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    Ultimate Role Playing guide

    Note: I actually wrote this a while back and posted it on my website. Unfortunantly with real life becoming more hectic, I will shut down the website in a few days as its just become too much to handle with me moving to a new state and getting married. I thought I'd share this guide with your community before it becomes extinct. I know RP isnt for everyone, but if you've ever wanted to try it and been embarassed or something, then heres a chance to understand it a bit better.

    I have noticed that some articles on this subject tend to show persons personal point of view as to what role playing is and how it should be done. The problem is that everyone is different, and what is right for one person, may not be for another. So I just intend to give some general useful information with out ramming too much of my own opinion down your throat saying this is the only way to do it. This is not indented to be a definitive guide merely a starting point of things to bear in mind. If you read several different articles on role playing and some of the views seem to conflict, remember its just different peoples opinions. Take from it what you think is good and if you think something does not sound right for you, then it may just be there role play style (you don't have to follow it).

    What is Role-playing?
    Role playing is a bit like acting in that you put yourself in someone elses shoes. You get to go on a holiday from yourself and do things that you would not normally do or say. In short; you take over a different persona, with their own strengths and flaws. Why do people want to role-play?
    The fun is (well for me), to play someone who is different from yourself and interact with others who are doing the same. Have you ever been reading a book, or watching a film, and wishing you were one of those involved and could interact with the characters? Well now you can. I don't think this is the only reason though, if you ask three different people you would probably get three different answers. Basically it all boils down to one thing. They enjoy it. How do I get started Role playing?
    The first thing that you need to be able to role play is a character and a character history. What was the up bring like? How does the character act towards other people? Does he or she dislike any particular race? And so on. You don' have to work it all out straight away, but it's good to have some ideas. Maybe your character did not have a good education and does not always speak correctly. For me, flaws seem to make a character come to life a bit more and make him or her more unique. Think how your character will act towards other people. For example if he is an evil character he does not have to be polite and courteous to people but he may show respect for thieves and murders. That will give you something to work with. You can also let the in-game events take effect on your character as time goes by. For example if something very traumatic happens to him, it might have some effect, like being trapped in a small place might cause him to get claustrophobia. Again, make up your own mind and use your imagination! As time goes by and you develop your character you might want to start writing his background, personality and events that have happened to him in game to remind you, and so you can read through it again later to refresh your memory as to how he might act. For example if he has had one or several bad experiences with one particular type of race or creature he might come to hate and/or fear them.
    If you are having trouble finding role playing guilds, or even information on your chosen game then Stratics is an excellent place to start looking. They have information on message boards on many online Role playing games. Since online games get updated a lot the instruction manual is not always up to date, Stratics serves as an up to date online manual. Stratics also reports what is happening in game.

    But all this can only go so far, you need other people to role play with and have adventures and quests with. Try to find role players where ever you happen to be playing, usually there are some sort of role playing communities in a role playing game. Look at web sites and hunt around.

    What language do role players speak?
    d00d speak, where letters are replaced by similar symbols, and acronyms like lol (laugh out loud) and rofl (rolling on the floor laughing) are generally frowned upon. Emotes such as *laughs* and *smiles* are generally preferred. Other than that, pick anything that fits with your character. Speak modern english, ye olde english or even english with a french accent if you have to. Does your character have a lisp ? Does he have difficulty pronouncing the 'th'? Perhaps you will have him speak Orcish, Elven or Gargish... It really does not matter, as long as you are consistent. Is going out of charter (ooc) allowed?
    This seems to be a very personal thing. I personally always try to use [] to show ooc, but it's not the only way. You can just say you are talking ooc and speak normally. At some point though you will find it necessary to go ooc, don't worry, I think this is natural and something that we all have to do from time to time. However, die hard role players will rather cut off their right foot than be caught talking out of character. Tolerance
    Just because someone does not role play in exactly the same way you do, is not a good reason to flame them or say they are not role playing. However you may come across someone, either in-game or on message boards, who just seems to like arguing and attacking you personally regardless of your arguments. Don't try to argue with people like this, as that is what they want, they love to argue, just try to ignore them if possible. Role playing for girls
    Some girls do not like having guys hit on them in role-playing games. One way to avoid this is to play a male character. Playing a different sex must surely be an interesting and challenging role playing experience. Of course you don't have to play a man if you don't want to, maybe you can be that powerful girl you have always wanted to be (Girl power). But always keep in mind that just because you see a woman in game, it does not necessarily mean they are a woman in real life. In fact, a lot of 'girls' you meet in-game are in reality role-playing guys.

    I have known quite a variety of girls who play role playing games, some just like to run shops, make things and sell them, others really like PvP (Player vs player combat ). Again try things out and do what feels right for you. While there are more men playing role playing games, there are certainly lots of women too so you will not be the only girl playing.

    Is role playing for me?
    Why are you ask me? What do you think, want to give it a try?
    I would like to thank all the people whom I have spoken to that have given me support and information which helped make this guide.

    Chapter 1

    The first step in the wonders of Role playing is to get past Newbieness.

    A) Learn how to do as much as you can, so you are not always asking other players how to questions. Visit Blizzards website (and ours of course!) often to learn changes in the game that might affect the way you play. If you cannot find your answers there, try to stay in character when asking other people.

    B) Get the feel of the game overall, fight a few battles, die a few time,. talk to some people, play around with the macros (if available), and learn how to use them effectively. Learning on your own in the best way to learn. It's more rewarding and stick with you longer.

