://www.curse.com/addons/wow/ghi

    Addon/Macro Information
    Blizzard's UI & Macro Forum: http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/1011693/

    RP-Related Links
    LoreCrafted http://www.lorecrafted.com/
    RP Made Simple http://www.rpmadesimple.com
    World's End Tavern: RP Forum (WoW) http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/1011637/
    WoW Game Information/Blizzard http://us.battle.net/wow/en/game/
    Wow: Story Forum http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/1011638/
    Wow Insider http://wow.joystiq.com/
    Wow Insider: All the Worlds a Stage http://wow.joystiq.com/category/all-the-worlds-a-stage/
    Wow Insider: Know Your Lore http://wow.joystiq.com/category/know-your-lore/
    WowHead http://www.wowhead.com/
    Wowhead: Lore & RP Forums http://www.wowhead.com/forums?board=19
    Wowpedia http://www.wowpedia.org/
    Wowpedia: Languages http://www.wowpedia.org/Languages
    Wowpedia: Lore http://www.wowpedia.org/Lore
    Wowpedia: Races http://www.wowpedia.org/Races
    Wowpedia: Racial Origins http://www.wowpedia.org/Origin_of_the_Races
    Wowpedia: Racial RPing Stats http://www.wowpedia.org/Roleplaying_stats
    (Note: ALL Warcraft RPG info is not considered canon.)
    Wowpedia: Warcraft Universe http://www.wowpedia.org/Portal:Warcraft_universe
    Wowpedia: In-Game Books http://www.wowpedia.org/Category:World_of_Warcraft_book_items
    This is an issue that can and does creep into trying to RP, especially for the first time. You want to get in there and play this awesome character you made... but you're stuck. You don't want to "do it wrong" or mess up and get embarrassed.

    This does effect role-players and in real life. Some adapt, role-play and go with the flow ICly. Some folks tend to be wallflowers, others pretty much recluses. To those that like to role-play but still feel awkward or downright uncomfortable in some social situations – it’s a pain and can be frustrating.

    You would think having an avatar and the wonders of internet anonymity as a "shield", you can still trip up on everyday stuff like being shy or just plain fear of messing up.

    It's ok. Really :) Seriously, if you've had this feeling - you are not alone.

    Sadly, some role-playing groups and servers and forums can very well “breed” that sort of feeling, intentionally or not. Some folks put a value or weight on how “good” one’s RP is and generalizes/judges thereafter. Cliques form and sometimes it becomes elitist.

    Not only does that hurt newcomers to RP that would like to try – it also stagnates and damages the Role-Playing Community as a whole. It also feeds into the RPer vs Non-RPer conflict, being a no win for either group. Constructive criticism is cool, being a jerk isn’t. Help, but don’t harm is a good rule of thumb.

    Some people get that, others sadly don’t. We are all part of our RP Community in our gaming groups, rp forums, LARP troupes, and RP servers – whether we think about it not. We are in a general sense in this thing together.

    Here's some thoughts to keep in mind:

    Realize that you (and your role-playing) have value. Self worth is an important key, as it does in “Everyday Life” – and it’s also true. Everyone has something to offer! Just stay IC and understand you do not have to “prove” anything. However, that should not compromise being respectful to others and role-playing responsibly.

    Try to separate your avatar from “You”. You are not your character, but you are role-playing his/her interactions.

    Understand that no one is perfect. We all have good and bad points, hopefully most lean toward the good ones. Do your best and roll with the punches. No one hits a home run every time at bat.

    Do your best, and don’t beat yourself up if things don’t go as planned. Even if it didn’t go well – you tried! Apply that also when others make mistakes. Give them a little grace and be supportive if that door opens.

    Help those along that may have the same problem. Support with friends can be very helpful. Remember where you were when you started, especially with new role-players. Thank people OOCly for their time or if they did a great job.

    Don’t be afraid to start up a conversation or enter an existing one. Look for an “in” and add to the moment. Keep some ideas written down or in your head on how your character would say and do things and expand from there. Starting sooner is easier than later but gauge the group and conversation. Hovering around can work, but folks may think you’re a stalker. Just kiddin’!

    Take small steps towards being more “outgoing” with your character and his/her mindset and backstory.

