Role-playing by Lydana

After my last essay (and a few trashy lowbie pks and stupid requests) I have decided to write an informative essay on RP. I will start out with some basics, then go into race/class specifics (generalized) and then maybe even a few do's and don'ts of RP. Since there is much debate about what RP really is let me mention that this is ONLY my opinion, thk and teamsucks are in no way to blame for my stupidity (or brilliance).

General Guidelines for RP

RP is a VERY important part of playing AR ("A Playerkilling, ROLEPLAYING MUD"), and despite common belief RP CAN be fun. If you want to get in a Cabal or get Imm attention (the right kind), or get anyone's attention, then you MUST be able to RP. RP for any who don't know stands for Role Play. RP is anything your character does that makes them an individual, gives them a personality, makes them something other than a deaf/mute/blind blob (don't RP one of these; the MUD school already beat you to it!). It involves how your character perceives things, how they may react to a situation, how they talk, how they rank, even how they PK!! NOW, one of the FIRST rules of Chro-RP is this: DO NOT DO NOT DO NOT ACT LIKE YOURSELF! Even though this may seem like valid RP, it is not. Way too many people seem to do this, and it may seem ok, but then if someone insults you, they are insulting you PERSONALLY not just your character (this is not to say you shouldn't personalize your character). Plus, its fun to RP something that's not like you, perhaps a mass murderer or an innocent child (whichever one you aren't). You should also take your character's ethos and align into consideration when you are playing your character. A lawful character (even though you personally may hate police) will not spit on a Justice, or purposely harass them. A chaotic character (even though you may be volunteer police suck up of the month) will NOT seriously ask to help a Justice out. A good character (even though you may have fake vampire teeth) will not want to suck people's blood (unless they are a Knight). An evil character (even though you may be the kid that brownnoses to teachers all the time) will not try to suck up to goodies or help them out (unless you like being outcasted). I will go into more detail on class/race/align/ethos later, BUT in order to START out a character's RP the first thing to consider is what characteristics you want other people to see in your character. Innocent? Prudish? Daring? Violent? Friendly? Smart? Stupid (remember don't play yourself)? I could go on forever here (and will) because there are just so many things you can use (or a combination of things.) Now, depending on how much practice you have had with RPing you may want to write all the characteristics down for yourself. Next you should think of all the people you know personally who remind you of those same words, and what they do to make you feel that way. It is those types of things that you need to apply to AR to get your desired RP. You can get ideas out of books (even though you SHOULD try to personalize them) or off of movies. Keep in mind that taking a character from a book or movie without changing it, or personalizing it, lets other characters criticize you for how well you know the book or movie; that may be good Trivial Pursuit, but it ain't AR. Whatever it takes to create a whole person. After you have decided what characteristics they should have and a little bit of how they would act, then it may be time to actually play the character a little bit. Get to rank 10-14, train and do your quests, and see how your character reacts to certain situations (with the characteristics you gave them). Then its time to write your description. Describe them how you want others to see them. If they like to eat a lot, perhaps they are chubby. If they like to kill, perhaps their armor is covered in blood. If they are angry a lot, perhaps their face is red with anger. There are TONS of ways to incorporate your RP into your description. After your description is written, you are well on your way to having a character with a very well developed RP. The key things to remember are this: react how your character would react (not how you would react), act consistently, new situations CAN change RP (just like in life), and AR IS JUST A GAME.

Advanced RP (Race/Class/Ethos/Align)

RACE - Some people say that you shouldn't RP race specifics, but I disagree. The reason I disagree is mainly that each race has strengths/weaknesses and those should affect who your character is. For example, a weak little gnome acting like he's a huge giant is good RP, where a huge giant acting like a huge giant is, to say the least, boring. Here are a few examples of things I have thought of for each race (and don't hold yourself to these things, they are just something additional that you can add to make things more exciting).

Human - Something to remember about humans is that they are common, standard, so perhaps a human would try to act like/claim to be another race to be different.

Gnome - Other than being gimped, a gnome is supposed to be peaceful and wise (which you may or may not want to go by. BUT, they are vulnerable to bashing, so perhaps whenever they see someone bash they cringe, or perhaps they try to be strong and combative.

Half-Elf - Since half elves are only half elf, perhaps they may try to act like a whole elf, or act very defensive when around elves. They may also try to act superior to humans. They may also act very curious and be interested in everything.

