Author Topic: Where to Start with Roleplay?  (Read 4645 times)

Araza

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Where to Start with Roleplay?
« on: May 09, 2013, 11:44:28 PM »
I admit, I'm somewhat of a newbie when it comes to roleplay, though I've been playing a few MUDs over the years. It just didn't seem too important, though now that I play Armageddon, I'm becoming increasingly interested. Where do I start out with RP, and fleshing out my character? I'm trying to characterize him as cold and aloof, but I don't want that to make people avoid me much.

Thanks!

musashi

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Re: Where to Start with Roleplay?
« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2013, 11:59:53 PM »
My gut impulse is that two kinds of people get to be cold and aloof, yet not be avoided: basasses and really important people.

If your character is an unskilled nobody fresh out the hall of kings, you might be in for a bit of isolation unless you build in some quirks for your character that people can pick up on. A love of spice, or herb lore ... something you can strike up a conversation around.
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Harmless

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Re: Where to Start with Roleplay?
« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2013, 01:41:40 AM »
It's hard to give specific advice without knowing more about what you want to play. Gender, race, PC age, etc all factor heavily into the kind of cold and aloof you mean, and I don't want to risk you divulging too much about your PC. There is so much to say that I can't tell what is most helpful.

Maybe some private messages, or use of helper chat would be useful. Welcome and best of luck to ya.
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Fredd

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Re: Where to Start with Roleplay?
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2013, 05:05:06 AM »
Join a clan. This way you can still be cold an aloof, and get roleplay. It also gives you things to do, and ways of exploring your guy.
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Barzalene

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Re: Where to Start with Roleplay?
« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2013, 07:39:40 AM »
I have always wanted to play a cruel villain. I've been failing at that for 12 years now. The problem with cool and aloof is that you often find that you're isolating yourself. My advice is to have that strong idea of who your pc should be, but let them be malleable. Be open to letting them surprise themselves and be drawn out of themselves into things. Maybe they've always been aloof, but now that they've joined the Byn or the Legion or the bardic circle they're getting drawn into things. Maybe they're making an effort because it is expedient to do so.

Starting to rp - my advice is to be a reactionary player to start. Observe what's going on around you and let it inform your choices. Let your pc watch and listen and draw their opinions and choices from what they're taking in, rather than coming in with a script that the rest of the world might not accommodate you by following.
Varak:You tell the mangy, pointy-eared gortok, in sirihish: "What, girl? You say the sorceror-king has fallen down the well?"
Ghardoan:A pitiful voice rises from the well below, "I've fallen and I can't get up..."

Fujikoma

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Re: Where to Start with Roleplay?
« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2013, 10:13:36 AM »
I don't know if this is recommended or not, but I usually take my character's attribute stats and skill stats into consideration when trying to roleplay them. IS this guy tough enough to just bounce back from a sparring session gone wrong? "Your endurance is poor". Nope, time to whine and cry about how mean the other guy is. "Your endurance is extremely good". Yeah, I might come back as soon as I am able looking for a fight. Keep in mind your attribute scores are for your race.

As you interact with characters of other races, especially sparring and the like, you will begin to get a feel for what is average and what is exceptional in stats, a dwarf with poor endurance is going to be much tougher than a breed with poor endurance, a human slightly more so than a breed, and a dwarf with incredible agility will never be as fast or agile as an elf with incredible agility, a human with the same agility will be slightly less agile than the breed, but moreso than the dwarf.

"Your wisdom is terribad". Makes my characters much easier to play, just have to be myself.  ;D

I prefer having a blank slate to work with, not being very familiar with the game world, but one of my characters I actually had thought of a decent background for and he was more fun to play even though more confined because I actually had more of a sense of knowing what his motives were and why he was doing what he was doing. I guess this is why people say "stick to the docs", not only does it reinforce the believability of the gameworld, but provides you with more of an already built structure to work around.

I've never, ever really taken RP seriously before. I was always more interested in skill gaining, levelling, combat systems, gathering resources, social strategy, and destroying my enemies. Separating myself from the character has made conflict much less likely to have negative real life impacts, so I can enjoy the conflict without the increased blood pressure, hate and berserker rage that I usually get with pvp oriented muds. Understanding the person on the other end is a decent person playing a not so decent character helps not to get mad at a person, or take things personally. I've stopped playing to win, or at least not to lose, and just started playing to play, and it's fun.

That said, all of this is still new to me as well, but I am quickly learning to enjoy it. I couldn't sit down and read all the docs at first, I'm more of a hands on kind of guy, and while learning a bit about the game world that should have been a given may have been infuriating to other players, I had fun with it. Maybe took the advice "Find out IC" a little too far.