    Stay calm and don’t try to do too much too soon. Ease into your RP and have fun… that’s why you are playing.

    Some people see shyness as being “stuck up” or “cold”. Be aware of that and don’t be afraid to tell folks if you think maybe it’s an issue.

    Location is a key element. Around the mailboxes, vendors and auction houses may or may not be the best placed to start a conversation as some folks are AFK or focusing on mail or items. Just keep that in mind but keep your eyes open.

    The mob scene: This is a gathering of several folks in one area role-playing. Even with experienced RPers, it’s a mad house of trying to keep conversations going, keeping track of them and making sure no one gets lost. (No RP’ers left Behind! :) Understand it’s easy to lose a conversation or accidentally get ignored. Have patience and don’t get discouraged.

    Remember that shyness takes time to work through. Also, finding friends, guildmates and other support can help make the process smoother and less daunting over time.

    That’s some good ideas to work with role-playing or in real life. We can all suffer from it in one form or another, so hopefully this may help. And remember – Don’t give up!
    Starting Out
    If new to the whole mmorpg/rp server “experience” or adjusting to it, this may be helpful. Expect alot of things when you first head out and explore the world. Here’s some tips to help you after logging on:

    Don’t panic!
    Listen to the introduction and get into character. Be patient and get used to things, most role-playing will not happen until you get away from the starter areas. But if there is some role-playing, it could be a good start. Most people really just want to get their first levels and head on, but who knows?

    Don’t be afraid to say your “new” to RP and still learning if you meet other RPers. Most times, fellow RPers will try to help.

    We all start at level 1
    It’s cool. RP is not a level thing.

    What to expect in the “wild”:
    Expect to make mistakes. It’s ok.
    Expect the starter area to be a bit “raw”
    Expect a lot of non-RP chat and actions
    Expect sadly, some people being rude, obnoxious
    Expect a lot of people who may not understand they are on an rp server
    Expect a lot of blind guild invites for no reason
    Expect very oddly named guilds (and people)
    But – Expect also some good folk and some rp in areas
    I really hope you find them.

    IC/OOC Separation
    One key task in role-playing is keeping In-Character and Out of Character chat separate. /say, emotes and /yell chat should ideally be IC. Whispers are conditional, depending on the situation and context.

    Chat Tabs
    One useful thing is to route all non-rp chat to it’s own chat tab (That way it’s there, but not, so you can concentrate) – it keeps some “spamming” away. Note: I personally route combat/skill text to it’s own tab also, so it’s not in the way of my /say, /yell and /party. If I really need to monitor those channels, it’s a click away.

    Toggle Guild and Player Names
    Toggle your settings in the Interface for no names to show up on the screen unless clicked. The name tags may be useful, but they distract from the scenery and add more immersion to your role-playing.

    Set your Macros and Action Bars
    Set up your action bars and macros to not only rp but function better in game. Remember your “spellbook” for special abilities if not already on your bars. Also, if you want to re-keybind your run/walk keys, you can do it and have it done.

    Guild Invites
    Guild invites are another issue. You may be flooded with people wanting you to join their guild. My suggestion is to ask questions based on what you want from a guild. I would personally reject all “blind” invites and those that sound like a bad infomercial or sales pitch, including “canned” responses. I would avoid these like the plague, especially if leet/aolspeak is being used. Luckily you can block unwanted invites via the in game Interface menu.

    On Joining Guilds
    Ponder the name of the guild, their policies and actions and whether or not they try to get to know you, or just want warrior#23 in their roster. Do they even RP? If so, do they have a backstory about their guild? Bottom line, look for a guild that fits for you, don’t rush. Look for maturity, respect and good people.

    The "Mob" Scene: This is a gathering of several folks in one area role-playing. Even with experienced RPers, it’s a mad house of trying to keep conversations going, keeping track of them and making sure no one gets lost. (No RP’ers left Behind! :) Understand it’s easy to lose a conversation or accidentally get ignored. Have patience and don’t get discouraged.

    Don’t force role-playing or actions
    Try not to “force” people to role-play with you or force your role-playing on them.

    Keep your eyes on the “road”
    Try not to run “through” other players or ignore them standing there. Respect their “space”.