    C) While you are still a "newbie", try talking to people without discussing technical questions, bugs, PKing or cheating (its hard not to, but it can be done) or even discussing skills and class leveling. Keep your character to yourself, don't let anyone know how good / bad you are. Apart from what they can see don't let anyone in. It's just not good role playing ... like if you've ever played D&D, you would know what I'm talking about. Only two people know ... the DM (dungeon master) and you. Don't let anyone know what your skill levels are. It gets annoying pretty quickly to see people saying in town "I AM MASTER BLACKSMITH HAHAH KTHNXLOL1!!". It would be better to say ( if you were an arrogant blacksmith ) "I am the greatest blacksmith in the southern lands of Vesper, ye (meaning "all of you") would be wise to purchase my weapons, for they shalt not fail ye in battle."

    D) Try to kill the internet lingo as much as possible. e.g.. the smiley faces, ,etc.. LOL.. brb.

    D. 1) However in times of crisis, and battle, one does not want to take the time to type out "be right back" when one's life is at stake. So shorthand does have its place in the game of WoW. You should never actually try to role play in situations where you simply can not. If you are alone, in a battle, dungeon crawling, or other hard to role play situations: don't. You'll probably get yourself killed. Role playing is like the icing on the cake, use it to your advantage for fun.
    E) use emote messages instead * like this* (e.g. * smiles *, * burps* ,etc.... )
    If you can do this for one hour or so, you have hereby graduated past newbie, and you are ready to go on to bigger and better Role Playing techniques.

    Why should we role play anyhow?
    The only reason anyone should role play is to have fun. World of Warcraft is a game after all, and we play games to have fun. If you aren't having fun roleplaying then you shouldn't do it. But the bottom line is roleplaying is a way for you to develop your own character and a personality that is not your own. The internet completely allows you to screen your true personality from others. Use the anonymous nature of the internet to your advantage. This is part of roleplaying.

    Chapter 2

    For the advanced Role Players. Now that you've completed the first chapter and stopped real world and internet speak, you can start developing a real personality for your character. Practice one day on a very simple thing like pretending your character has a minor speech impediment.
    These can be, but not limited to the following:

    A lisp
    Can't say R's quite right.( e.g. Elmer Fudd )
    Stuttering
    Can't say H's quite right. ("Come 'ere you! ")
    Or a certain type of attitude (again, only a short list)

    A solitude demeanor
    Very friendly and out going
    Quiet, or doesn't speak much
    Drunken Dwarf (always fun)
    Doesn't trust very many people
    If you like pretending to have a speech impediment or potraying anmd exagerating a certain human characteristic, then maybe role playing is for you after all.
    Write down on a piece of paper some things that your character's personality might be like

    Town of birth.
    Environment that your character was raised in. (farm, city, slum etc..)
    Number of siblings and what sex they were, (possibly even names.) twins might be interesting.
    General disposition. (angry, nice guy, rude, shy, dull, crazy.)
    Quirks. (phobia's, inanities.. etc.)
    Alignment. (whether your character is good, bad, neutral, or selfish) I am one who does not believe in true neutral.)
    Obsessions (good or bad.)
    View's on magic (whether character shuns magic or is wary or welcomes it.)
    Hatred towards ... (pick something) maybe your character hates bards, or healers, or miners.
    Just write stuff down.. develop your character, get to know how to become them. If you want to generate a list and roll dice to randomly generate a character then all the more power to you!
    Also, once you've written these things down, start to apply what you've written into your gameplay. For example, a character named, say Galdrog, is a blacksmith who was born in Goldshire, he has one sister role plays on the same server, her name is Dana Vinte and she is 4 years younger than Galdrog. Galdrog's personality could be discribed as a basically nice, but has a short fuse. (he gets angry or upset easy) He does have a quirk, he is traumatized by the loss of his parents. I would describe his alignment as probably a scrupulous good. Which means, Galdrog will disobey the written law if he believes that it is right. He used to have a deathly fear of magic, but his friends in game has seen him through his fear, and have even gotten him to start using it. Galdrog hates undead, and will not go no where near Undercity. Galdrog is indifferent about any rules, but he takes Justice as his principle and Honesty as his virtue. (Hence he lives in Stormwind City now).

    Chapter 3

    Now that you know a little more about role playing, and you might even have practiced it a bit. However, it will do you little good if you do not have an accepting group of friends that also roleplay along with you. This is the most important part of it all, what good is having a well developed character if you have no friends to interact with. This is crucial to your character's development as well. On each server in World of Warcraft there is probably several role playing groups that can be found, and each one has their own "personalities."

    Find the role players on your server, and learn where they usually meet, as having a consistant meeting place is important too.

    Another very important thing to know is how to deal with 'offensive' players, those players that deliberately insult you to start a fight, or just for thier own sadistic pleasure. I personally have a high tolerance for offensive players, but many players do not, and I will try to list here on ways to deal with them.

    Every Role player will eventually get the cocky remark: "Speak modern english you nerd, because this is modern times " or "Why U talk so stupid" or something to the effect that they do not like to deal with a role playing individual, and they think everyone should just act like they way they really are. These remark can be discouraging to the aspiring role player, but have faith. This kind of mentality is expected. Usually if you keep role playing to these types they will eventually go away frusterated. "Oh man, I can't talk 2 u n e more."

    Then there is the truly offensive players that seriously try to hurt your feelings, or try to stir up negative emotions. If they break the agreement they made with Blizzard when they signed up, i.e. racial, sexual, or any type of biasing insults. Then report them to the proper authority which can be found on the Blizzard website, or take a screen shot the offending statements in it. (Print Screen by default) and send them an email including the screenshot as an attachment.

    If it is not this serious, then simply walk away from the individual, or put the offending player on your ingame ignore list. Just Remember, never stoop to their level and retort by saying similar things to them. True roleplayers ignore these immature people and it always the best thing to do. Chances are, they will stop if you ignore them because usually they are trying only to ger rises out of people. These peopel are usually young males who get their "jollies" of making fun of people in fornt of the computer screen. Sad, but for the most part true. Keep your cool and stay in character.