I couldn't play a villain. If I tried he'd be the worst villain ever, it's just not in me.

Cool and aloof is probably best left to the professionals. If you need IC advice about the game world being cool and aloof seems like it would actually be a huge impediment. Maybe play warm and fuzzy (maybe not, this might get you killed, but it's how I like to do things), or at least polite and sociable, and observe the cool and aloof, learning their patterns and how they make it work for them, and then consider that for a later character.
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Erythil

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Re: Where to Start with Roleplay?
« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2013, 05:10:17 PM »
Join one of the newbie-friendly clans.  It'll give you a place to meet people and a focused set of things you can do together.  Interacting with other characters is key to all roleplay. 

My only note of caution is that if you want to play the cold and aloof type, you have to work a little bit harder to find reasons for that kind of interaction.  Those sorts of characters are especially common in a lot of fiction, but they have the added benefit of the plot thrusting character interaction upon them.

Kismetic

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Re: Where to Start with Roleplay?
« Reply #7 on: May 10, 2013, 05:17:26 PM »
Cold and aloof, without being avoided ...  The answer is having something people want.  Easy mode would be playing an attractive female character.
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Desertman

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Re: Where to Start with Roleplay?
« Reply #8 on: May 10, 2013, 05:57:44 PM »
I highly recommend joining a clan if you are new to the game. Clans are more geared towards keeping new players alive and also usually give you some people to play with.

Even if you are cold and aloof, you share the common clan bond and as such you will typically have people to interact with you.
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Potaje

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Re: Where to Start with Roleplay?
« Reply #9 on: May 11, 2013, 07:32:15 PM »
Cool and aloof..

Your pc can always put a face forward somewhat different than what they feel and really think.

Deep in side you may not really feel the impact of someone's, close to you, death. But outwardly you think, oh I should shed a tear or say something here.

Play them dodgy but engaging.

Combine these elements and stir.

This is where thinks and feels, hemotes, phemotes and emote all play a strong part of fleshing out your pc.
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Harmless

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Re: Where to Start with Roleplay?
« Reply #10 on: May 11, 2013, 08:00:05 PM »
Cold and aloof, without being avoided ...  The answer is having something people want.  Easy mode would be playing an attractive female character.

Not to derail, but in all honesty, I almost suggested this too, but I thought better of it. Inevitably, someone else came and suggested it, because it actually is good advice. If you can think of a concept you can comfortably play, I'd suggest going for it. Trying it out at least once or twice will likely only improve your roleplay later, regardless of what gender you end up becoming more "fixed" on.

Remember, if you've played less than a year, you're like a baby in this world. You've got a long, long road ahead of you to badassery, but it'll come. Be willing to try new things. You'll be glad you did.
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AreteX

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Re: Where to Start with Roleplay?
« Reply #11 on: May 13, 2013, 11:45:32 AM »
Playing as your character becomes more comfortable the more you think about and flesh out your character.  If you want him/her to be cold and aloof you can think about how they might react in certain situations.  Someone's friend died?  Oh, how sad, maybe if he wasn't an idiot he would be alive.  A love interest turned you down?  Oh well, their loss, screw them.  Heck, maybe I'll seek revenge on them somehow for embarrassing me in public.  That stupid new guy wants to hang out with me at the Tavern?  I would rather drink alone.  I'll turn him down, and act like it was a horrible idea.

The more you think about this while playing or just on your own when you aren't playing the easier it will be to react naturally when you are actually in-game.  I often think about situations my character has been in or might be in and think about how they will react before I even set forth into that situation.  Now, the details change when it really happens but it makes it so I am prepared to react accordingly without having to sit and think about it too much.

The more you do it the easier it gets, just jump right in!

Marauder Moe

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Re: Where to Start with Roleplay?
« Reply #12 on: May 13, 2013, 04:54:40 PM »
Moe's suggestions for new roleplayers trying to play cold and aloof:
1) Be female and human (attractive mdesc is not actually important at all).  Sad, but actually true.
OR
2) Don't.  Indeed, people will just ignore you.

With very few exceptions, being a hard-eyed badass in the game must be earned playing the character.  New players who come in trying to be one right off the bat do not succeed, in the eyes of others.


Actually, the "cold" part is OK.  It's the combination with "aloof" that's a bit too anti-social.  You can be cold but talkative.  That sort of combination can fit pretty well in the game.  Don't smile or laugh (smirk instead), but try to keep engaged in conversation.  Make disturbingly dark remarks.  Draw inspiration from crime noir movies and Clint Eastwood.  You probably won't quite come off as "badass", but you should at least get interaction and some sort of reputation.