    Toggle walk/run: [Num Pad] /
    Toggle Autorun: Num Lock
    Note: On laptops - use the Interface in game to change the Keybinds.

    Custom Emotes
    Along with the "stock" emotes, you can create your own! Custom emotes are done by typing /e and then your emote text.

    Fitting/Joining in
    Conversations can start very simple. Again, borrow from real life and adapt it to your character. If you are not sure about something – politely ask via whisper OOCly. Just try to ease in, keep your eyes open, learn and have fun. If you see some folks RPing and you would like to join in, handle it like you would in everyday life. Don’t be rude and don’t barge in and take over. It can start with “Hello.”. :)

    Brackets for OOC
    You will at some point see this: (( )), [ ] or {{ }} in game – that is for Out of Character information. Tip: Try not to use (( )) in /say or /yell, since it distracts from the dialogue. Whispers can be used, just don’t forget the (( )).

    Staying In Character
    Stay IC as best you can, when you can.
    Finding RP
    Here's some tips and ideas to find role-playing:

    Go into areas where rp exists, or find/meet people that are rp-friendly. You will come across others that rp and play well, hopefully friendships and community can follow. Just be respectful of the other player’s time and rp style. Some players you will find will be a mixed lot, some very good and helpful, which is great.

    You can also send an OCC whisper to a member of the group and ask if it’s ok to join in. If for some reason it’s not open, be polite and make your way someplace to a more responsive group. Remember not all RP is found in towns or "hubs", you could encounter a group or someone almost anywhere.

    Remember to resist forcing RP on others. Ease into if you find some folks RPing, but never demand it. It's not all about you. :) Just be in character and find the "moment".

    Alot of folks do not RP. Some came in with friends that do, some just didn’t see the server description before hitting select. Others wanted to escape the LEET mindset and place in a more mature atmosphere. Personally, I don’t blame them. But regardless of whether someone RPs on a server or not, they are still people – so treat them with respect.

    Not all Role-playing is right in front of you as you travel. Some RPers are scattered as are groups and guilds. You may find one or two, but it may appear there is no RP to be found. Most capital cities will not have RP 24/7 like some folks would like. Starting areas will sadly make you lose IQ points just by being in proximity. :)

    So, the Role-playing Community might be small to begin with – it doesn’t mean it’s not there. Look for signs of RP “life” and see what happens. People walking from time to time or talking/acting in character. Make notes on people, guilds and areas. Can’t hurt to ask as well via whispers in-game. Most will be helpful but be respectful! Remember that some RPers keep differing schedules and may be busy. We are all part of the same team, so let’s help each other.

    Look at the server/realm’s forums or wikis and see if there is any information on guilds or groups that RP. Hopefully there has been some initiative started by that server’s role-playing community. Remember that some lists can have old information – but it’s a start. Check out sites and forums and do a little detective work. Ask folks nicely via the forums or guild sites. Be patient and thank those that help – it goes along way to be sincere than being rude.

    Don’t make snap decisions, be patient and respectful when asking. Some folks get impatient and give up too early. Chances are you will meet up with others eventually, so have faith, patience and keep trying. Be respectful to folks, role-players or not and you may just find what you are looking for.

    Can’t find it? Make it! Stay and act IC and go about your “business”. Use a flagging addon (Immersion RP, My Roleplay, flagRSP) if it may help. It’s also a way of seeing who else may be a Role-player. It make take time but it could well be worth it, someone else may be doing the same thing you are. Sometimes RP is contagious. Trying is better than not.

    Can’t find a RP guild that "fits"? Test the waters for interest and make one and see what happens.

    Tip: Waiting for RP to come to you will only waste your time.

    Bottom line: Don’t give up! :) You might find it on your first try! Make it happen! RP starts with you.
    Events And Gatherings
    Getting role-players together can be difficult, even on a RP server. Events and gatherings can help.

    Thinking about going to one?
  • Check with the host or other sources that your server has about events.
  • Find out if there’s any rules and follow them.
  • Don’t grandstand or try to take over the event. It’s rude.
  • Be respect of the host and others at the event.
  • Try not to disrupt the event with drama or text/emote spam.

