As many of you know, one of the goals of the Sanctum is to promote roleplay on the Ravenholdt server.
While we can promote roleplay in various ways, we should always be striving to improve our own roleplaying skills. To that end, I've created a small guide on some important things to keep in mind when roleplaying with others. While some of these are rather basic, I think it might also be a good refresher for everyone!
Please note that this guide is by no means comprehensive, nor is it meant to be. These are just some common things that I've seen in my time as a Guild Master and RPer on this server.
There are several important guidelines for roleplay that you should keep in mind.
1) Roleplay with other people
Remember that when you roleplay, you are inviting others to interact with your character. Keep in mind that these people also have ideas for their own characters. It's extremely important that you remain flexible when your character is interacting with other characters. Try to respond to the situation as your character would, while keeping an open mind about the dynamics involved in group RP situations. This includes being cognizant of the fact that some people type faster or slower than others, are easily overwhelmed, or might not quite understand the "rules" of group RP.
Be open to stranger RP. There should be no immutable 'cliques' in guild or the RP community that always roleplay together and aren't open to new people joining their RP. Keep your RP open and you'll find that it's much more enjoyable!
At the same time, keep in mind that sometimes the number of people needs to be restricted (e.g. an RP war between two specific guilds) and if you aren't able to get into the RP you can at least support those doing it!
Finally, some people may RP characters that are reclusive or shy. They may do this because they are overwhelmed in large RP settings or simply because that is how they choose to play their character. This is perfectly acceptable and you might try to think of some ways that your character can include them in what is going on while still staying true to your character's personality. With that said, people who play these reticent characters shouldn't expect other members of the community to bend over backwards to include them in RP. Be aware of what quirks about your character may make your more or less open to RP with others and how you can handle those in a way to still try to promote RP on the server.
2) Roleplay isn't only about 'you'
As we weave stories for our guilds and for our own characters, keep in mind that the roleplay cannot always focus on you. If you find yourself constantly interrupting meetings or roleplay events with IMPORTANT CRISES for your character, you might find that people start to step away from roleplaying with you. It's like jumping up and down screaming "Me! Me! Me!" all the time. Sometimes it's okay to take a step back, to listen quietly to the event, to hold off on personal growth RP for a while in order to keep an event focused on what it should be.
Keep in mind that some people play dramatic characters and that their characters might always want the attention. We find people like this in real life, right? So have your character respond to them the way your character would. But again, remember that if that's not how you want your character portrayed, then don't act in the "Me!Me!Me!" way. Remember that everyone wants to give their character some time to grow and develop. Be open to working together to find appropriate times and places to make that happen.
3) Roleplay isn't always dramatic
This point kind of goes along with the point above. If your character is constantly having one crisis or another...slow down. Remember that having a crisis is like telling every one to focus on your character ALL the time. This can be tiring for other people and it can make them less likely to RP with you. Life has it's ups and downs - your character's life should be the same way. Instead of having one crisis after another, think about a good (single) plot line that you can really develop. Use the forums and other people to plan an interesting storyline and advance it.
Give your character a break sometimes and let others develop their characters. RP is a slow and progressive process, take some time and enjoy it!
4) There is such a thing as too much roleplay
Surprising, I know. But this was recently brought to my attention and I'm forced to agree. When the guild has a unified RP going on (e.g. the war with the Order of the Forsaken) and multiple characters are developing their own storylines and want a large part of the guild to be involved in those storylines, it can become a little overwhelming. While we want there to always be RP opportunities for people, don't overwhelm them with 20,000 RP stories that they need to be involved in. If you notice that your guild is really busy with a lot of events and a lot of other characters are furthering their storylines and involving the guild, maybe consider holding back on your own story until things die down a little bit.
Also, there are some characters on the server who get invited to participate in A LOT of RP events and storyline developments. Please don't take offense if someone declines to participate in your RP or is simply too overwhelmed by other things going on to keep everyone's storyline straight. They probably don't mean to offend you by declining to participate.