Quell

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Re: Where to Start with Roleplay?
« Reply #13 on: May 13, 2013, 06:12:58 PM »
Agreed,

Cold is much better by itself than when paired aloof.

Actually, that's true of most things. Being aloof will usually just serve to deaden the impact of anything you think, do and feel. This isn't to say you should necessarily go to the other extreme though.

Case

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Re: Where to Start with Roleplay?
« Reply #14 on: May 14, 2013, 12:04:08 AM »
Yeah, if there's advice I'd give a newbie about fitting in as cold and aloof in a world with minimal gender and sexual equality, it'd surely be to purposefully play a female to encourage sexually motivated RP.

That makes me sad. I'm not joking.

BadSkeelz

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Re: Where to Start with Roleplay?
« Reply #15 on: May 14, 2013, 01:22:21 AM »
Yeah, if there's advice I'd give a newbie about fitting in as cold and aloof in a world with minimal gender and sexual equality, it'd surely be to purposefully play a female to encourage sexually motivated RP.

That makes me sad. I'm not joking.

Think you mean inequality there, Case.

Whether you want to be cold or aloof or a outgoing spaz, my advice is the same. Start with a theme: something your character believes in very strongly, or some trait around them. Ask why would they be cold and aloof, not how you could play that. Build out a personality from there. Why are they like that? How would it impact their daily lives? Their interactions with others?
janeshephard: You really think BadSkeelz understands the concept of Wine In Front of me? This guy shot me as a townie when he felt threatened. The man's a neandrathal.

Miradus: He's not some weird mental abomination. He's just a guy on the internet.

Morrolan

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Re: Where to Start with Roleplay?
« Reply #16 on: May 14, 2013, 02:05:42 AM »
I couldn't play a villain. If I tried he'd be the worst villain ever, it's just not in me.

I find the trick is not to be a villain. Be a fanatic--a smart fanatic.

Let other people come up with the evil ideas. Enable them.

Says the minion -- "Sir, the most effective way to accomplish our goal will be to burn down the village."

say (with a frown, and a hunch of the shoulders) Do it. If the Highlord doesn't understand, we'll know soon enough.

think (a prickle of something inside, quickly quashed) It must be done.
"I have seen him show most of the attributes one expects of a noble: courtesy, kindness, and honor.  I would also say he is one of the most bloodthirsty bastards I have ever met."

Fujikoma

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Re: Where to Start with Roleplay?
« Reply #17 on: May 14, 2013, 09:09:07 AM »
I couldn't play a villain. If I tried he'd be the worst villain ever, it's just not in me.

I find the trick is not to be a villain. Be a fanatic--a smart fanatic.

Let other people come up with the evil ideas. Enable them.

Says the minion -- "Sir, the most effective way to accomplish our goal will be to burn down the village."

say (with a frown, and a hunch of the shoulders) Do it. If the Highlord doesn't understand, we'll know soon enough.

think (a prickle of something inside, quickly quashed) It must be done.

Oh WOW. That's BRILLIANT! Thanks! Maybe that will come in handy some day if one of my PCs ever manages to occupy a position of importance.
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Dead elves can ride wheeled ladders just fine.
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"You can never have your mountainhome because you can't grow a beard."
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Inks

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Re: Where to Start with Roleplay?
« Reply #18 on: May 14, 2013, 10:51:49 AM »
Play an inexperienced and jumpy recruit type character some time. Everyone doesn't have to be a shining star. Fumble your weapon, make mistakes. I learned more about RP early on by playing the newbie that I was believably, and being in a clan where I could observe people who are much better RPers than me.
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Harmless

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Re: Where to Start with Roleplay?
« Reply #19 on: May 14, 2013, 11:02:53 AM »
Inks' post is a good one to spin off of. I was just saying in another *ahem* thread that the key to getting interaction is being approachable and that there are many ways to do that.

1.) Play out your character's weaknesses. Cold, aloof, but not dangerous. People will apprach you. (Fujikoma, Inks)
2.) Join someone's clan. Cold, aloof, but of the same blood. People will approach you for that, too. (Lots of folks)
3.) Be an attractive woman.
4.) Put on a face of weakness or friendliness. May work better in Tuluk, where people are "subtle." (Potaje).
5.) Have your PC wear something that makes them stick out, and make getting those things your goal. Suggestions: being coated in blood, or poop, or dust to signify that you're a capable fighter, or maybe a handy outdoorsman.
6.) Have your PC advertise their skills at their own table. Got craft skills? People craft in taverns all the time, it's usually a conversation starter. Cold and aloof though ye may be, crafting is hard to resist. Got hunting/skinning skills? Get an animal's body, but hold onto it until someone literally sees you gut the thing. Do it right and though cold and aloof ye may be, you'll be known as a hunter and skinner. Even if not the best at combat, those are worth thousands.
7.) Play an extreme that labels you as unquestionably harmless. (caution: being too young or old will gank your stats. You really will be harmless, so this is the lowest down on my suggestion list. Do at your own risk.)