  • Thinking about making an event?
  • Make sure no one is doing the same event or at the same time and causes a conflict.
  • Establish event start/end times, and length of event. Be consistent.
  • Think how/when you will promote the event. Be respectful and start early!
  • Get people interested and gather support.
  • Make sure folks understand what they are coming into.
  • "Shop" for locations and make sure they are accessible.
  • Is there any distracting NPC chatter and movement in the area?
  • What "rules" are there, if any for the event?
  • Having an outline can help organize the event.
  • Research and plan in advance with some flexibility.
  • Think about what you want the RPers to "walk away" with after the event.
  • The event’s “backstory”. Having a reason why the event exists makes it more immersive.
  • Will your character host? Or will you use another character?
  • Pace your text when speaking as a host like you would in RL. Walls of text will crit the eyes.
  • Is there an IC motive/goal (if any) for these events?
  • Promote RP before, during and after the event.
  • Be polite and respectful to all. They are people – not pixels.
  • Be open to newbies and non-rpers.
  • Diffuse possible volatile players – If a unknown face appears, explain and politely invite via whisper.
  • Remember that RP may be a portal to a whole new world for some folks.
  • Thank everyone in some way, via whisper, chat channel or post.
  • Be an good RP example, or as best as you can be.
  • Be approachable as many ways you can for ideas, questions and feedback.
  • Have a backup plan if you are delayed or cannot attend.
  • Expect a rocky start and handle with a grain of salt, grace and integrity.
  • Had a bad night? Chalk it up to experience. Try again next week and learn from any mistakes.
  • You will have griefers at some point. You will also have folks that want to come!

  • Event/Gathering Examples
    These types of events can work on your server or realm and in almost any game. The possible rewards are great nights of fun and role-playing.

    Story Nights
    Think about old campfire stories told around the fire, like at summer camp. Bring stories, songs, poems and some good RP – you can have the seeds for a good evening. Offshoots include discussion nights on magic, religions, lore and rping city politics – done all IC.

    Socials, Celebrations and Balls
    They can arrange from formal for forsaken or Humans, to more primal for Orcs, Tauren and Trolls, even a horde version or a headbangers ball. Using the game's lore can work as well.

    War/Victory Parties
    This is more for the PvP-minded people, but can also be a gathering/rallying point for a raid or quest start. Rally in Spirit and unleash your wraith on the enemy.

    Marketplaces/Craft Bazaars
    Gather a few crafting people together and form a Marketplace on certain days at certain times. Vendors RP and sell/haggle goods with other players. Not only does this provide a interactive trade district, it also provides goods to players and promotes good RP. Offshoots could focus on running an in-game tavern or storefront with a few smaller vendors. Even a traveling group /caravan of merchants that set up near a town could be a good idea.

    Religious Services
    Have spiritual gatherings for the Earthmother or services for the Light? Why not? It’s a venue to get people together with a theme and perhaps a message or dash of racial culture. For instance, a ceremony honoring the Earthmother for the Tauren. This could have a minor them regarding to keeping the land free of disease and cleaning dying lands.

    Boys/Girls Night Out
    Go places in character, hit taverns or “hang out”. :)

    Borrow from different types of weddings and tailor it to your genre and race, if it applies. Orc weddings could be akin to Klingon weddings, for instance. Use your imagination.

    Beat the Heat (pool) Party
    In the hot areas of the game world or during summer time, why not have more or less a “pool party”? An offshoot would be a “hot tub” like party in a cold region with hot springs.
    Enhancing Your RP
    As you learn more about role-playing and get more active with your character, there’s some things to keep in mind. This is especially focused for Text/Chat Based RP, LARPs and MMORPGs.

    Be flexible no matter what style you role-play. Whether it’s more scripted RP that you enjoy or more free-form. There’s enjoyment to be had in either and fun interacting with good role-players. Adapt to changes as you role-play and work with folks – remember they are people too.

    Interact more
    Sharpen your RP skills by interacting with different styles and people. Some folks will do well, others not. Just make the best of it and learn from it. Hopefully you will have more good times than bad.

    Growing as a character
    Allow for character growth and flesh out your own story and persona. Even if you haven’t got an active storyline, being included in another’s story gives depth and volume to your character.