    This next part assumes that Blizzard will implement a certain PK system.

    PKs (Player Killers): Nearly impossible to interact or roleplay with (i.e. grievers). They usually travel in packs, and are very experienced in player vs player combat (PvP), roleplayers usually spend more time interacting with thier friends and are not very experienced in PvP. A friend of mine compared the mentality of PK's to the aliens in the film Mars Attacks. They do not negotiate, they shoot first and ask questions later, literally.. When you are PK'd you may be very upset, however Blizzard may and should not allow PKing as an offensive behavior, and will not do anything about reports of PKing, unless the PKer in question has verbally offended or harrassed, or player prior to or after the murder.

    I hope this clears some things up.

    Chapter 4

    Now that we're all well on the way to understanding basic role-playing, I'd like to add a few things that can really help you to become masters at this most difficult yet rewarding pastime.

    Let's start with a recap. When first you arrive in the world, you are but a child, a newbie, weak, poor, with nothing but your starting skills and a few paltry possessions, you learn how to interactwith other players, you learn the game mechanics, you learn what actions get you killed, what actions get you not killed. Eventually you get to the point where you feel safe, where you understand how to play. Once you get there, it's time to really play.

    As I go through this, I'm going to refer to a character, Elawyn .

    Develop a background for your character within the confines and precepts of the world (Sorry, you better get a dictionary out at this point!) Be prepared to answer the questions like "Where were you born?" "How old are you?" "Where did you grow up?" and "What did your family do for a living?". For 'Elawyn', some of that was written down at the beginning, the rest has been filled in over the months that I've played as her.

    This all helps to explain why you, a teenager, are where you are. (Careful study of things medieval shows that most teenagers were at the apprentice level back then, so, as you can start with a lower skill level, it makes you a teenager when you start.) What does your character know about? Well, whatever skills you chose to start with, plus some miscellaneous stuff. Don't try to make it too complicated, that doth make mine head hurt.

    Now, PLAY as that character. That character does *NOT* know how much strength is needed to wield a huge Tauren battle axe, that character knows only whether he/she is strong enough to wield one, and only when he or she has TRIED to wield a war fork. That character does not know that he/she has 49 points of strength and needs only one more (or whatever, same for ALL other skills, and all other stats). YOU, the player, you know this stuff. You as the character do not.

    So, when in conversation, and someone asks you "How much strength do I need to use a Tauren Battle Axe?", DO NOT SAY [insert number here], try answering "I myself have never wielded a Tauren Battle Axe, and I am quite strong", or "I find it quite easy m'lord, but I fear I had to train for a while to do that!".

    If someone goes out of character, pretend you don't know what they are talking about. Note, sometimes you have to go out of character, if that's the case, find a place to stand where you don't spoil the game for everyone else. There's really no fun in sitting in the tavern trying to converse with that mage you just met who said he might teach thee a little of magic when there's two people standing nearby comparing notes about their computers or modem speeds.

    You the player know many things that you the character may or may not know, if you are a clever player, you KNOW how many hit points that troll has, you the character only know whether it's alive, dead, or somewhere in between. Don't yell out "Hey, it's down to 3 hit points, hit it again", instead try "I feel this troll is soon destined to perish". (In actuality, you do neither, you don't have time in battle, if you agree with your companions to speak 'battle-talk' when in a fight, that's ok)

    If your player gets killed and you start over, please don't run up to your friends and announce "Hey, it's me, KILLDOOD, I got pk'd, hadda start over". Instead try "Hail good fellows, hast heard aught of mine cousin KILLDOOD?" and "I fear he has not been seen, hast thee seen aught of him of late?". Then, when they say "KILLDOOD got eaten by a dragon in Destard last night", or perhaps "Ah, I fear KILLDOOD was most foully murdered by the Dread Lord Thingy!", you express sorrow. "Alas, my poor cousin, he was such a brave soul" and start playing your NEW character.

    For variety, come back in as a totally different character, with a different set of preferences, remember, cloning hasn't been invented here. Don't use the same name over and over and over. Try slight variations, slightly different spellings, you could be the younger brother Bobb , come looking for his older brother Bob, who was last seen in the woods. Especially if you have enemies, very especially if you have enemies, "HO! Look, there is KILLDOOD! He's back to newbie again, let's KILL KILLDOOD!" and there was much rejoicing... (woohoo, we killed KILLDOOD AGAIN, that's five times today! What a wuss!)

    Of course he's a wuss, he's starting OVER.

    As a new character, you might know a little of your older brother KILLDOOD, but you won't know WHO killed him. So don't go hunting him until your new character, KILLKILLDOODSKILLER, has learned, as a CHARACTER, who killed KILLDOOD.

    (by the way, the name 'KILLDOOD' is copylefted...)


    Where does all this take you, it allows you to be remembered as someone special, someone unique, and not just another clone. It adds to the rich experience, and it helps to re-inforce to everyone that there's far more to do in a good ROLE PLAYING GAME than simply 'see monster, kill monster'.

    An easy way to role play is to simply be yourself, especially when you first start out. Imagine you've travelled to a far land, where the people are different, where they don't quite speak the same language as you. (It helps if you've actually been outside your home town, and even better if you've been to another country where the native language is different than yours).

    In this far land, you might be able to find that some people understand your speech, but you will have much greater success if you take the time and trouble to learn a few words of the local language. (prithee, please, s'il vous plait, bitte, por favor) (I thank thee!, thanks, merci, danke, gracias). This is taken as an indication that you respect the local customs and language and that you might be willing to learn.