There's more I can maybe add later. But these always worked for me.
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Morrolan

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Re: Where to Start with Roleplay?
« Reply #20 on: May 14, 2013, 11:08:33 AM »
I couldn't play a villain. If I tried he'd be the worst villain ever, it's just not in me.

I find the trick is not to be a villain. Be a fanatic--a smart fanatic.

Let other people come up with the evil ideas. Enable them.

Says the minion -- "Sir, the most effective way to accomplish our goal will be to burn down the village."

say (with a frown, and a hunch of the shoulders) Do it. If the Highlord doesn't understand, we'll know soon enough.

think (a prickle of something inside, quickly quashed) It must be done.

Oh WOW. That's BRILLIANT! Thanks! Maybe that will come in handy some day if one of my PCs ever manages to occupy a position of importance.

To get started, you can enable your boss until your "writing an evil character" aversion passes. Playing an evil character means doing oogie things...but they're virtually oogie things.

In a medieval tabletop RPG (Burning Wheel), some years ago, I was playing a woman knight off in a foreign land where there was lots of sexism (always awkward). She was out with a group (of commoners who often got annoyed when she expected them to treat her like a minor noble "You'll call me Dame Sheeak.") trying to save the realm when bandits attacked. When the bandits were defeated, one of them was unconscious on the ground.

No one quite knew what to do with the mostly-dead guy. "Put him on his horse and put a rope around his neck." She then declared sentence, "guilty of murder, rape, banditry," and slapped the horse's schmuck with the flat of her blade so it ran. The unconscious bandit strangled to death.

Every player there was made sick by the coldness of it. But...he was a bandit. There's no "go to jail" option for bandits. The options were mutilation and death.

Sorry for the trip down memory lane. But my point is that if you really remember the context, then the RP becomes easier.

Your character doesn't have to cut off that elf's hand because he's a sneaky bastard and you hate him. Your character does it because elves are thieves who won't listen to you, and it's the only way that the other elves will take your warrior seriously.
"I have seen him show most of the attributes one expects of a noble: courtesy, kindness, and honor.  I would also say he is one of the most bloodthirsty bastards I have ever met."

Fujikoma

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Re: Where to Start with Roleplay?
« Reply #21 on: May 14, 2013, 11:20:25 AM »
But your character doesn't needlessly cut the hand off an elf for something like farting in your presence, making a joke, or just trying to be social, right (unless you're a Templar, officer, or some other kind of position that requires a certain amount of fear to occupy)? The elf has to do something more annoying that causes your character some kind of actual harm, such as be discovered to be the source of a vicious rumor, threaten your life or someone in your circle's life, or steal from you or someone in your circle, I would assume... THEN I would think it appropriate to lop off a limb or two, to get the others thinking about how hard it is to get by without hands.
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Dead elves can ride wheeled ladders just fine.
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"You can never have your mountainhome because you can't grow a beard."
~Tektolnes to Thrain Ironsword

Morrolan

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Re: Where to Start with Roleplay?
« Reply #22 on: May 14, 2013, 11:36:40 AM »
Yes and no. If your character is a racist (and most are), then it would be inappropriate to think of elves as individuals without good reason.

Someone steals from you? Cut off an elf's hand and declare yourself avenged. Your public face is restored, the elves "get the message," the social staus quo (elves are worthless thieves) is upheld, and everyone's happy.

Bonus points if your character actually has links in the elven community, and pick as your target someone that their leaders need shamed/removed.

REMEMBER: In Arm, justice is not really justice. It is maintaining the social order and the peace.
"I have seen him show most of the attributes one expects of a noble: courtesy, kindness, and honor.  I would also say he is one of the most bloodthirsty bastards I have ever met."

racurtne

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Re: Where to Start with Roleplay?
« Reply #23 on: May 14, 2013, 11:46:03 AM »
Yes and no. If your character is a racist (and most are), then it would be inappropriate to think of elves as individuals without good reason.

Someone steals from you? Cut off an elf's hand and declare yourself avenged. Your public face is restored, the elves "get the message," the social staus quo (elves are worthless thieves) is upheld, and everyone's happy.

Bonus points if your character actually has links in the elven community, and pick as your target someone that their leaders need shamed/removed.

REMEMBER: In Arm, justice is not really justice. It is maintaining the social order and the peace.

That deserves some bolding.
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