Newbie Notes: Roleplaying

GretelGretel Member, Newbie Helper Posts: 33 ✭✭
edited September 2013 in Newbies
CRAFT YOUR CHARACTER

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WHAT IS ROLEPLAY?

imageIn Aetolia, players create characters with unique outlooks, goals, viewpoints and personalities and these characters interact with each other to essentially collaboratively write stories – this is known as roleplaying. For example, a person may create a staunch dwarf warrior who likes axes and beer and they might encounter a teetotaler pacifist elf. Exploring the conflict between these two different mindsets could be something the players do over a series of interactions. Roleplay is done through commands in the game, allowing players to convey what their character is doing or feeling, as well as how their character reacts to other characters or to the world around them. Roleplay is an expansive concept, covering both your view and creation of your character, as well as how you decide to have your character interact with others to change and grow over time. It's engaging and enthralling!

Here is a small example of an excerpt from a "scene" between two characters:

You have emoted: Bardle jauntily strides in, whistling a merry tune. Spying Maida, he dips into a low, somewhat foppish bow. "Lady," he remarks as he rises, flashing Maida a wink.

Maida eyes you warily. "Good evening," she says, with a slight nod.

You have emoted: The man's lips curve into a wide smile, revealing gleaming white teeth. He tosses his head once, shaking a stray lock of hair out of his eyes, and introduces himself. "Bardle's the name, singing's my game!"

"Singing, hmm?" Maida replies, arching an eyebrow. "What exactly is it that you sing?" she asks, folding her arms across her chest.

You have emoted: Bardle casually shrugs. "Ballads, jigs, dirges," he lists and laughs, the sound rich and throaty, suggesting that perhaps he does indeed have a voice to back up his claim. "Anything that pays."

Maida gives you a slight nod. "I see," she mutters, more to herself than anyone else. She regards you for a moment, before asking, "What brings you to Spinesreach, bard?"

As you can see, scenes can involve both action and dialogue. More importantly, you can glean information about the characters involved, based on how they portray themselves. Through roleplay, you can convey a variety of things about your character for others to observe and react to: their facial expressions, their tone of voice, their posture and stance, all contributing to create a rich and full image of a character. For example, the singer in this scene is obviously a roguish - and perhaps perhaps flirty - type, while the woman is (understandably!) wary of him and reacts with hesitance and skepticism. 

Interactions between characters can be almost anything you can imagine - from getting a tattoo inked to playing a song to a bar brawl, if you can describe it, it can happen! Using roleplay, players spin out amazing and enthralling stories together: tales of love and hate, revenge and redemption, epic battles and healing wounds, or merely a comfortable night at the tavern with friends...all are part of the roleplay you can create and experience!

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BASIC SYNTAX

So how do I do all this fancy stuff when interacting with others?! The answer boils down to a few simple commands, designed to easily let you express your character in Aetolia.
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SAY: Say is the basic command to let you say things to other players. You can easily add details to how you say things, to indicate the mood with which your character is speaking, to convey tone of voice, describe actions like smiles, frowns or nods, or even to depict details of the environment around you, such as a gust of wind you have to raise your voice to be heard over.

The easiest way to add details to something you say is merely to add an emoticon at the end. For example, SAY HI : ) will show You smile and say, "Hi." HELP EMOTICONS covers the long list of choices you can use.

If you want to customize your says even more, you can append customized descriptions before the say, using (xxxx). For example, SAY (BRIGHTLY) HI will show Brightly, you say, "Hi." You can add a variety of details about how you say something by using this.

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EMOTE: Another way to interact is called emoting. Through emotes, you can express an incredible range of action and attitude to other players.

The most simple form of emoting are the pre-made emotes. There are a ton of existing emotes to convey a wide range of things, allowing you to quick express common actions. For example, if you type in SMILE you will see Your mouth turns up as your face breaks into a smile. You can direct this at another player, as well - SMILE GRETEL would show you YOU SMILE AT GRETEL

  • EMLISTDisplays all the pre-defined emotes you can pick from. 
  • EMLIST *<word>*: Searches the emotion list for emotions containing that word. Eg, EMLIST *SMILE*
  • EMSHOW <word>: Displays what an emote looks like to various recipients.

This is just the tip of the iceberg, though! You can express almost anything you can think up, using the custom EMOTE command. Simply type EMOTE <words> (or EM <words> for short) to have your character do a variety of things. For example, if I type EM LETS OUT A HAPPY SQUEAK everyone in my room would see Gretel lets out a happy squeak. You can integrate dialogue into these emotes as well. For example, EM LETS OUT A HAPPY SQUEAK AND SAYS, "HI!" turns into Gretel lets out a happy squeak and says, "Hi!" 

What if you want to adjust where your own name appears in your emote? That's easy enough to do - simply use (xxx) just like with says to put text before your name. Your own name will then automatically be placed where the parentheses end. For example, if I typed EM (SQUEAKING HAPPILY,) SAYS, "HI!" everyone would then see Squeaking happy, Gretel says, "Hi!" 