Illithid - Illithids are VERY different from any other race in AR. Think of a squid, that's different. They are very smart, BUT always evil, so they may try to manipulate or take advantage of other players.

Werebeast - Werebeasts come from humans, BUT because of their devotion to nature have become part beast. This is KEY to how you should RP them. They are not the type to sit around in town all day. They may also try to "use" their senses to lead them to their prey.

Dwarf - Dwarves are known for their quick tempers. This is one of the more important traits that SHOULD be used when playing a dwarf. Since they are resistant to magic, perhaps they think magic is weak (unless they are a mage). Also, since they don't like water, you should avoid using rivers and going across oceans at all costs (and get grumpy if you do have to).

Duergar - Duergars should be much like their dwarven cousin, except should be more likely to try and manipulate and take advantage of whoever they can.

Avian - Avians are like humans, but are more individual, since they spend more time in the air than on land with others. Also, because of their weakness to disease, perhaps you could play an avian who was obsessed with germs.

Halfling - Halflings are not the type to like danger. They are short round little things who aren't strong, so they are usually more peaceful and talkative (so don't play a Halfling thief who tries to kill everyone then ignore). They like their trinkets, so maybe they would want to hunt eq a lot or collect gold.

Slith - A slith (being part reptile) is not likely to be very emotional. They would also tend to be more separated from society and not too talkative (being part reptile).

Fire Giant - BIG and STUPID. Should I repeat that? Fire Giants will not have the patience to sit down and listen to an intellectual discussion. They like to fight (because that doesn't take much brains). Because of their weakness to ice (and their lack of intelligence) perhaps a fire giant would totally forget the weakness and be shocked by it every time.

Storm Giant - These giants are smarter than the other giants (so would perhaps feel superior). Remember though, these are STILL GIANTS! So they shouldn't ever be or act as smart as an Elf. They also should tend to be more chaotic in nature (not necessarily chaotic ethos against Justice) but chaotic choices in living.

Stone Giant - Stone giants are not much for cities and laws (and because of their slow minds, perhaps if they were lawful, they would need the laws explained VERY thoroughly.) They are also always neutral align, SO they don't care much about good and evil (so they shouldn't be mass PKers).

Minotaur - They are half bull and since bulls are always mad and VERY chaotic, you should try to incorporate this into your RP somehow. This is one of the few races that I think wouldn't be friendly AT ALL. Just think of a charging bull.

Elf - Elves, being way smarter than almost every other race, might be a tad prejudiced against the more average classes (or they might feel sorry for them). Also, they would probably be less likely to want to kill since they are more intelligent. Perhaps because of their inability to use iron, they may think that iron is only for those who aren't too smart. ELVES HATE DROWS.

Drow - Basically like evil elves, EXCEPT they are far more likely to discriminate because of intelligence, and far more likely to want to PK. They might not even speak to less intelligent races. They might spit on or ignore who wear silver/mithril because they can't use it. DROWS HATE ELVES.

CLASS - I have also found that many people don't like it when RP is generalized for a class, but class is a VITAL part to consider when creating the RP for your character. Like with race, you have to do something ORIGINAL for it to be interesting RP. RPing a warrior that likes to fight, is somewhat standard and boring. You can base your RP on some class generalization, BUT you should always look for a personal twist to add interest to your RP. Here are a few examples of how I think each class might GENERALLY act.

Warrior - The key words for Warrior are "elite fighters". There are a shit ton of ways you can let this affect your RP, BUT do not forget, even though a warrior may act like a scared wuss, deep down, they are the best actual fighters around.

Thief - 99% of the time I would say that your typical thief will NOT be lawful, they won't care who you are, or what you do, they just want your stuff. They are greedy, that's their nature, so EVEN though you might RP a generous thief, deep down their nature is one of greed.

Illusionist - By nature an illusionist is not going to be very buff. They won't have "the biggest muscles you have ever seen," they won't be "six and a half feet tall," these guys are physical wusses. It might be interesting to RP an illusionist who THINKS they are buff, but they really arn't. These are the mages of illusion, perhaps deceit would be something fun to add in.

Invoker - Once again, you will not find a buff invoker anywhere. These guys are the masters of the elements, so perhaps they will want to look for all the areas around Thera that have elemental stuff in it. Their focus is elemental stuff, anything elemental, maybe an obsession with elemental canyon would be interesting.