    So, be yourself, but back at the age of 16-17, having travelled to a far and distant and strange land, and learn to get along. That's easy role playing. The challenge, the fun, comes from allowing your character to develop as their skills increase. One would expect that everyone at adept level in anything other than swordsmanship would have HAD to have learnt to deal politely with others. If you play the noble paladin, take the time to truly understand what a Paladin is. Read some books (Tolkein or Gordon R. Dickson, try some classics too, like Ivanhoe, Robin Hood, and for a real challenge, read the Song of Roland, perhaps the greatest Paladin who ever lived. You might get lucky at your local bookstore and find a copy of "Orlando Furioso".)

    Set up goals for your character, short term, medium and long term. Have your character work towards them. If your goal is simply to have fun, that's fine too. If you want to be the scourge of the land, hunted by all that is good, PLAY the part, and play it well. Otherwise you're just another faceless murderer.

    Remember, your character does NOT know all that you know, so, for example, the character Elawyn , a Noble Lady, does not know that the Great Lord Xavori is in truth, an evil character. Why? Because the character, Elawyn, doesn't read the chat zone. So, should Elawyn ever encounter Xavori, she will treat him as he appears, because that's what she would do. She probably won't survive the encounter if it's away from the protection of the city. Afterwards, now that she knows that Xavori is really evil in disguise, she might decide to make her medium goal the extinction of Xavori. (Hey, remember I said take on a challenge? Taking on Xavori would be a major challenge! But it would be a lot of fun, because Xavori knows how to PLAY the part!). That's a purist point of view however, and not everyone feels that it's the right way. If you interact on a chat zone as you character, decide for yourself if there's any overlap between that and in game. The web based bulletin boards can be an excellent place to meet and get to know other roleplayers.

    Elawyn has never fought orcs, at least not at the time of writing, so Elawyn doesn't know if they're tough or not. So, the first time she encounters one she will go for overkill, hurling exploding potions, casting spells, and finally closing in for the kill, when she has learned about them, she will know the quickest, safest and most efficient way to deal with them.. (Elawyn does not know that an orc has xx number of hit points, such and such a resistance, or any of that stuff.)

    As a character, Elawyn is not a mighty swordsman, but she is intelligent. She's also patient and studious. She constantly underestimates her own skills, acts kindly towards all whom she encounters, and studies and studies. She has no way of knowing that she might still need to cast a certain spell to be able to learn spells from the next circle, unless she encounters that information in GAME terms.

    See the difference? By playing the role of the character, you can share in the wonder, in the joy, in the sadness, and all the other wonderful things that your character has the potential for.

    Some thoughts on character behavior. As your character develops, his or her skills increase, and the character begins to take on his or her own life. As Elawyn develops, having gone from neutral to a force for good (Noble Lady) by being kind, generous and thoughtful of others, she has become those things. It's a feedback loop, she feeds the poor, they reward her with increased polite behavior towards her, she becomes more and more kind and generous. In this way she develops. She has seen evil characters, but as a character, is aware that the truly evil do not always appear so. She does not condone thieving, or snooping, but she does believe that characters can reform. (The player KNOWS that the noteriety system is hosed!) Elawyn has seen characters with a title that act noble, those with a title that act like scum, and some dishonorable and dastardly ones that did reform, so she is happy to help them reform. She knows that the townsfolk do pay her honor because of her deeds, and therefore has learned that good deeds will bring rewards that mere gold cannot buy. She has made friends, and has never, yet, had a friend turn on her. Elawyn ran into an Evil Lord rogue, and a neutral apprentice fighter in the training room one day. The apprentice fighter did try to convince Elawyn that she should slay evil, and that the guards would NOT come to the defense of an Evil Lord. (I as the PLAYER, knew a set-up when I smelled one. Nice con job, probably works real well on newbies, or the stupid. I'm neither). Elawyn didn't recognise this as a setup, since this was only the first or second time that anyone had deliberately tried to get her killed. She PLAYED the part. "M'lord, evil tho he may be, my weapons are under peace bond in this town. I may not use them save in mine own defence" she replied, followed by "but if thou art so concerned, and have not given thy word in peace-bond, thou may attack yon rogue, and I will call the guards to protect thee should yon rogue perchance be a more stalwart fighter than thee." Needless to say, the two morons left shortly after that.

    Elawyn is a trusting sort, because she has no reason, yet, to be anything other than that. She does know right from wrong, and she does know what actions in town will get her killed by the guards. She doesn't always agree that certain actions are really worth a persons life, so if someone gets guard-killed for doing something that isn't truly evil, but simply a mistake or careless action, she might, if possible, try to save their possessions for them. She's done it once, and did manage to keep the looters away from the corpse long enough for the character to go res at the healer. (New fighter, attacked a tamed, but as yet unnamed, sewer rat, on the docks.). She didn't think that attacking a sewer rat was a crime bad enough to warrant losing everything. Elawyn has been poor, she's been penniless. She's worked hard, scrimped and saved, sewn clothes, caught fish, and tried all that she is capable of to try and make enough gold to pursue her studies. So she is fully and totally aware what the loss of all possessions do to someone newly arrived in town. As a result, she is sympathetic to their needs. She's NOT stupid, nor is she an easy mark. She is playing the role of the Noble Lady.

    Elawyn the character would NOT give up her carefully hidden gold stash from the bank, but she would be pleased and happy to donate enough from there to any of her friends who fell upon desperate times. She will not hand out to gold to anyone who runs up and exclaims "gimme some gold dood!". She might turn and suggest some ways that this person might earn a little gold doing honest work. She has been known to give away her fishing pole to people who appear to need it more than she does, after asking them to promise that they will feed the hungry with some of the fish that they catch, and that they will help others in need when they finally get their life in order. So far it's too soon to see if this actually does any good, but Elawyn as the character thinks that it will. (Actually, she's taken to carrying one or two extra fishing poles lately.)