    Extend a bit of grace to folks and a bit of trust
    Some folks will be new at role-playing. Cut them some slack and try to help OOCly if they seem new to the whole thing. Remember that you had to start somewhere too.
    Explore storylines in game – maybe create one!

    Not all quests are questgiver given – send rp friends you know on a “mission” or rally the guild or your role-play group on a cause. You can also tie in instance runs and other misc quests into the story. Alot can be worked out via simple communication ICly/OOCly. Borrow from your backstory and see if there is any possible directions you want to head in that work with the game mechanics and the people you role-play with, breaking into smaller goals and quests to do later on. Just remember that others have stories too.

    Get folks involved in your quests – But be thoughtful about it.
    Forcing RP can be a drag or seem rough on folks sometimes, so ease into it or be flexible with the process if you want to get folks involved. Basic rule is not be a jerk here. *grin* You can try to include folks you don’t know – just keep in mind that some folks may “bite” while others may not. Use common sense and courtesy if you use this tactic.

    Use of props and costuming
    Props and costumes done with a little thought can enhance the character. It's like wearing your favorite pair of jeans. Think what your character would have, wear or like/dislike and go from there. Pets can be good as well, but make the pieces fit. Even grey "jink" items/gear can be a cool item, as well as quest rewards.

    Look Past the Class
    Don't let the game mechanics hinder a concept or backstory - make it work with you, not against. It's very similar to the concept of character "kits", "prestige" classes, or "hero classes". While some things in lore can lock you in, there are ways of being creative and spinning it in your favor. Use your imagination and unlock some possibilities. Even your Professions can figure in to help 'frame" your character.

    Tip: Have an idea but don't like the active ability/skill names? Rework them as macros to fit the concept!

    Drama – Know when to say when
    Nothing kills things quicker than bad drama in a session. Know the difference between good drama and bad. A good rule if thumb is too much is seldom welcomed. When drama becomes hurtful OOCly and goes past the character – it’s time to reroute or rethink things.

    Pacing and patience
    Don’t deal all your RP “cards” as once. Pace things out and be patent and understanding with other’s schedules and playstyles.

    Outline possible storylines but be prepared
    Remember to be flexible since there are variables and improvise as needed while still keeping the spirit of the plot. A possible way to coordinate is via your guild forum. That way folks don’t get left out that want to help.
    Storylines are be a great addition to role-playing, especially in a static world. Much like the quests and questlines, it also brings interaction with other role-players and tells a story as it progresses. While some role-play is impromptu and freeform, storylines have a little more structure and control. The payoff is more interaction and character development in game with the characters involved - and the fun doing it. :)

    Some storylines are easier to set up than others, so work with what you can. For some parts, you may need people to acts as NPCs (Non-Player Characters) to relay information or interact with the RPers in the storyline. You can also use locations in the game world, including dungeons and instances to set the stage. Cross-Faction storylines can also be done with a bit of work. Addons like GHI can create props as well!

    There is typically a Storyteller that watches over the things, and acts as the "go - to" for that particular storyline. The ST help keep the players on track and answer the questions the players have. This is almost identical to the old school DM from Tabletop RP games like Dungeons & Dragons, just in a virtual sense.

    Storylines typically consist of a Beginning, Middle and End. Pretty simple, right? Much like a story in a book, a episode of your favorite show, or a quest in game.

    The Beginning sets up the story's plot, it provides starting information. This can be as vague or deep as the ST makes it. There will be some info the ST will not tell you, so keep that in mind. The Middle is the actual series of encounters/tasks/challenges needed to accomplish the End, which wraps up the Storyline or can set up further adventures. This can create a Story Arc if more stories tie into each other.

    You can also experiment with Free Form Storyline, which can bring impromptu RP, changes/additions to the existing storyline as it evolves. The more folks, the more it can twist and turn. This also can be as easy or complex as the story calls for. Some can be small, personal storylines, others can be for groups or guild-wide.

    Regardless, coordination is organization is the lynchpin to doing this. You also have to keep on your toes and be flexible, since this can be more involved than your in game quests. Feel free to borrow from movies, shows or books, just make it yours by adapting it to the game world. If creating a storyline, make sure to be open to changes and adapt to make sure you keep a good balance. A good idea would be to make sure the Storyline fits within the lore and "plays well" with others. :)

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