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 RP Etiquette

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ULTRABAM1997
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Age : 21

PostSubject: RP Etiquette   07/05/12, 09:30 pm

*Note: These are the words of Dex not mine.

1. Know your character – If you haven’t already, think about who your character is, where did they come from, what is their back story, How did they become what they are. If you are going to role play being a demon research it, learn about the different types of demons. Were you spawned? Were you one of the original fallen? Were you an angel and the more you walked among humans did you become corrupt? Did another demon corrupt you? Or if you’re going to be a vampire, how did you receive your gift? What type of vampire are you? What family line of vampire are you? Were you born from a vampire? (If you were then you are damphir alive with vampire abilities). There are many character development sheets available to help you through the process of creating your character. Keep your story consistent. Just like in RL, we are shaped by those we come in contact with–the same can be said about your character. Most of all, NO ONE IS A GOD. It is not fun to role play with a character that nothing can happen to–your character WILL have weaknesses.

2. Stay In character – every time you log into second life you are awakening your character to move about and further their story. It is like each time you watch a movie or a play, the only difference is that here YOU are the actor. YOU choose the direction your character will take as they move among others. Once you step foot in the realm where you play you are acting and another adventure begins. If you must say something that your character would not use IM’s to keep in character.

For example, your character would not talk about needing to get their car fixed, answer the door in RL. I can think of many more examples but I believe everyone understands the meaning.

Emotes are commonly used when role-playing. Most tend to speak in the third person, like one would see in a book. Instead of saying ‘I would’ you would say ‘She would.’ There is a switch within SL that will cause your statements to be your name for example. /me looks about the crowded room to find a seat will actually look like the following. ‘Leigh Huet looks about the crowded room to find a seat.’ Using emotes also helps you to remember this is your character and not you personally.

Proper language – When Role-playing use proper language. Text speak LOL, OMG, ROFL, WTF, WTH, etc or emoticons , , ,..etc….all of these have their appropriate places, IM’s, yahoo, MSN, text messaging for example, but not in a role play environment. Your character would not “say” LOL they would laugh, chuckle, bust out laughing. Your fellow role-players need to KNOW what type of laughing you are doing….are you laughing in sarcasm? are you laughing with them?…help your fellow players know what it is your character is feeling for only you know and will give them an opportunity to respond.

Gestures – Gestures are always questionable in their use in role plays. If your character is a cat a gesture of purring, meowing, hissing, this is something you would expect. If your character is a demon the use of a demonic laugh would be appropriate but if the text comes up LOL then you might want to edit that gesture. Please keep in mind…”is this something my CHARACTER would do?” and answer that question honestly. Otherwise save them for the clubs.

Plausibility – As strange as this may sound this would be part of staying in character. Why you may ask? Well the answer is quite simple. Would a character hear through a brick wall or a roof everything that is being said? Just because there is text popping up into your local from those within ‘chat range’ does not mean your character would actually be able to hear it. The same could be said in a crowded room. If there are a lot of actors in a scene would it be reasonable to expect to hear all the conversations? Do yourself a favor keep what you would hear reasonable especially in a large scene. Stay to the conversations within 5 meters. If they are across the room you would have to yell to be heard over all the conversations.

“But my character has superhuman hearing!”

Just because you character CAN hear that well doesn’t mean they’ll be able to make it out. It’s the equivalent of being able to hear several static filled radio stations all at once, all playing drastically different things. The character may be able to identify the individual voices, some of the music, but will not be unable to follow it all, and it WILL get covered up by the background noises (static).

Please above all when it comes to chat range, especially if it would not be plausible to hear due to the environment, move your avatar out of chat range and respect your fellow player’s role play when it makes sense to do so. If you are in a crowded room think what it would be like for you in real life and apply that aspect in your role play.

There are more aspects of plausibility, that of when in conflict role play. Just because it is a cool idea doesn’t make it plausible that your character would have it. I mean how many of us carry razor wire on their person? If you haven’t role played having something be plausible in your RP and don’t use it. Have a good idea for a potion? If you haven’t role played making that potion and carrying it around with you then you don’t have it. Be respectful of others especially in conflict role play. As the saying goes, if you don’t want to be power gamed then don’t do it to others.