5) Remember: You are NOT your character
This rule is extremely important for roleplay. Remember that there is a difference between what someone says In Character and their Out of Character sentiments. An perfect example of this could be the inclusion of Death Knights or Warlocks in a guild. While a lot characters might ICly not trust and/or act hostilely towards the Death Knights and Warlocks, this does not necessarily reflect OOC feelings! We love our resident Death Knights and Warlocks.
If you feel that someone might not understand that you are acting ICly, please feel free to whisper them and give them a little reassurance. A little " (( Hey! Just wanted to say that my character's RP is a little hostile towards Death Knights but I love having you in the guild )) " can go a LONG way towards avoiding misunderstandings.
6) Remain true to your RP
This one can be a little difficult sometimes. But we encourage everyone to read the Lore behind your characters and try to remain as faithful as possible to it. Look up the history of your class, your race, etc. And feel free to ask some of our loremasters for help in crafting and remaining true to your RP. Remember that we're all here to help you grow as an RPer and all comments should be constructive
The Sanctum is a great resource if you need feedback on an idea or you have a question about lore.
7) Have a coherent storyline
This means that your character shouldn't be doing one thing the other day, die, you OOCly say "Oh woops," res your character, turn him evil, turn him good, kill him off again. "woops," bring him back, etc. You can see how this gets a little confusing. Make sure that your character's storyline is coherent. Large changes should NOT be made to your character without a lot of thought. And if you decide to kill your character off, make sure that you talk to others about it first. It's a big decision and you don't want to jump back and forth on it.
Creating a coherent storyline can go a long way to developing a profound and intriguing character. It adds to the depth of the character because it lends a sense of continuity. While it's great to react to what is going on around you, those things shouldn't result in your character having a spasm of multiple personalities all the time (unless of course, that is what is intended)
8 ) Stay In Character as much as possible
This is especially true during RP events. Try to keep the OOC chatter to a minimum. People see you as RPers so make sure that what you do upholds the reputation of RP on the server.
While some OOC talk is necessary (and sometimes it takes way too long to write out accents for your character in order to convey everything ICly), this guideline essentially promotes the RP environment on the server. It can help to create a better "RP immersion" experience. Plus, some people have trouble keeping up with a chatlog if there is a lot of OOC chatter.
9) VERY IMPORTANT: Please do not meta-game/God-mod
This is one of the cornerstones of RP. Please remember that you can ONLY control what YOUR character does. This means that you cannot kill off another character, hurt them, etc., unless they consent to it. When you have an IC confrontation, make sure you have an idea OOCly of how you want it to turn out or at least proceed. Feel free to talk over major events with people OOCly so that things can progress a little more smoothly. And you need to always leave the other character a way open for them to manuever in the RP.
Additionally, in RP, you can only see what is before you. Thus, your character probably doesn't know how many PvP kills the other character has, that their alt is someone else, etc. Many people even take this so far as to turn off name tags and guild tags in game (since we don't have little names floating above our heads).
Because this rule is SO important, let me give you some examples on god-modding and what can be done to avoid it. Let's say Aerana is in a fight.
What NOT to say:
Aereana casts a frostbolt at X, freezing him in place. Immediately she shoots fire from her fingertips, burning a hole in his chest.
What might be better:
Aerana casts a frostbolt towards X and watches as the bolt of ice shoots towards him.
And now, let's get a little creative. Remember that you are describing the actions of your character. Feel free to have a little fun with it!
Aerana closes her eyes, her lips moving silently as she murmurs a soft incantation. She opens her eyes, now a startling shade of sapphire, and focuses her attention on X. A slow smile spreads across her lips as the incantation finishes, frost gathering at the tips of her fingernails. Suddenly a lance of ice shoot out from her hand, heading towards X.
Remember, roleplay is a story that you create with other people. It can be a rewarding experience. These are not the only guidelines and as I think of more I will add them. If you have any others that you think should be added, please let me know!
Thanks for taking the time to read this!