    Taking on the part of actually playing the character turns the simple mechanical game play from merely clicking the mouse in the right places fast enough, "Got any spare stuff?" into something that is much more of a challenge. After all, becoming a power player is easy. It's too easy. That's what killed Diablo. Taking on the part of a 'real' character is far more of a challenge, you learn a great deal more, and something else. Do it well, and you will make friends. You will make friends for life.

    Now, a word about playing evil characters. There's nothing wrong with playing evil characters, if it's done well. If it's simply build up a power character and kill newbies for you, then this is the wrong game, go back to Diablo where at least the newbies have a chance to get good stuff by cheating. Better still, stick to Nintendo. If, on the other hand, playing an evil character is, for you, where you want to be the Moriarty, (look it up if you have to), or the Raffles of thieves, or the assassin , then PLAY the part. The most evil characters are not obviously evil. The best thief does not say "The Evil Lord Raffles, Master Thief" when you look at them. A master Assassin, most definetely doesn't use either that name.. Playing a truly great evil character, instead of just another diablo power player killer is much much harder to do , and extremely hard to do well. After you become a master at playing a regular character, try being a truly evil one if you find that the challenge isn't there any more.

    Above all, don't spoil the game for everyone else, because that way lies madness and chaos. Because that way you will find your self playing in the sand-pit, and it will be full of naught but scorpions and snakes, and none shall heed thy cries for help, nor shall they succor thee in thy need.

    "And thou wilt find thyself alone, and scared, and beset by thine enemies, who shall deal thee a most mortal wound, and thou will stagger, bleeding, screaming in pain, across to that group you didst pass earlier, and thou shalt cry out "Help me d00ds, I'm hurt bad!", and they shall examine thee, and exclaim "He's nearly dead dude! Whack him and grab his stuff!", and they will slay thee and take thy hard won possessions, and thy spirit shall wander the land, crying for resurrection, and none shall hear, and thy spirit shall wither, aye wither, almost unto extinction, until, at last, thou shall come upon a healer, and thou shalt cry "Hey a**hole, res me already willya!", and the healer shalt examine thy soul and find it wanting, and shall look thee in thine eye, and in thine own words shall say "f*ck you a**hole!". And thy spirit shall fade from the land, never to return, having made naught but a bad impression, and none shall mourn thy departure". (Elawyn, said in response to some little prick who called her a whoring bitch, after she said "Curse me not, lest I lay a curse upon thee in return for the sake of Justice and Balance" then "So be it, I will curse thee with the certain knowledge of thy future in this world if thee do not mend thy ways!").

    The disadvantage with being a purist roleplayer comes when combat ensues. In a fight with skilled PK's, the roleplayers usually end up losing, simply because they don't have a 'tank/mage' character. This is all going to change starting in June, when the new rep system comes in. Hopefully it will drastically reduce the amount of random attacks and encourage more 'roleplaying'.

    Roleplaying alone is hard, and finding a group of roleplayers can be hard. I strongly recommend reading the web based sites to find out where the rolplayers gather on World of Warcraft Servers. Check our Guilds Boards to find roleplayers.

    Character Classes/types and play styles.
    As a new roleplayer, or a new character, when you approach a 'group' always remember that you are a stranger, (unless of course you already know some of the folks from the message boards). I've learned that 'patience' should also be a virtue, since if folks are involved in a 3-4 way conversation, coming up and joining in can take a while before they can respond. First impressions count for a lot, just as they do in real life. People also have long memories, helped now that journal text can be saved.

    There's no absolute way to roleplay, and even the more experienced roleplayers have different opinions on what's considered good roleplay. For me, it's like improvisational theatre, or interactive story writing, where I'm playing the part of a character with a personality that's similar, but different, to myself. A character that has matured, over eight months, but one that is still maturing, still learning, and still slowly changing. A character that is consistent in her behavior and how she interacts with others, one that her close friends know quite well. They know how she will react, what her likes and dislikes are, where to find her in a hurry, how to make her laugh, how to make her cry, how to make her sad or angry. Thus, she has become, a true character.

    For me, that's the main goal of roleplaying, to forge a distinct identity and character, a unique individual with a rich background, rich experiences, and lots of friends. It takes a great deal of time, patience and thought. Some planning helps, from the perspective of being able to play as that character, the rest comes with time. Time spent playing, time spent interacting, time spent having fun. Some folks think that roleplaying is nothing more than standing around in town chatting, but in fact, that's only a part of it. Not all roleplayers do that, just some of them. Some roleplayers write stories, myself included, based on the in-game experiences, and that can not only be fun, but it can help with understanding the character.

    As an example, think of James Bond, secret agent 007, he's a character with a distinct identity, a broad background, and his personality can be seen to change as a result of his experiences. Now, imagine yourself as the young James Bond, freshly retired from the Navy, and about to embark on a career in Her Majesty's Secret Service. You have certain starting skills, a personality, but little in the way of real experiences. Imagine your first mission. If you can picture yourself as that character, talking in a soft scottish brogue, impeccably dressed, with a taste for vodka martini, shaken not stirred, a penchant for gambling, particularly good at baccarat and 'chemin de fer', with a dislike for balding villains with pet white cats, a taste for very good looking women, and carrying a 9mm Beratta pistol. If you can not only imagine that, but also act the part, then you are roleplaying.