3. Think Statements – When role playing, we are not authors but actors. Actors interact with each other through dialogue, authors write to the reader. How does this translate into role play? The process is quite simple by following the below:

There should only be two parts in your role play:

Description – using the five senses: sight, taste, touch, hear, and smell
Dialogue – what your character says in interaction

Role playing is acting; the only difference is our medium that we use, in this case–text.

No matter which realm you play in, it is your stage, each area within the realm is the setting of the scene.

Keeping this in mind there is no place for the use of think statements. It is OOC information. No one can bring that knowledge IC. It is information that is directed towards the reader, not their character.

So what is IC information?

In character information is that which is spoken or meets the five senses of role play. You want your character to portray their emotions, how things feel, taste, what your voice sound like, what would others hear and, lastly, smell.

What is OOC information within a RP line?

Out of character information is anything that your character thinks, history (back story), information that motivates your character, explanations as to why they feel the way they do, etc. This is when all the information that is directed toward the reader rather than the character.

Why is this?

That is quite simple, unless one can see, hear, taste, touch, smell or define movement, it doesn’t exist. If it wasn’t for the fact that our medium is text based any information given would not be known. My character cannot know what you are thinking. My character cannot know that something reminds you of something that happened in the past unless you TELL it to my character.

Examples

/me looks at the pie on the table smelling the aroma which reminds her of home thinking about how her grandmother made the best pies and missing her. She reaches for the pie and pulls out a slice taking a bite.

In this example there is no way another’s character can know that the smell of the pie is a reminder, so tell them.

/me looks at the pie on the table smelling the aroma and says, “this reminds me of home, my grandmother used to make the best pies, I really miss her.” She reaches for the pie and pulls out a slice then takes a bite a look of satisfaction on her face.

4. Role-play Limits – this is something that is difficult for all of us, but please keep one thing in mind….”Limiting your role play only limits your role play.” Make sure your limits are reasonable. Use them for those moments that you cannot personally handle roleplaying. This is the reason for limits; it is that line that you just can’t see yourself crossing. For example, not everyone is a homosexual so may find they just cannot role play a scene with the same sex be it a rape scene or even consensual. Dark role play is just that….dark. If you find yourself in a realm that has dark role play don’t be afraid to experiment, it is not you this is happening to but your character. BUT, yes that word is always there and in this case a big one, when you find that you have hit the line…….that brick wall you just can’t wrap your mind around, you the person have hit that line that you just can’t cross, don’t be afraid to let the person you are RPing with know. This is where your limit is and why we have them.

Respect your fellow RPers limits. Just because it is fun or challenging for you does not mean it is fun or challenging for them. If one should say “I am sorry that is just a line I cannot cross.” Be an adult, respect their wish and decide upon a different course of action. And most of all, IF YOU DON’T WANT IT DONE TO YOU DON’T DO IT TO SOMEONE ELSE!!!

5. OOC – When any player goes OOC or out of character it interrupts the flow of role play. There are times that we all need to step away from the computer and let our fellow players know, that is just being courteous, however, if you have a dispute, question, a misunderstanding, instead of interrupting the role play that is going on around you speak with the person privately in IM…all that is necessary in general is to say, ((Please pause RP one moment)) then discuss the issue. We are all adults and at times have read or misunderstood the intent of a statement or find the direction of the role play is bothering you personally and would like to see it go another direction. Give your fellow players a chance and let them know instead of getting upset.

6. IC/OOC Blurring – What is blurring? When the line between what happens ICly and OOCly loses its distinction. Full immersion RP is bound to have conflict – and in the heat of that conflict, it’s easy to fall into a mental trap – that the attack is no longer on your character, but you personally. It happens to every RPer at one point or another – and it simply means the player is very into the play they are involved in.

The important step is to recognize this thought – and firmly remind yourself that you’re a person sitting behind a keyboard. The players behind the other characters are other people, sitting behind a keyboard. And it is highly likely that all parties involved are just trying to have a good RP and from there, try to determine what action your character will take, when presented with this conflict.

When a player does not do this, they are subject to thoughts like, “They don’t like my RP so they are attacking me ICly” or “They just want to push me out of the sim”. Toxic thoughts like these will only generate resentment, paranoia, and will overall rob the player of any chance they might’ve had at having FUN, which is why they came here to begin with!

7. Metagaming – use of information gathered from profiles, forums, meters, or alts (unless they use a tag that may describe something you would see or smell since it is not possible in this environment.)