Next, you can target these emotes at specific people. Let's say that Hansel was hanging out in my room, and Slyphe came to join us. I can use $ before names of individual people to direct an emote at them, in order to make it clear who I mean with my yous and yours - for example, let's say that I typed EM SQUEAKS AT $HANSEL. Hansel would then see Gretel squeaks at you, while Slyphe would see Gretel squeaks at Hansel. Using $ is very helpful in a crowded room to avoid confusion! Here's a full table of all the different targetting options:

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With custom emotes, you can also use ^ to indicate your own name. For example, if I typed EM STATES, "MY NAME IS ^." others would see Gretel states, "My name is Gretel."

Finally, you can get objects involved in your emotes! Simply use @ before the name of the object you want to use to have that object name automatically be included in the emote. For example, if I there was an object called "a red bouncy ball" in my room and I typed EM SQUEAKS AT @BALL, others would see Gretel squeaks at a red bouncy ball.
  • EM <words>: This is the basic custom emote command. 
  • EM (<words>): Put words before your own name in your emote.
  • EM $<name>: Target another person in your emote.
  • EM ^: Add your own name to the emote.
  • EM @item: Use an item in your emote.
For a more extensive break down of syntax, check out this thread!

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imageTHINK: Sometimes, you merely want to express to yourself (and any Gods or mindreaders) something internal that your character is thinking. You can the think emote to display those private thoughts to yourself - simply type < <words> to think. For example, if I typed < FEEL EMOTIONAL, only I would see a line telling me You feel emotional

By default, think emotes start with a you, but you can shift where the "you" part of the emote goes, by using the ^ command. For example, if I typed < THERE ARE SO MANY EMOTIONS INSIDE ^! I would then see There are so many emotions inside you! Remember, these emotes are thoughts, so the rest of the room doesn't see them - they are for private character growth and can be a useful way to react internally to a scene unfolding around you. Certain classes - and the Divine - can also detect think emotes, opening the door to creative options via mindreading.

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POSE: Poses are a fun way to let people know what your character is up to, even if they haven't been in the room to see it. Your pose changes how you look when someone LOOKS in the room - instead of the default Gretel is here, someone would instead see a custom message! 

You can set poses to automatically be made when you use any of the emotions off EMLIST. Simply type CONFIG QUICKPOSE ON to enable this option. Then, the next time you smile, people will see you there, smiling!

You can also set custom poses of your own choosing. To do this, simply type POSE <words> - your own name must appear in here somewhere, denoted by ^. For example, I could type POSE ^ IS HERE, SMILING HELPFULLY. Then, anyone who walks into my room will see that Gretel is here, smiling helpfully.

To see what pose you currently have set, merely check out STAT.

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For a more extensive breakdown of the various ways you can use these commands, check out this thread for a great list of syntax to utilize. This link is really helpful and highly recommended for a good overview of commands!
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USEFUL ROLEPLAY ELEMENTS


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There is a lot people can gauge about your character from just a glance. In addition to poses, here are some other ways you can convey details about your character without saying a word:

DESCRIPTION: Through setting your description, you can set up a unique way you look when others EXAMINE you. This is a great way to describe what color your eyes and hair are, if you are tall or short, thin or fat. Get creative with this! DESCRIBE SELF <words> lets you set your custom description that others can see. For feedback on your description, check out this thead!

ATTIRE: Attire lets you adjust how items you are wearing appear when others look at them. For example, if you have a fabulous hat that you like to wear at a rakish angle, you can type ATTIRE HAT SET AT A RAKISH ANGLE - when others examine you, then will then see (set at a rakish angle) : a fabulous hat. You can describe a lot of details about not just your clothing, but other items being worn, including minipets! To hide an item being worn, simply type ATTIRE< ITEM> CONCEAL and it will no longer display when others examine you. 

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Roleplay isn't just about how you express your characters to others, though. It also is about considering who your character is and what choices they would make in a given situation. Consider your character's backstory and motivations: Where did he come from? How did she grow up? What drives him? Who inspires her? What are his goals in life?  Check out this thread for a fun breakdown for aspects to consider about your character!

BACKGROUNDYou can write a backstory for your character, describing your character's upbringing before he or she entered the greater world of Aetolia. This is a great way to help establish what defining events have helped shaped your character into who he or she is today. You can also add extra chapters to your background as your character grows. You may make this document public or private, or visible only to your allies. HELP BACKGROUND gives the full details about writing a background.


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ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

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Roleplay Specifics: This thread goes into the specifics of the Aetolian world, great for answering questions about the cities, villages, races and other roleplay details.

Roleplay Q&A:  Great for answering short questions about roleplay, this thread is the place to go for a quick answer to a specific question you may have.

Character Breakdowns: This thread is a great way for you to analyze what makes your character tick. What's your character's favorite color? Best friend? Driving goals? Strong, engrossing characters can be found in the details!

Description Feedback: Get your character description looked over by other players - this is a great way to get friendly advice on how you've phrased things, as well as a way to ensure your character doesn't accidentally have features that would be out of place in Aetolia.

Roleplay Logs: A must-visit section of the forums! Players are encouraged to share logs of their roleplay with others for enjoyable reading. Epic battles, tender moments, emotional turmoil, events and more can all be found here, illustrating the range and depth of Aetolia's roleplay - feel free to share your own scenes!

Character Feedback: Been around for a while and curious what impression others have of your character? Check out this section of the forums and even make a thread for your own character! Bear in mind, however, that brand new characters likely need to spend some time meeting others before people will have lots to say.


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Feel free to post any questions you have here about roleplaying in Aetolia!

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Post edited by Gretel on
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