    Of course, there is no James Bond in Sosaria, but there is, or was, a Royal Navy, there are ships, there are villians, there are 'good' guys. You can be a 'hero', a 'villain', or, just a person. Elawyn isn't really a hero, and she's certainly no villain, but she has saved many lives, healed many, helped many, trained many. She's not now, and never will be a Grand Hero. She will never own her own castle, or even tower, she will never wear expensive armor. (She's not quite strong enough, and she much prefers chain armor anyway.) She will never kill a dragon single-handedly, but she has stood back and healed her friends as they fought toe-to-toe against dragons and won. She's fought and died at the side of her 'husband', and alongside her friends.

    More thoughts on character development and contingency planning
    In those idle moments when you're waiting for the servers to come back up, take a few notes, make some plans.
    Write down all the things that happened, in the game, to your character last time you adventured. What did you like, what did your character like, what didn't you like, what didn't your character like.

    Think about how these experiences might effect your character. Whether the bad things are a result of someone else's actions, or a result of game bugs/features, would they have an effect on your characters personality? On your characters behavior patterns? If so, and only if you are comfortable with that, allow your character's behavior to change slightly.

    If you, playing as your character, encounter something entirely new and unexpected, think about how your character would react. (It's also permissible, after you've fleshed out a personality, to look back on what might have happened to your character earlier in life to explain various aspects of that personality.)

    Elawyn has changed as she progresses through the game, she's older now, and no longer behaves like a teenager all the time. She hasn't lost her sense of humor, but added refinement to it, she's learned to be more wary of strangers, and more open with 'friends'. She's seen some of those that she's helped go on to helping others, and thus improved the chances for me to role play her.

    For a totally new character, it's worthwhile to write down the likely reactions to the most common in game situations, 'contingency planning'. It's also worthwhile to do this for an established character. As the player, if you play smart, you read the other stories and articles (chatzone etc), where other folks post of their experiences. Extrapolate how your character would behave in those circumstances, you don't HAVE to react that way, depending on the situation, and the level of 'danger'. What it helps with is to make your character unique and developing, instead of stagnant.

    Examples are the common ones:-

    Thief grabs something of low value from you and runs. What do you do? Do you yell guards? Do you run after them yelling guards? If the guards smack the thief, and you're first at the body, do you grab everything? Or just what was stolen from you? If the guards don't come (remember, you actually HAVE to notice the theft, as opposed to suddenly noticing there's something missing in your backpack), do you chase the thief and duly harass them? Do you shrug it off, making a mental note of the thief's name, and later, when you catch them outside of town, beat the crap out of them? Or, with the new rep system in place, simply kill them in town.

    Something of high value? Do you do anything different?

    Someone gets abusive, what are you going to do?

    Crowded store, and you can't get to the storekeeper, what do you do?

    Someone asks for directions, how do you answer (if at all, depending on whether it's INSIDE town or not)

    You get paralyzed, and some PK starts taunting you before finishing you off.. Do you taunt them back, thus ensuring a really quick death? Do you curse them? (kind of pointless, but at this moment in time you might want to vent a little steam). I know what Elawyn would do, assuming she has the time to say it or do it, you decide for yourselves, (I don't want the world full of little Elawyn's running around, it would be incredibly boring, not to mention sickening...)

    Even though when the situation arises, it's a surprise to you, if you've already thought about how the character would react, then you can stay in role even under adverse circumstances.

    I already imagine some severely adverse circumstances for Elawyn, at the hands of my fellow role-players, and I already have a pretty good idea of how she's going to react, consistently with her personality, in character, when faced with one or more of certain death, abandonment, entrapment, torment, or a broken heart. All in a very general sense of course, since I can't predict any exact encounter, only the general and likely nature. Neither can I predict when, so her exact reactions (my contingency plans) will change as time passes and she gains skills and capabilities.

    All of this takes time, a lot of careful thought, but it has the major payoff that if done properly, it allows you to stay in character when something unexpected comes along. You should temper this by understanding that running away is also an option, play carefully, play smartly, don't get caught in a corner, or trapped in a room, don't walk into the middle of a battle imagining that because you're role-playing, the others will leave you alone, they won't. Don't imagine for one moment that anyone else cares either, because most don't. Expect it to be very difficult to do any real role-playing, unless you know where to find the role-players, or how to recognize them. Even if you know their names from elsewhere, don't assume that they're going to be role-playing in the dungeons, or out in the wilds when fighting monsters. Role-playing is like the icing on the cake, an added bonus for a little more work, it's NOT the same as simply keeping your character alive and out of trouble you can't handle.

    Play balance, encounters, the reality.
    As a new player, especially as a new roleplayer, my advice is this. Treasure those roleplayed moments, because unless you know where to go to meet other roleplayers, most encounters are not going to be pleasant. Develop a healthy sense of paranoia, they are out to get you.
    As I've previously stated, my personal preference is towards a co-operative play style, although there are always some conflicts, whether because of 'personality' differences, or other reasons. Conflict can be healthy, it can present a challenge, and killing your greatest enemy can be a real thrill. Death won't be permanent in WoW. That enemy will be back tomorrow, as powerful as ever.

    The new system will be out soon and should make a major difference, allowing those that like to fight other players to do so without penalty, while also allowing those that prefer not to fight other players some protection from the mindless killers. Personally, I'm in a guild along with my 'family' members, but we will never declare or accept, war. The new system encourages some form of co-operation, whether it's simply joining a guild so that when you go out adventuring and get killed, your friends can safely pick up your 'stuff', or whether it's joining a guild so you can go to war with another guild, anywhere, at any time.

    If you plan on being a long term player, I would strongly recommend keeping yourself up to date with how the 'rules' of the game are changing. By reading the updates, and monitoring the web based message boards.

    Those are also the best places to find out where to find other roleplayers, and I'd recommend reading them, becoming familiar with who plays on which shard, whether they play good or evil, whether they play co-operative or competitive, and try out a few characters, do some interaction, see which particular style you enjoy.

