A RP Survival Guide

Earthen Ring
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The 30-Minute Role-Player: A Quick-Start For Non-RPers
A “crash course” in trying out role-playing in MMORPGs, like World of Warcraft.

The Idea
This a no-frills attempt for new role-players and curious non-role-players to start role-playing with the bare essentials and learn more while blending into a RP server. A scouting mission, of sorts.

The Scenario
You are not a role-player in a MMORPG like World of Warcraft. You have the basic concept of what role-playing is and want to check it out. And quickly.

The Challenge
“How can I blend in, have fun and learn – but not look like a total dork doing it?”

The Limitations
You have no AddOns and no real experience role-playing. But you are willing to try to learn. You don’t have time or know how to make a backstory (yet) or know all the tips (yet). Now what?

The Solution – The RP “Crash Course”
Our example is “Shammygirl”, a low level Draenei shaman. We want to keep it simple. You can worry about the more intricate stuff later.

Ok! We got 30 minutes, so let’s get crackin’!

Character Movement
Walk or Run? When moving, borrow from everyday life. You now when to run and when not too. Apply that to your character. "Hopping" your character around to move makes about the same sense as it does in everyday life. Not much. :)

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.

Basic RP Rules
  • “Spec” for Respect. Respect other players and be cool. Do not harass, grief or hurt others.
  • IC = In Character (you are acting as your character would)
  • OOC = Out of Character (The player, you. :) Avoid using this in /say and /yell.
  • Remember that your character is not "you".
  • “Exit” If the RP gets vulgar, offensive, etc… Sadly, it can happens, but not that's rare.
  • Have fun. That pretty much sums that up.
  • Don’t get derailed by OOC “stuff”. Try to overlook OOC chatter on /say and /yell.
  • Exit from channels (Trade, Defense, General, etc.) that spam stuff that interferes with you being IC.
  • Brackets like (( )) means that it’s OOC talk – The game last night, RL stuff and information.
  • Speaking in character
    Speak like you think your character would. You’re not going for an Academy Award, so just do your best. :) Use full sentences, not slang, texting or similar expressions. (lol, brb, bff, :), etc…) Use similar language and such as the NPCs do, even if it’s plain, simple English. it’s not all “thees and thous”. Don’t worry about being fancy. Accents or speech patterns can wait. You just want to be understood and fit in for now.

    What to wear!?
    The clothes on your back. You do not have to be “dressed” for RP. You can wear what you have, you can be “in fashion” later. If you have what you have, roll with it. Unless it’s a special function, you will fit in fine. While having some “casual clothes” is a nice touch, it can wait. Even trash "greywear" or "vendorwear" can work in a pinch!

    The "Quickie" Backstory
    Keep it simple! Don’t go nuts and be a half-dragon, half-demon, half-weregerbil with fire coming out from your eyeballs. You are also not a diety, or are related or dated any lore character or have them on “speed dial”. Seriously, t’s just not a good plan, trust me on this.

    You got your name, that’s a start. If your name sounds RPish and fits your race (A Draenei shaman named Vyssa, for example), you’re ahead of the game. If it’s not exactly RPish, wing it with a nickname (easy fix is to look at other NPCs of your race and see a quick name you like). “Shammygirl” becomes “Vyssa” if anyone asks, or make it a nickname!

    Go with what “you” know. If you’ve done quests or listened to the introduction for your race – you at least have a basic idea of what is going on with your character. You may not know everything, but you know what your character has done to this point. If you get asked, be as vague as possible – but don’t sound “jerky” about it. :)

    Help! Someone's RPing with me!
    Don't Panic! :) Again, be vague to start, but try to answer it as simply as possible. You know where your character is “from”, your name and what you’ve done and been “recently”. That’s something if you are asked. Oh! Don’t forget your skills or class. They can be helpful in details about your character to start.

    Be the part. As you get out and mingle, interact and all, try your best to get into your character’s head. Even with a simple backstory, you can take what you have and add to your role-playing.

    Fitting in
    It can start with “Hello”. 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.

    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.

    It’s ok to be “new”. We all start somewhere, so just hang in there – you might have more fun than you thought. We are all people past the pixels. :)

    Don’t be afraid to ask for help. If you don’t know anyone, give someone a nice, quick ((Hi! I’m new, so just trying to learn.)) They might just help and make things easier to let you into the RP.

    Learn by watching, then doing. See what seems to work or not work when watching conversations or in a conversation.

    Don’t be afraid to say “Thank You”. If someone has helped you or you had a good interaction, don’t be afraid to give them a OOC ((Thank you.)) via whisper, or in-game mail.

    Mistakes happen, learn from them. A typo, a random jump caused by a errant space bar, or an accidental “lol” can and may happen. Just take it in stride and try to avoid doing it again. In a conversation and something happens, give a short whisper and say ((hey, sorry about that. :) ))

    Developing Your Character
    You have options. You can always start a fresh character or rework and existing one with a backstory and go from there as well. Names can always be changed and low levels can always be re-rolled. You can always transfer as well if you like. You can take your character and develop more details and a backstory if you feel you want to take it to the next step.

    Seek out your server’s Role-Playing Community via the forums or if they have a wiki or social site dedicated to Role-Players on your server. Make friends, learn and have fun.
    Woo woo! Bump and a Sticky for this most excellent starting guide!
    Sullivan.... I miss you so much:) This is an amazing post and it's great to see that you're still at the forefront of the Earthen Ring RP community. Just when my frustration with some factions of the WoW community reaches a new peak I find a post like this that kicks my hope level into high gear. Maybe we'll run into each other soon. Much <3.

    Just so you know, I still have your amazing going away present from way back in vanilla. Bob the Bunny says hello.

    Wow, that took a while to read, but it's an excellent guide that has really helped!

    I've always had an action bar containing macros of a few of my most used emotes that I use with NPCs and Questgivers. There was actually this one time when I hopped over to the Dark Portal at lvl 85 during Cata and decided to "help out" the alliance and horde guard NPCs with the invading oncluaght of demons. (Really fun, especially when I would let out a /roar whenever a fellow NPC died. :P )

    Yet what's held me back from joining an RP realm/server has been the fear that I wouldn't be good enough, that I may not be welcomed as a new RPer with all the "trolls/griefers," or that I would have to wait u tip I got all the way to max level to participate. Your guide has done a great job in explaining what RP is and what I can expect to find on an RP server.

    Liked and Stickied. :D
    (And who says a Tauren can't attend a formal ball?)
    /bump for roleplay.
    Bump for a wonderful guide.
    This guide (and the website) have been so incredibly useful to me as a beginner roleplayer on this realm. :D Thank you so much!!
    This is great - thanks!
    Up we go, For Gnomeregan!
    /bump - If you like, help get this stickied :)
    /bump :)
    If you're considering giving role-playing a go or looking for some tips or ideas - this be the thread! :)

    Sticky, yes?

    Sticky requested! Great job on the post.

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