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Roleplaying Tips & Suggestions

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This was a very useful post made by Daerk on the MWC Network Forums some time ago. Please familarise yourself with these guidelines before roleplaying:

...To assist somewhat with roleplay tactics and methods, and hopefully improve the degree of roleplay being carried on in this board, I have (at request of multiple forum members) decided to write up a blurb on how to roleplay effectively.

This might be a bit long, but I would suggest you read it, and attempt a few (hopefully all) of the tips/methods/suggestions I pose here.

Firstly: The nature of roleplay demands that there be a moderator to the game... generally someone who is determined the "Dungeon Master" or "Game Master" or "Roleplay Arbiter" or "Roleplay Police" etc. The reasoning is quite simple... if anyone can pose anything, things get chaotic and generally unable to be followed in a fun and logical manner. Roleplay threads turn into spam sessions of simple one line actions that lead no-where. So my first suggestion is that the person who posts the game/thread become the main roleplay arbiter and maintain some form of structure in the thread, and i'll offer methods of doing this in a fun and non-limiting manner, below.

Secondly: I see a LOT of power-posing going on on RP forums. To define: a pose is an action taken by a character. Generally, your entire post is considered a pose, or a turn. In your pose, you may ONLY affect yourself, you may NOT attempt to force actions, responses, movements, thoughts, etc on another character. Making a post and stating:

Daerk stands swiftly, and all eyes lock onto him in awe and fear...

is a power pose. I'm forcing a reaction upon everyone regardless of their personal decision and manner of responding. This ALWAYS leads to arguements and strife within roleplaying groups... and as such, is recommended by me to become "illegal" in this roleplay board, specifically to minimize arguements and flame wars.

Thirdly: Settings are almost non-existant in the present roleplay. Settings are posts made by the game/thread arbiter, that does nothing but describe the general surroundings, weather, time of day/night, etc... here's an example:

<Insert name of region here... example:>
Harlindon, south of the Ered Luin
<Insert date and year here... example:>
Orgaladh of astar Cerveth, 2847 of the Third Age of Middle-Earth, Steward's Reckoning
<Insert time of day here... example:>
Deep of Night (Midnight)
<Insert type of weather here... example:>
Cold and Foggy, Overcast

<Insert Setting here... example:>
Looking to the east you see rolling green hills as far as even the keen elven eye's can see, you can hear the crashing of the waves against the cliffs hundreds of feet below you from behind. The clouds pass over the night moon, stars twinkling distantly through the dim haze of fog rolling in from the unseen foothills of the mountains to the north. A nightengale warbles in the distance, and is answered with silence.

The wind blows softly, grassy knolls weaving their fronds too and fro in it's invisible clutch, and from the distance, the light patter of horse hooves are heard as...

<Insert Pose Order of Roleplayers... example:>
Roleplayers: Daerk, EntWentMoot, Morgoth, Elrol, Dark0ne, Earendil18

<Insert prompt for next pose... example:>
(Ok Ent, your pose)

A new setting would be made every time a new roleplayer wished to enter into the game. The arbiter would be the only person posting a Setting, and anyone interested in joining a game would first private message the arbiter of the game/thread to receive the details of gameplay... basically giving them the ability to generate a character in private with the arbiter, and allowing the arbiter time to introduce the new roleplayer to the game in a proper roleplay fashion.

Now each person in the order of Pose's get's one hour from the prompt to make a pose. If that person doesn't pose within that hour, the next person in the Pose list has one hour to pose. And so on. This allows a continued session of roleplay so that everyone isn't waiting for two days for someone to pose, and allows order to be maintained by the arbiter without a chaotic flood of pose's being made by all participating roleplayers at once.




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wow! how much free time did he have! i didnt read there but i have done know and its intresting and will definately help with the roleplaying!

The Mantis

The Mantis


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No godlike characters. No killing other participants. No transforming except werewolves. No mark or recall spells because that sends the story into the gutter. AND MOST OF ALL NO CONTROLLING OTHER PARTICIPANT CHARACTERS!!!!!



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that's a good post. having played many many table top games and DM'ed a few this seems appropriate because it's simply creating an atmosphere much like a table top session. main thing is that you can ONLY affect your character. specifically as characters one way to have an influence on a possible action are the adjectives you use to describe you actions.

