In the last few weeks, I've been able to invite some friends over from other MUDs and MUSHs that I used to play to check out Aetolia and I've seen them run into situations where other players hold them and their character's background stories accountable to game mechanics, limiting their back story. So, I thought I'd share a few things to help bring some awareness.
HELP GOODRP has a few interesting things to remember but the whole file is really good to read!
- Do not rely on game mechanics to define your reality and judgments. An example of this would be saying, "All vampires are responsible for their state because they must have AGREEd to become a vampire," whereas a better player would not allow that mechanic to dictate the roleplay surrounding an embrace or how their character reacts to the circumstances of individual vampires.
- Make your character feel like a real Aetolian person. Give your character flaws and weaknesses and let them make mistakes and learn. Allow your character to change over time. Real people change over the years, as different things happen to them and they learn more about themselves, and your character should, too.
- Use the setting of Aetolia to its full extent to create a character that could not exist in any other realm.
- Stay in character, even (or especially) when someone emotes that you are being pinned against a wall. Roleplay out of it, or even along with it.
- Treat non-player-characters ("mobs") as if they were just as real as other characters.
- Some roleplayers believe it is poor form to use the ID number of a monster or to ask someone in a public area to "doublewhisper" them to work on their "reflexes". They prefer to avoid slipping into OOC behaviour in public or referencing OOC behavior with thinly veiled euphemisms and synonyms. An example would be substituting the word "reflexes" for "triggers" as if it made such a discussion any more IC. They also suggest limiting or eliminating modern colloquiums from your speech ("newbie," "dude," et cetera). However, other roleplayers believe these IC terms for OOC matters are invaluable when discussing matters that cannot be avoided. For example, referring to the player as his 'soul' takes an OOC term and makes it IC. A good player does not 'logoff,' he 'departs from the realms.' He does not 'go on a vacation,' rather he 'embarks on a journey beyond Sapience.'
(I'm guilty of taking long walks in Dendara to 'meditate' or travel back 'home' where my character originally comes from, beyond Sapience.)
* - Some believe it's most important that your characters should appear to be consistent in how it behaves and how it reacts. Roleplay at the core is the person's ability to capture a convincing, enthralling role. It isn't the quality of your emotes, or the way you speak. It is how consistent you are with the personality (the role) you have envisioned for your character, and how well you remain in that character. An example of a typical failing in this area would be a person who plays a character that sits at one moral extreme, such as being a necromancer, but has an OOC friend who plays a character at another extreme, such as a Luminary, and the two characters freely associate without any kind roleplay to explain their interaction.
Following your character's natural reaction to situations is important and this sometimes means allowing your character to develop a dislike for people who you normally don't dislike because of the situations they have found themselves into - consistency is the key to excellent roleplay and if others are simply confused by the reaction you -can- step out of character to tell them, "((OOC: Since my character was put in a situation where their fear/paranoia/excitement/passion is pushed, this reaction is for the story, not against you)) etc.
I would encourage reading these files for those seeking to improve their story-telling with consistency and an open mind that is not limited to the game's mechanics, but more importantly, RP that does not cross IC and OOC boundaries and flows naturally for your character's personality: HELP ROLEPLAY, HELP GOODRP, HELP INTERACTION, HELP BACKGROUND, HELP CHARACTER'S ROLE, and HELP ESTEEM!
(Even the Gods can be esteemed to tell them how wonderful you think they are and send them love for all the fun stuff they do for you!)
Also, a few years ago Gretel gave us an awesome intro to roleplaying too: Gretel's Guide to Roleplay
I miss Hansel and Gretel...anyways, that's all folks!
Hope this was helpful.