    These ads disappear when you log in.

  2. #2
    Phattwoohie's Avatar Contributor
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    Chapter 5

    "Beware the smiling Dungeon Master," is the slogan on a large round button that my friend Chris wears when he DMís a tabletop RPG for the old gaming group. Itís true. When the Dungeon Master smiles, you know you are in big trouble, but, at the same time, youíre also in for some great fun.

    What you need to create a good player-generated quest in WoW is plain old ingenuity, creativity and a limitless imagination.

    Get Inspired
    Inspiration for a quest idea can come from anywhere. Watch some movies, read some books, look over news from other shards. Take the fine threads you like from these sources and weave them into something wonderful. I have created entire scenarios from a painting that intrigued me or from an off-hand remark someone might have made. Jot down notes to yourself and keep them together. A certain element may catch your eye and spark your imagination that may not be useable for the current plot you are working on, but may fit into another. Organization is a must
    Create a sketchy outline of the story. Donít bother with the small details or try to put too fine a point on it. The best quests evolve from suggested paths not predetermined ones. Keep track as you go along of what characters will need to be portrayed, what locations you will use to stage your events, and what props may be needed. Always double check that you have all of these things in place before beginning. There is nothing more frustrating for questors than to finally reach their destination and not be able to accomplish the task because they donít have the necessary tools. Donít go it alone
    The message boards are a great resource for those wishing to undertake creating quests. There you will find like-minded individuals who can help you by creating props, performing as a character in your plot, or to help you with plot development and organization. Many are willing to cross over from other servers to assist. Donít be shy about asking for help. Small quests or one-shot events can be carried out alone, but on the grander scale, thereís no need to try to pull the load alone. You and your participants will enjoy the experience much more if you have delegated some responsibilities to others.
    When using someoneís name or the name of a guild, player venues or tying in to other established player fiction, always get permission first. Discuss your plans with those you wish to include. This may seem painfully obvious, but some quest creators have neglected to do this and it had disastrous results. If you plan to make a clan of roleplayed orcs on your shard the bad guys, give them notice in advance. Talk it over with the leaders. Speak with the tavern owner before bringing your group of fifteen adventurers to their establishment for a confrontation with the rogue they are seeking. You will find that most of them are very willing to allow you to use their groups or venues in your storyline and you have made useful new friends to aid in your adventures.

    Be resourceful
    Give credit to your fellow gamers, though. If we can believe that a small wooden bowl topped with two nightshade and a few balls of yarn dyed red is a rosebush, itís a given that we can believe a purple potion can be the elixir of eternal youth or other equally fantastical things. Help players to see things through your eyes, as the smiling Dungeon Master perched at the head of the table and helped you picture a dragon breathing fire at you while you sat comfortably in your motherís cozy kitchen. An arrow becomes a poisoned dart. A book becomes an ancient tome. A gem becomes a magical seed. Your imagination, and the ability to convey your ideas to others, is the key to the success of your quest.
    If players are to discover secret tomes or items, make them work for it. Have a character hidden in the depths of a dungeon or in the woods somewhere. As players approach, the item could be dropped. Be sure that the hidden person knows how to identify the correct group for which the item is intended to avoid confusion.

    Allow natural spawn to be included as part of your story. This adds an element of danger and some spice to your story. Donít forget to warn your adventurers of the possible hazards involved. No one likes to walk through Mystery Gate Number One and find themselves in the depths of of WoW in their best armor. Let them prepare for the trip, carrying only what they donít mind losing. Try to have someone on hand who can resurrect the fallen or provide gates if the situation becomes overwhelming.

    Be a good sport
    Keeping people interested in your events means that you have to give up the reigns now and then to let them drive things forward. They may not necessarily travel in the direction that you want them to go, but thatís okay. Take the variation from your original plot as a challenge and youíll find that it makes the quest more exciting for you, too. Sometimes, you may find yourself incarcerated or dead. Be a good sport about it. As much as weíd all like to be the conquering hero in everything that we do, someoneís got to be the bad guy or the scapegoat.
    Many quests have gone sour when someone refused to play along because they didnít like how things were going for them. If it is in line with the quest, if it is true to the nature of your character - not you personally, but your character - you owe it to the participants to follow the flow of the storyline. This doesnít mean that you cannot rally some troops in your defense to bring you back to life or spring you from the pokey, so long as it is done in a roleplaying fashion, rather than as a bunch of spoiled children threatening to pick up their marbles and go home.

    You know what they say about assumptions

    To borrow the old cliche: Do not assume; that makes an "ass" of "u" and "me". Not to negate what I said in the previous section, but you must carefully balance being the guiding hand of the quest and letting others guide it. As the quest originator, it is your job to keep the participants on track. This is why it is important to convey the essence of the storyline as concisely as possible. Each new step should be relatively obvious to the party.
    Donít assume that your puzzles are easily solved or that the next step is crystal clear. Remember that you have the benefit of knowing the whole story or the answer to the riddle. Itís why Alex Trebeck seems so darned smart on "Jeopardy!" - heís holding the answer card! If you see that your group is having a hard time solving the mystery or determining their course, find a way to drop additional clues, either by introducing a soothsayer type character, letting them find a message to decode or, if they are desperate and disgruntled, giving outright instructions.