For example, in a situation with a potentially hostile spellcaster simply writing

(name) walks towards the spell user

this leaves a lot of room for interpretation on the part of the DM, certainly there are planned outcomes they have to tend to in order to progress a storyline but say this is a minor character that could potentially be a fight and you want to avoid it

this will lead to the crater that was your character, there are number of defining factors in this and when i DM i punish people who don't take into account things such as declaring they put their weapon away after a battle. DM's generally reward good roleplaying and punish bad roleplaying

in a star wars session one of the girls was reckless with affect mind (force power) seeing as she did this just for the heck of it i set the DC rather high and she failed, the result was that the guard noticed her attempt and threw her in jail for the remainder of the session. so basically she just sat in a chair for three hours doing nothing because she wasn't doing a good job with her character

(name) unhooks his weapon belt, a slight thud resonates in the cave. noticing this the spell user draws his attention to the newcomer. (name) makes eyecontact with the mage and raises his hands as to show no need for alarm, cautiously stepping forward (name) draws a humble look upon his face to ease the tension.

this is the point when you stop the pose, you've declared your action for the turn and now leave the NCP to react to your actions. given that the PC is making all attempts to be nonthreatening, if i were the DM then it is likely this NPC would at least for a moment hear the PC out. Also notice that the word choice is very careful, I made it clear that I was not intending to force the mage to perform any certain action to fit with my post (this is called divine intervention, its doesn't work). I simply stated that my goal was to ease the tension, whether or not there was any in the first place but the characters attempt is to put to doubt any apparent threat the NPC might perceive from the PC



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I have my own spin to add to the above.

If you are an experienced player, and you see someone struggling with playing or with any of the guidelines, don't chastise, TEACH! You can either get them in a chat room or PM them and try to let them know in a less-public forum what is expected of role players here. That brings up another good point. Each thread is run by the GM - the GM should have a clear understanding of the expectations and goals of the players, AND the players should have a clear understanding of the goals and expectation of the GM. Communicate these goals with each other before allowing the player into the thread. If they are not compatible, DON'T PLAY! Find a thread where they are compatible and go to town.

If you have a problem with another player in the thread, and cannot seem to work it out, chat with the GM. It may be that something can be done on the structure of the quest that will avoid interaction in extreme cases. I have been able to turn dire enemies into best friends (actually one couple that met and hated each other and each other's playing wound up getting married)

Play your character with character knowledge, not your knowledge. It is almost impossible in a gaming setting to keep players separated from at least a little stuff that their character doesn't know.

Play your character as your character, and do not try to do everything. If you are a fighter - don't be the one casting all of the spells, a mage shouldn't charge into battle, a thief shouldn't be the first line fighter, etc. Too many times have I seen players gain the disrespect of the other players by doing everything themselves, even though they were not particularly good at them. The best players are those who have fun, but let those around have fun too.

As a player, understand that there are others who feel about their characters as dearly as you feel about yours. Treat them that way.

And, finally - what happens here is not and should not be personal. If you feel resentment toward someone because of something that happens here take it to another medium to work out. No one likes seeing fights between people taken out in the threads.

That's my four haypennies (for now).




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Thought I would throw in something, although I am pretty new to the site.

The GM/DM/Arbiter should ALWAYS be clear on the idea of the RP.
I once, on another site, started an RP and was not very clear. We ended up with half-demons, cat girls, and other general silliness. Yep, silliness. No other word to describe.

Another time I ended up fighting a guy in a big-daddy suit who was, apparantly, invincible and could dodge gauss-rifle shots. Yeah, that one ended real quick. I think though that if I started an RP here it would be better than back then. That was on a chat room, not as much room to define things. Too many chatty people with no patience for the necessary walls-o-text needed for an RP. Did I mention Mr. Daddy had a rocket launcher?




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I would honestly think that using dice or some kind of random number generator system to determine if, say, an attack hits, or if you know about a specific topic, then a lot of the issues could be resolved. It would be kind of similar to the DnD method of randomness with d20s stuff.



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I would honestly think that using dice or some kind of random number generator system to determine if, say, an attack hits, or if you know about a specific topic, then a lot of the issues could be resolved. It would be kind of similar to the DnD method of randomness with d20s stuff.


How each RP is run is different and the rules set are dependent on the person running the RP.  Typically conflicts are per-determined but if you wished to run an RP that used a number generator then that would be entirely up to you.


Also it should be noted that you are replying to a 13 year old thread with the last post being 6 years ago and thins have changed somewhat.  :smile:

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