Example Meter: Demonic Guild Leader

Bad example:

Player A: walks up to the woman and smells brimstone, “bah, demons, never had much use for those.”

Good example:

PlayerA: walks up and sees the person laying on the hammock she had a sense about her that made her uncomfortable and sat “greetings”

PlayerB: sees the person noticing the tension in her muscles but ignores it “greetings”……

This gives you a chance to find out more about them and encourages more role play. Not everyone goes just by what their meter is. Some are hybrids, a combination, it is up to you to find out through talking with them what they are, not to mention the challenge, for not everyone will tell you right away–use the opportunities

There are descriptive tags that some role-players use, they will describe their condition, for example, “clothes disheveled and muddy, blood dripping from their temple”

Leigh walks up and sees Andee her eyes open wide seeing the blood coming from her temple…”what happened to you?!?”

Poisoning the Scene – Another form of metagaming is talking about a story line in IM, Skype, MSN, Yahoo, any chat other than in general chat where you are actually RPing. Why do you ask? Well, it is called poisoning the scene. You already know something is going to happen and though many of us would say “this will not affect how I react to a situation” but in actuality it does. We want to be able to speak with others and bounce off ideas of a story line. However, I caution you in who you speak with for if it is something that will affect their character go to someone else that you trust, or even someone you do not RP with at all. This way those you do RP with get a true opportunity to solve the puzzle you are setting up, picking up the pieces to create a wonderful picture.

Victim RP – This is where you want to set up your character to be a victim. But have you ever thought about the consequences? Not just for your character but for others? There is one thing about immersive RP…if you want to be a victim then there are plenty of bad guys out there that would be happy to oblige but please, do not set up another player to be your bad guy because that is disrespecting their RP and poisons the scene. You may enjoy the RP while it is happening but what about afterwards? Have you just set up another player to face consequences that they never would have? Let RP happen, let the story unfold, let your journey be what it is but always respect your fellow RPers and their own story lines, because nothing hurts more than facing consequences because they went along with your setup.

8. Godmodding – there are several examples of godmodding that most are already familiar with and there are some that most don’t think about. Main thing to remember always, you cannot DO something or FORCE them and expect them to accept it, you can ATTEMPT to do something which gives them an option to accept it or not.

Bad example: Leigh throws a banana pie towards Andee and watches as it arches through the air and lands flat in her face covering her completely…

Good example: Leigh throws a banana pie towards Andee watching it arch through the air and waits in anticipation…

You will find that if given the opportunity those that truly wish to role play and enjoy it will give you a better response and role play with you more if you let their character respond and react on their own. You do not know how everyone will react when you make a movement in RL same applies here.

9. Alts – Each character is unique and should be treated that way, what one character knows your other character would not know. Outing an alt is against Linden Labs terms of service for it is giving out personal information about another payer. People have become relaxed about this because some have chosen not to care if others know about their alts. But for some, they use the alts to develop totally separate characters…and if you decide to figure out who it is behind the keyboard or think you know who it is, then spread it around, you have ruined it for that player any chance to possibly explore a different avenue that their main would not do, or you are completely wrong. For example, a person may have a character that is an elf and also have a demon. Respect your fellow players and give them the opportunity to explore.

10. Scripted RP – This is where one may have a story line all planned out. They have steps that they want to happen and move their RP forward. The problem begins when others get involved in the RP. Can you guess what happens? You LOSE your script!! That’s right because guess what? They don’t have your script, they do not know your expectations, and they are just playing their character.

Scripting RP never works in a free form environment because everyone is just being their character. They will get involved and in the end the outcome may not be what you expected but (does best Gomer Pyle imitation) Surprise, Surprise, Surprise…..it is better!!! If you have an outline for a story line RP then use it but don’t be afraid to lose it either. Enjoy the RP and see where it leads. You may end up in the place you wanted or you may have a twist you didn’t expect. That is the fun aspect of RP and why we do this, because you never really know how others will react.

The main thing in all of this is to have fun. That is what all of this leads to and why we come back each day. If you follow these guidelines drama, OOC issues, and misunderstandings can and will be avoided. If a mutual understanding can not be found between two players, please be sure to contact senior players, admin, general managers of the realm in which you are role-playing in. That is why they are there to help you.
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