What Is Roleplay

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Roleplay 101 by Pandora Regent

To play and portray a role. Sometimes described as "Acting without a script" or "Improvised theater"

But how to do it in a good way?
Write a dozen lines of text?
Letting scripts do the work for you?

There is a lot of variations on Roleplaying.
This text is a try to describe one of them that I preffer to use.
It's split up in a few parts each detailing an aspect of it.

Don't decide it all

First of all Roleplaying is about having fun.
One thing that isn't too fun is when one person tries to decide everything.
Make sure to let the other roleplayers decide on actions involving their character.

Lets see an example…

Example one. The bad way.
Steve Stevenson draws his shotgun aiming it at Amys head and pulls the trigger splattering her brains all over the wall.

Well in this example Amy dies. She doesnt have much of an option does she?
Lets see the same but giving Amy the options of deciding the outcome?

Example two. The good way.
Steve Stevenson draws his shotgun aims it at Amy pulling the trigger hoping he'll hit her in the head.
Amy swallows hard as she sees the gun and quickly runs for the door but as she takes her first step the shot is sound and she feels a sharp pain as the shot hits her shoulder as she falls to the floor fainting from the pain.

This way Amy gets to decide what happens.
She agrees to being shot but not killed and she even faints giving Steve the advantage of having her out of the way without needing to kill her.
The Roleplay can go on with noone having to sacrifice their character for good.

Also It might be a good idea asking the other person in IM's about if something is ok before doing it.

Please speak slowly

Often you decide to add both speech and actions to what you do in Roleplay.
But how would the others know when they can do something without interrupting.
When you RP it's nice to simply take one line each when things are going on.

After all if you do everything in different posts it gets cluttered up very quickly with normal posts and /me posts

Steve looks down at Amy
You shouldn't have laughed at me girl.
Steve inhales on his cigarette
This will teach you and everyone else not to mess with me
Steve spits on Amys unconcious body before heading for the door intending to leave.

Now What if someone else would want to do something there?
How would they know when Steve was done?
To avoid it simply write it all in one post.
If you need to speak in an action or /me post just add " around the speech.
If you need to make an action in a speech just add * around the action.

Steve looks down at Amy "You shouldn't have laughed at me girl." he inhales on his cigarette. "This will teach you and everyone else not to mess with me." He spits at Amys uncouncious body before heading for the door intending to leave.

One line and quite simple at that.

Long posts (aka Novel Posts)

What if you can't fit what you want to do on one line?
Second life has limits in how long you can type.

Well then simply add … or »> to the end of the line beginning a new with … or «< to let others know you're not finished.

It's a really simple way to let others know and it makes it much easier.
Don't overdo it though. After all the other player does want to do something before you have written a whole novel.

Out Of Character

Sometimes people doesnt Roleplay.
If others are roleplaying it's decent to take OOC or Out Of Character speech somewhere else or in Instant Messages.

Steve leans into Amy whispering something in her ear.
IM: What I say to you is "Remain very still and act like we're in love or I will blow this place apart and you know me better than to know I'm not kidding."

If you need to say something OOC for everyone to hear place it withing double parantheses (()) Or withing something similar agreed on beforehand like [[ ]] or « »

Steve sneers "you might have beaten me but I'll return someday" he quickly turns and jumps out the window ((I need to be leaving now. Have to catch a buss. See you all some other day))

If several is standing around just talking OOC then it's of course free to talk as normal just discussing.
Just remember to inform everyone that shows up that you're not IC, In Character, at the moment so confusion isn't made.

Forewarn your friends and enemies

Before you RP make sure to let people know how long you can be online.
If the time then changes well then you cannot help it.
Just don't engage in a lot of heavy RP if you need to leave in 5 minutes time.
It's not very fair to leave others in the middle of something.

You can however continue an RP at a later time picking up where you left off.
but it will require the same people so it might be good to wrap things up before leaving.

So before you RP talk in OOC or in IM letting the others know if you need to leave a certain time.

Combat systems

Roleplay isv the main emphasis in SWRP, not combat. Combat needs to be keep to a minimum (see Rules). However, there are often times when the outcome of two characters could go either way. During these times combat might be the appropriate way to determine the outcome.

Combat this thing that some way or another can enhance or destroy a roleplay.
Well sure it's fun to win a combat.
But what if you lose?
Not everyone cam deal with being on the loosing side especially if they had to reply on the arbitary powers of theselves and another player.
Now having to deal with a gamemaster being the judge can be even worse with claims of picking favorites.
While I myself usually stress the point of not killing in roleplay.
It's not fun for anyone having to make a new character and while you might rid yourself of an "opponent" next time you might be the one biting the dust.
Still combat does happen and sometimes Roleplay cannot deal with it so other measures needed to be accounted for.
There exist scripted systems that can be used for combat.
If you engage in battles like thi then do not whine if you loose.
Lag is not an excuse since you knew the risks of engaging in battle.

End notes

I hope that this was easy to understand and that it helps you with your Roleplay.
I don't claim it to be the only way or the best way.
I do however claim that it works since It's been tried a lot.

There is one thing tho.
Before you play make sure you all follow the same way to RP
Avoiding confusions at the beginning saves a lot of time clearing up misunderstandings.

And in the end don't take it too seriously.
It's meant to be fun after all.

Comments and ideas are welcome.
Flames will be utterly ignored.

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