Necromancer - If ANYONE has the skill to kill someone by pointing their finger, do you think they are going be nice and friendly and touchy? Well, I don't tend to think so. There is really no excuse to RP a really friendly happy goodie goodie necro. Maybe lawful, maybe fair, but NOT friendly. People who play with corpses are NOT friendly!

Healer - MOST people don't know this, but there are TONS of RP options open for healers. They don't have to be super goodie friendly happy, they can be bitter towards evils, hateful, biased, just like any other class. The ONLY exception to this is that healers WILL NOT act evil. THEY should NOT be focused on killing. Their profession is HEALING, not KILLING (unless you are a Knight which is a priority over class).

Shaman - Shaman are the opposite of healers. They CAN be semi-happy or friendly but they should be more of the bitter angry type. Remember that FAITH (communing classes) comes through either through love or hate. Healers are love, Shaman are hate. Its best not to confuse that unless you want to be outcasted.

Ranger - A ranger is not going to be the type to sit around in town to gossip. Towns make them nervous. You should NOT IGNORE this fact when deciding how to RP them (of course the degree of nervousness is up to you.) They also love animals, or should, and that should also be considered in RP.

Berserker - RAGE = bad temper, unfriendly, not very thoughtful. You won't find a berserker who is really smart, one might try to ACT smart, but they aren't going to be the smart friendly type. They are buff, not smart, they don't think about strategy, they just kill!

Ninja - Ninjas are given specific skills to make them hidden. Yes, hidden, that means that ninjas most likely aren't going to try and be the center of attention constantly (though this could be a good type of RP). Ninja is NOT equal to mass trash murderer. Ninjas kill with skill, they are sly, hidden, BUT when they kill it's with purpose and for reason.

Monk - Monks are unique in that even though they have no spells, they have to be either good or evil, no neutrals. This means that they DO follow gods (because they must meditate). They also always would try to perfect their art, meaning that a good monk may try to always do the right things or an evil monk may try to get rid of the weak. They also SHUN WEAPONS. Remember that.also GUARDIANS OF KNOWLEDGE, they aren't idiots, and are perhaps the class with the most purpose built in.

Dark Knight - These guys are evil bastards. They dislike and distrust EVERYONE. Just look at their skills, they are there to HURT PEOPLE, nothing else. Dark knights do NOT help each other, they are not "brothers," they are NEVER safe; everyone is their enemy. They would perhaps see themselves superior to both mages and fighters since they combine the strengths of both groups.

Paladin - Paladins are the opposite of everything a Dark Knight may be (except they are both vicious). They are trusting and caring towards goods, cautious towards neutrals (but not hateful!), and they hate.HATE all evils. They are empowered for one job... to DESTROY evil. They will help those in need, and are NOT selfish EVER.

Bard - BARDS ARE NOT AGGRESSIVE!!!! Should I repeat that? Bards are little happy singing people, they love life and music and wit and stories, etc etc etc... NOT killing!! Also, they are all neutrals, so yet again for that reason they are NOT mass murderers!!!! Bards must also RP. Singing is good, they might always be curious, maybe be a little like a prankster, but not evil.

Vampire - This is something unique and you can't start out with this race, BUT since it is something that lots of people like to get in to (and believe it or not it requires RP not just PK), I will add some thoughts for those of you who wish to be vampires. First off, if you are going to do the blood sucking thing, FIND some original way to do it. I once saw a guy who had "fake vampire teeth" and I thought that was great. It's the unique acts that will get the chance to be a vampire. Vampires aren't chatty, they aren't friendly, they shouldn't depend on anyone. Maybe ranking to 30 alone would be a good idea (not hard with a dkn either).

Psionicist - Psionicists are mages of the Mind. They are not going to be stupid, they probably will see themselves as more intelligent than others. They may be sort of a psychologist type, trying to figure out peoples minds, since that's what all their magic focuses on. Also, they might be VERY introspective, since most all of their spells are just for themselves.

ETHOS - THIS is a VITAL part of RP and PK in AR and can NOT be ignored. Your characters ethos should be the center of their RP.

