The Basics Of Roleplaying - Gawen

"Roleplaying, what's that?" You say. Well, it's simple. According to Dictionary.com, to roleplay is "To assume or represent in a drama".

There are many forms of roleplaying. What we shall cover here is what goes on in the Realms, and how people go about it. Just as a disclaimer, I'd like to state that nothing written here is
written as a rule on how people should roleplay their characters. Consider it more like a suggestion, or a small guide to getting started in the roleplay world.

First things first. How do I get started? Well, that's simple. There are many ways you can get started as a roleplayer in the Realms. One of the simplest is to merely start emoting actions and speaking like the actual character that you play everyday. Although, that's really no fun if there's no one to interact with. There are really three main groups of roleplayers in the Realms, and joining one of those three groups is really the way to get started.

The three groups I speak of are:

Group A - The 14 Nations.
Group B - The Order of Rol Na Feinne.
Group C - The independent roleplay groups.

Personally, I think getting involved with a nation is the easiest way to get started as an active roleplayer here in the realms. I myself was first introduced to the Elven Nation, and roleplaying itself shortly after meeting some of the Elven Nation roleplayers. My very first scene had me literally emoting that my character was leaning on a tree, while the others in the scene began discussing Nations politics. Immediately I was hooked by the mere mention of the great nations and how they interacted. Of course, some of that was merely new player shine and sparkle, as I was not aware of how things went on.

Each nation is different and will offer you different aspects of roleplay. But be warned, if you are out to join a nation, some nations are very active, and some are very inactive. Just because you belong to a race, you should not expect that race's nation to be active among the roleplaying community.

On to group B, the Order of Rol Na Feinne. Now, I speak here as a person who's never belonged to RnF. I prefer to roleplay among the nations, as it allows me to be a member of a Non-roleplaying organization, such as a guild or an order. That's just my personal preference, but many people that I do roleplay with are active members of RnF, and they love every minute of it.

RnF is an order based purely on roleplaying. Unlike other orders they do not concentrate on running. RnF is unique to the realms in that it is the sole roleplay Order. If you wish to join, read HELP RNF.

Now, our last group, is group C, the independent roleplayers. Here is where there is some groaning and complaining about "cliques". The independent roleplayers tend to be very private about their plots, and only roleplay with certain others.

The independent roleplayers are usually a small group of friends who already know each other, and know each other's style of play. Most independent groups are experienced roleplayers who perform plots based on no out of character direction.

My experience with independent groups of roleplayers is that the roleplay tends to be very freeform, and while there is direction to it, the plot is very versatile. However, this has just been my experience, and the independent roleplayers will vary from group to group.

Well, now that you know all about the different ways you can enter the roleplaying world of the Realms of Despair, perhaps you should read about some roleplaying "lingo."

Firstly, roleplayers are not always playing their character. In order to distinguish between the times when one is roleplaying, and when one is not, roleplayers use the abbreviations "IC" and "OOC". If you haven't figured this out, "IC" means "In Character", while "OOC" means "Out of Character."

Next, a "plot" is simply a storyline, and what is going on in the story with the characters involved. There are usually many plots happening at the same time among different groups of characters.

We'll move onto "emote". An "emote" is an in-game command that allows you to send a customized message to the mud. For example, I type this - emote smiles brightly and greets Samantha with a quiet hello. Everyone else will see this - Gawen smiles brightly and greets Samantha with a quiet hello.

The emote command is one of the paramount abilities of a roleplayer. Emote is what makes Realms roleplay so very challenging. While we can do any sort of action that we please with an emote, we must do it in a fashion where our name precedes every single emote. Currently there are no commands that are similar to a room echo, where the name of our character will not be prefixed to the command.

Along with emoting, there is the ever sensible "say" command. Using say is simple, everyone does it at one point or another, because it's one of the most simple forms of communication on this mud. A good mixture of emotes and says is a very key thing in roleplaying, and getting the right balance comes with time and practice. Of course, it also depends on the pace of the scene. One would not use all says if they were fighting an evil dragon. Words are powerful, but you're not going to take out a dragon by saying "shoo."

Now that we've covered the basics, get out there and roleplay! The roleplaying community is always looking for newcomers. Don't be intimidated, just get out there and roleplay! Remember that it's all in good fun, and while at times it may be frustrating, it's just for your entertainment.

Don't take it too seriously or you'll find yourself not wanting to roleplay at all!

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