Roleplaying Guide

Note: bear in mind that this guide is based entirely on my own opinion and thoughts -- they, like my other guides, are by no means rulebooks on the subject and should be taken with a grain of salt, as always.

IC vs. OOC
IC stands for 'In Character' and OOC for 'Out of Character'. This might seem like a fairly obvious difference to you, but the actual differences between them are the most important thing when you're gonna do some roleplaying. First of all, In Character should -always- be separate from Out of Character. Bringing your OOC woes IC or your IC conflicts to OOC is a big no-no. They should always be kept apart from each other as much as possible!

Sometimes, you can blur the line a bit between OOC and IC -- for example, when planning events or making new characters you can feel free to discuss things with people on an OOC level. Remember, though, that your characters would not necessarily know everything that YOU as a player does, so act accordingly. When dealing with OOC times on an IC level (such as, again, planning an in-game event) you can use the 'Old Calendar' as a metaphor for IRL (in real life) time. For example, you can say 'Tuesday the fourth at 9pm, of the Old Calendar' and people will know it means in real life time, not in-game time.

Character Concepts/RP Hooks
An 'RP hook' is something interesting about your character that sets him or her apart from the 'norm'. This can be generally anything you can think of - something that keeps people interested in you as much as possible while giving you enough freedom to roleplay the way you want. Having a cookie-cutter character with no background and no real concept behind it is boring! Make up a history and a story for your character, such as a tortured past or other background data. Remember, though, that you should always stay in-theme with your background and stories about your character! For example, having an intelligent ogre is impossible, or a serious kender. Being unique is fine, but don't go nuts with it. A serious kender is fine, one who spits fire isn't. At least be believable and come up with good reasons for your actions.

Flaws that you choose in chargen can also be used as interesting RP hooks; if you choose the Insane flaw for example you can RP out gibbering and drooling as much as you please.

Plots and Stories
A 'plot' is generally an event that happens over time, a series of different 'scenes'. It is often negotiated with by the people involved in it OOCly, then roleplayed out ICly and whatever occurs, occurs. Remember the prime rule of roleplaying: IC equals ICC. What does this mean? 'In Character Actions equals In Character Consequences'. Your character's actions will directly affect what happens to you -- if you RP out punching a Queen you will get your ass tossed in prison whether you like it or not. Go along with whatever RP happens. It's fun even if you 'lose' something like an RPed-out fight.

Joining a plot is generally pretty easy, too, though often they are fairly private affairs. Just speak ICly with whoever's part of it and see if you can do something to help/join in.

Doing the Deed: emotes/pmotes/etc
A pmote is the most common method of roleplaying with someone. A pmote or emote is a line of text that comes after your name when you are in a room, which you write to describe your character's current actions. Pmote is exactly like emote, except that it replaces a person's name with 'You' in the room to the target player. Ie. If Allisara and Therese is in the room and Allisara types 'pmote pokes Therese in the eye.', Therese will see 'Allisara pokes you in the eye.' and everyone else in the room will see 'Allisara pokes Therese in the eye', while Allisara will see 'You poke Therese in the eye'. Pokepokepoke.

Pmote and emotes are used to interact on a fundamental level with other players without all kinds of game mechanics getting in the way. Feel free to pmote stuff like hitting people or whatnot -- but bear in mind that you should not meta-emote.What does this mean, you ask? A meta-emote (or metagaming, or metapmote, or powergaming, or twinking) is when you force an action for another player in an emote/pmote without their consent. For example, if I typed "pmote punches Coartho in the face, knocking him down.", that is a no-no because it is giving his response for him. A much better way would be to do "pmote tries to punch Coartho in the face in an attempt to knock him down." and let Coartho respond to it (avoiding, falling down, etc) as he sees fit. But don't punch Coartho because that is mean.

Alternately, you can use 'say' and 'direct' to speak to someone without actually an action. Says are fast and easy, but carry little enough description most of the time to respond to. Use > player text to direct a say to someone (such as Allisara says (to you), 'Got a dime?!') by using > <player name> Got a dime?! Note: if you are using Zmud you will need to use Direct, as > I believe is a parsed character.

Open vs. Closed Emotes

Lookielookie: Descriptions and pdescs
A description is, obviously, what people see when they look at you, or when you look at them. This may seem like a simple enough thing to do, but people tend to put a tremendous amount of effort and work into making their descriptions nice and pretty. Essentially, there are a few definite rules you should consider when making a description:

- Generally, longer and more descriptive is better. 1-3 lines about you is kinda boring. 3 paragraphs is great!
- Try not to use too much ansi. Especially not bright ansi, ugh. My poor poor eyes. Some other people also have difficulty with very dark colors like {D or {m.
- You shouldn't add actions to your desc. A description is solely what your character looks like, not what they are currently doing. For example, putting 'He sees you looking at him and beams a smile in reply' is a bad idea because what if this person is whoisic'ing you? What if you're currently in combat? You smiling then too?! A well-written desc should have none of these actions in them.
- I generally write descs in this format: The first paragraph (5-6 lines) is about the character's facial features, head/hair, and general bearing/figure. Then the next one (or two, if I'm feeling verbose) paragraph is their clothes, starting from the neck to arms, hands, torso, waist, legs, and feet. Then at the very end I add any temporary things like wounds or whatnot.
- The easiest way to change your desc is to use 'desc ++' and use the text editor. I like pasting a paragraph in at a time using notepad, pre-formatting it to 80 character width so I don't need to use .f in the text editor to format it.

A 'Pdesc' is the coded details about your character, such as hair texture, eye color, and so on that appears above your desc when someone looks at or whoisic's you. These things can all be modified with a blue diamond that you buy from a shop; use the Pray channel to look for an immortal who is not too busy who can edit your pdescs. Make sure you prepare them ahead of time, including color codes (use two {{ to make it appear properly in the MUD, like {{Draven-black{{x will show up as {Draven-black{x when you say it in the MUD). By changing your pdescs you can alter your character's flavor design however you want it.

Writing a Good Description
Writing a Good Background

Other Stuff
A storynote is generally a little tale you can write about something that's happened to your character. They are written like any other note and should generally be done in the third-person-perspective. Storynotes can be as long or as short (or as nonexistant) as you want them to be, they are purely optional and most people never write them at all.

Generally, joining a Kingdom is fun and exciting. Just speak with a recruiter (see whok <kingdom>) and ask to join, ICly. If you are accepted you will be able to enter the Kingdom's hall/stronghold. Kingdoms give a wide opportunity for in-Kingdom and cross-Kingdom roleplay that you really can't get when you're not in one. The easiest way of RP in a kingdom is to rise through the ranks, doing the duties your superiors ask you to do. Fun!

Actually Finding New People to RP With
There are a lot of methods you can use to RP with people and generally find and meet new people. The easiest is probably just 'cold calling', sending them an In Character tell out of the blue with something you want to discuss or otherwise a way to interact with them. Sometimes people are busy, sometimes they just won't want to -- be prepared to get rejected sometimes, really. Your best way to find RP is to just talk to people and get involved with things, don't just expect roleplay to fall on your lap without you having to do anything. Most Kingdom RP involves your progression through your chosen field's ranks (such as the Military or a guild of mages). Clans have RP too, though generally it is less involved than RPing in a Kingdom and some clans RP very little compared to them. Of course, you should still abide by the rules of staying In Character on IC channels and using tells and whatnot.

Des's Tips

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