Lawful - A lawful character will NEVER EVER EVER break the laws. They wouldn't even consider it, because they are lawful. If you want to play a character who will break laws when a Justice isn't around then play a neutral. Lawful characters follow the laws whether there is someone around to enforce them or not. Lawful characters may like rules, or order, so they don't just have to be good, any align can be lawful. There are some benefits to being lawful, despite common belief. First off it comes in handy when dealing with Justice, and it creates a good beginning for a characters RP.

Neutral - Someone with neutral ethos will be cautious of the laws (especially of Justice), but not focused on the law. If they see a chance to break the law and not get caught, they might take the chance. Neutrals are more self centered, they do what they think is best for them. If there's a Justice, then its best not to get caught, but if there is no Justice, why not loot from a corpse if I need the stuff!

Chaotic - Chaotic characters do not care about Justice at all. They will TOTALLY ignore the presence of a justice, to do whatever they want. If you want to play a character that doesn't want to get wanted, and won't break the law purposely with a justice around, then play a neutral! A chaotic character should break laws just because they can, not because they need something. Also, being chaotic doesn't just involve laws. They may be hasty to make decisions and make harsh generalizations when dealing with people. Being chaotic is a way of life.

ALIGNMENT - Despite common belief alignment is also a VITAL part of RP in AR. This, along with ethos, should be the center and most important part of your RP.

Good - Goods help others. They are not hateful, except maybe towards evil. They don't always have to be friendly, but they should have some sort of conscious. A good character might have to deal with guilt if they do something wrong, like get damned. There are really two paths a good can take. They can either hate all evil PERIOD, no questions, or be only cautious of evils and willing to help anyone despite align. Either way, goods do NOT hate neutrals, they never should. They may be uncomfortable with them, but they do NOT hate neutrals.

Neutrals - Just like with Ethos, neutrals will think of themselves first. Whichever is more convient, or easier. They should be cautious of everyone but hate no one. Some neutrals may side with good more because they aren't blood thirsty, while other neutrals may side with evil more because evils get more goodies.

Evils - Evils do not try to cooperate, they do not love, and for HEAVENS SAKE there is NOT a "fellowship or friendship or alliance" between evils! Evils should not trust anyone ever. They will NOT be safe in their guild. They will NOT be safe in a group. They have no true friends or alliances, and anything even resembling a "friend" or "ally" will only be for personal benefit. They do NOT go out of their way to help people. They are NOT friendly. Evils may or may not be aggressive, but no matter what they HATE everyone.

Do's and DON'TS of RP

Do try to develop a distinctive way of speaking. Don't EVER say " M'friend. "

Do RP even if you are naked and weaponless. Don't try to rape people who are naked and weaponless.

Do RP even while someone rapes you. Don't send tons of tells after your rape calling them a stupid fuck who sucks.

Do RP consistently. Don't use a different RP for all of your personal moods.

Do let your character grow. Don't have the same outlook at level 50 that you had at level 1 (getting all the sub issue eq is not a good goal for a level 50).

Do let your character react to other characters RP, and let them react to yours. Don't plan a whole RP act and hope everyone sits and watches your performance (they might watch at first, but soon everyone will leave and you will be hopelessly lonely with no purpose to your miserable unimportant little life).

Do allow for the possibility that the character you designed to get into a cabal won't. Don't expect all your characters to get into any cabal you want them to get in, then 3 days after you send the application note delete because you think it's pointless to go on. Being rejected is something you can RP.

Do use original RP. Don't use the same RP for all of your characters despite race/class/ethos/align.

Do let your character take things personally (in their own way.) Don't let yourself take things personally (its just a game, and your characters business.not yours).

Do play your character as an individual separate from yourself. Don't let your personal life affect your characters RP (if you are dumped, that doesn't mean your character would talk about being dumped).

Do write an elaborate and descriptive description. Don't have all your evils wear all black and all your goods wear all white.

Do try to get the best armor that you can. Don't write your description to reflect armor you don't have.

Do RP mages who are devoted to their magic. Don't ever practice detect magic.

Do combine your PK with RP. Don't PK with the RP reason "they pissed me off" AND especially not "they killed my other character."

Do RP consistently around Imms. Don't show off with new and inventive RP around Imms (don't let your character be abducted by aliens in the middle of talking to an Imm.)

Do have fun with your RP. Don't assume that RP is for weenies and never even consider it when you are trying to be some badass vampire or legion (because believe it or not they both require RP.)