    Expect the unexpected
    Stuff happens. Maybe the person whoíd agreed to portray a leading character in your quest has had a computer problem that prevents them from participating. Maybe the 1,000 diamond ring you needed as a prop was stolen by a thief as you made your way through a portal of some sort. Expect the unexpected and have as many backup plans as possible. Always be sure that you have duplicates of the most important things in your quest, especially books. Whenever possible, have a stand-in on stand-by for significant roles. Have an alternate date and time selected in the event of a server crash. Think of all the ways that a quest can go wrong, address those issues in advance, and you will drastically reduce your stress level. Believable fiction
    Donít use "prime" characters of the World of Warcraft. The oxymoron "believable fiction" carries a lot of weight in MMORPGs. People want to believe the story as much as possible. Introducing characters that are impossible to interact with ingame or storylines which would seem to alter the realm is asking for trouble. If you wish to send out a group with a special commission to apprehend a criminal, do so by the authority of a judge of your own creation who sits on the bench at the Court in Stormwind.
    The same standard holds true for scenarios which include town politics. Bear in mind that you cannot force-feed recognition of your Ironforge senate, for example, to every player on your server. Be prepared to deal with these non-participants and avoid confrontation with them. They are as entitled to their style of gameplay as you are. Respect the differences and go on with your own storyline.

    Guidelines, rules and penalties
    Dependent upon the type of quest you are running, you may find it useful or necessary to establish some ground rules, rules of engagement or possible penalties for rule infractions. Discuss these with the people involved with your quest. Make sure that everyone understands them. Write them out and make them available for future reference. This may prevent disaster down the road. Types of quests
    There is a variety of quest types that even the most novice roleplayer can undertake. Here are some basic examples:
    Pursuits: Send players in search of objects or people.

    Escorts: Have players escort a damsel in distress, a gate-shy priest or a caravan of goods from Point A to Point B.

    Mysteries: Who-dunnits are an excellent roleplaying opportunity and a way to involve large casts and adventuring groups.

    One-shot events: Start small and get a feel for how to do things on a larger scale. Typical one-shot events are: scavenger hunts, swap meets, market days and guild recruitment/symposiums. Though these shorter quests, you can build contact groups, gather information about what interest the people on your shard and collect ideas for future long-term quests.

    Escort Quests:

    A caravan takes some items from Point A to Point B
    A person becomes sick and a healer is requested from another town. This healer needs an escort from that town to this one as it is not safe for him to travel alone and use of magic/gates will ruin the healing draught needed to cure the sick person.

    Find the X:

    The location of someone or something is given in the form of hints or a riddle.
    An item X is needed for some reason. Players are enlisted to help retrieve/find the item.
    A group of X has taken thing Y and person Z wants it back.
    Preserve the Peace:

    A person has escaped justice. Players are sought to kill/capture this person.
    A group of X is gathering near point Y. Players are sought to kill/capture the group.
    Twinks and whiners
    Be aware that there will be some participants in your quest whose sole purposes will be to irritate you or to ruin your storyline. It is a brutal fact that cannot be ignored. Remember that you have some limited courses of action you can take - avoiding Ogrimmar, if needed; banning them from player homes; calling for a Game Master if it gets too ugly. The Ignore feature in the game options menu is one of the best ways to avoid harassment. If you cannot hear what they are saying, they cannot goad you into reacting to it. You might also consider hiring a brute squad to help act as security guards during your events. Advertise for this on the message boards, but check them out before accepting their services. You donít want to hire the wolf to look after the sheep. Above all, do not let the grief tactics destroy your quest or drive you to quit trying. That encourages the behavior and everyone loses, except the grief player. Rewards
    At the end of every rainbow lies the pot of gold, according to legend. And, by tradition, at the end of every quest lies a reward. No matter what prize you give, you will have reactions varying from those who want nothing and participated for the sheer pleasure of questing and those who will whine that the quest was a waste of time in consideration of what they got out of it. Again, ignore the negative. These are the types of people who can never be made happy and, even if they could, it is not your responsibility to make them so.
    That said, some suggestions for prizes could be magic items, bank checks, reagent sets, rune books or armor. If you have a treasure hunter or fisherman, you might build up a nice cache of prizes to give away. Simple gestures such as a bag of wine, cheese and bread are also appreciated by the party. Try to be as imaginative in your reward giving as you are in putting the plot together. It is like serving the perfect dessert after a perfect meal. You can be sure that your guests will always return when youíre the host.

    Get busy
    Questing is not about the outcome, itís about the adventure you have while getting there. Remember that and remind your adventuring crew of this when they seem to be racing toward the finish line rather than enjoying the chase itself. Divide lengthy storylines into clear-cut chapters with cliff-hanger endings that will bring them back the next night to see what happens next. Above all else, remember that World of Warcraft, or any Online game for that matter, is a game and that your level of enjoyment is just as important as anyone elseís. Have fun with what you do. If the quest master is happy, everyone wins.

  3. #3
    urowndad's Avatar Master Sergeant
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  4. #4
    Aircon's Avatar Active Member
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    Owned

    Filler

  5. #5
    darkprince11's Avatar Master Sergeant
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    rofl i doubt anyone will read al lof that o.O

  6. #6
    Brettl's Avatar Sergeant CoreCoins User
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    In b4 'lol rp'

  7. #7
    Halochecker's Avatar Master Sergeant Authenticator enabled
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    lol rp (fillr)

  8. #8
    jmp003's Avatar Master Sergeant
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    who needs ingame rp when you got larping

  9. #9
    pixie12's Avatar Active Member
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  10. #10
    phreec's Avatar Contributor
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    Don't mind if I do...

  11. #11
    Phattwoohie's Avatar Contributor
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    Originally Posted by urowndad View Post

    Yes thats my website. Well at least for another 12 days, then I will be bringing it down for good over 2 years of hard work went into that site and thousands of hours. Unfortunantly my real life has become more hectic than I ever thought possible. My WoW days are over, as Im moving to a new state, getting married and looking forward to having kids and fishing in my new boat.

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