Roleplaying - can't live with it, can't live without it. Just about
everybody who has ever roleplayed will remember times when they've thought
to themselves "Geez, I wish I had just done something different, because
this is sucking the life out of me.". Does this sound like you?
Well, welcome to the club.
At Abandoned Realms, the game isn't focused on story-telling, its focused
on conflict. That isn't to say that there's no story-telling, but its the
conflicts that produce them. The roleplay systems at Abandoned Realms -
alignments, ethos, cabals, races and classes, all inspire conflict.
Good roleplay begins with well-typed sentences, that are meaningful within
the context (in this case, the world of Abandoned Realms). If you want to
get a better understanding of the game background, look no further than
[THIS LINK], where you can read all about the
Now that's out of the way, here are some of the commands provided to aid roleplaying,
and a brief description of how to use them:
DESC - create your character's physical appearance
BACKGROUND - write your background history (Immortal viewing only)
SAY - speaking to other people is the most effective way to make a point
SAYTO - same as "say", but directed at somebody. useful to save confusion
ESAY - this allows you to mix an EMOTE in with your speech. Or you can use
it to describe the way you said something. e.g. "Bob says slowly 'Greeeetings.."
ESAYS - this is almost the same as esay, but displays your name as "Bob's"
instead of "Bob".
SOCIALS - in-built game commands (e.g. nod, chuckle), these have a secondary
purpose of adding atmosphere while other people are talking, and to indicate interest
POSE - sets your posture in the room (e.g. Bob is here, leaning against a tree.)
EMOTE - create your own gesture (e.g. emote waves a hand in front of his mouth.)
PMOTE - like emote, but allows you to direct it at people too. Very effective.
ECAST - allows you to perform an emote as you utter spell words
Abandoned Realms requires that players choose an ALIGNMENT and ETHOS during
the process of creating a character (at birth). These choices indicate to
other players the way the character will behave during its life. Make sure
they influence the way you describe your character.
OOC and IC
You'll hear these terms thrown around frequently, and no doubt have trouble
grasping what they mean if you're a beginner to roleplaying. Relax, its
simple. Here's an explanation of both.
OOC - out-of-character
IC - in-character
That's it! Well, now you'll be wondering what is meant by "character" no
doubt. This is where the confusion begins. Read carefully...
A CHARACTER in Abandoned Realms is a player-controlled mortal. Its not
just you. Its not just your warrior, paladin, or whatever guise you
picked to play as. Its BOTH of those things - its the whole.
A PLAYER in Abandoned Realms is you - the guy or girl playing the MORTAL,
typing and inputting commands. If something is arranged OOC, its something that
is arranged and done by players. Examples: observing the game rules, asking questions
like "how do I use dirt kick?" on newbie chat, logging on for surges, logging off
because its bedtime. Those aren't things your warrior knows exists. Most OOC
stuff is totally illegal - equipment exchanges and pk'ing groups that are set-up
out of game are the worst offenders of the bunch. Compared to those, letting
an OOC remark slip out by accident isn't so bad. But strive for perfection.
A MORTAL in Abandoned Realms is that warrior or paladin you are roleplaying
as. Unfortunately, this is also often referred to as "your character", hence
the confusion. Better for you to think of it as your "game face". If
something is taking place IC, its only between mortals. Like, asking somebody
if they'd like to go hunting. Slaying a dragon. Following the town laws.
Those are all things your mortal does. It would be inappropriate for you to
suddenly announce "bedtime" - that's the PLAYER talking. You have to observe
the game rules, so every mortal's actions are tainted a bit by OOC stuff.
Like not picking up that pile of equipment your other mortal left behind.
But that's the friendly kind.
The idea is to mask yourself (the player) as much as possible, so that
players don't meet each other. Only mortals meeting mortals should go
on in-game. If you want to meet players as a player, use the forums.
Remember, ICA = ICC. In-character actions have in-character consequences.
Don't just quit the game because you've backed yourself into a tight corner.
Background is not required, but encouraged strongly, being a pre-requisite
for recieving roleplaying rewards like cabals, special titles, hyphenated
last names, tattoos, and so on. A background is essentially just a short
narrative, telling the story of your life up until early adulthood. (i.e.
its what occured BEFORE he began pottering around in Serin as a healthy 17
year old). With the advent of playerkilling, a background is very helpful
to the Immortals when they are looking for a basis for your killing, and
may save everyone a lot of hassle in the long run. If you decide to write
a background, try to keep it below about 50 lines, any longer than that will
be getting close to the length limits.
Remember, only the Immortals can see backgrounds. No exceptions.
Description is required after the 14th rank. (i.e. when you enter the
killing ranges of other players.) A desciption should contain the
unique physical elements of your character, not a background. Describing
posture and the way the character walks and talks is also accepted for
DON'T use numbers with measurements. e.g. he is 5'4", 140 lbs
DON'T include history - that's what backgrounds cover
DON'T include actions - that's what emotes are for
The more descriptive you imagine him/her, the more fun it will be making
that evil witch/dashing hero/clumsy giant come alive.
The simplest way to improve your RP and also the most effective by far.
If you do this well, you won't even be needing emotes to be considered a
successful RP. It is useful to develop a unique way of
talking. Here are pointers:
Pick a culture. Then mimic that culture's dialect (accent & language)
with your character. An Irish dialect works well with a dwarf for example.
There's thousands of existing cultures out there, and plenty with extremely
bizaare ways of speaking.
Introduce "ticks". Ticks are involuntary words, that your character
doesn't realise he says. In real life, nearly everyone has ticks. Just
pick one (or make one up) and use it.
Emotes and Pmotes
Emotes can be used to express actions (i.e. body language) that people can
then respond to. They can also be used to provide description, which is
useful for creating atmosphere. PMOTE targets other players.
(ACTION) Gweith scratches her forehead.
(DESCRIPTION) Gweith brushes away the hair from her eyes. It gleams amber in the light.
(ACTION - to Balomar) Gweith stares at you.
(ACTION - to room) Gweith stares at Balomar.
Its good to draw from the environment for emotes. e.g. if you're in
the dark woods, maybe your eyes gleam unnaturally, and so on. The most
common usage is to use it with aliases, to replace canned socials. This
is a very effective way to make your character more unique.
Don't do OOC, force other people's actions for them, or show thoughts.
ESAY is an emote that ends in speech. You can use it to describe the
way you talked, something you did just before you spoke, or anything else
you feel suitable. Since ESAY is repeated a lot, make sure your chosen
esay is imaginative. ESAYS are the same as ESAY, but add the "'s" after
your name, which can come in handy.
Some examples of ESAY and ESAYS:
Grunit grunts 'Greetings'
Revaqin pulls out a card. It says 'Hello.'
Lucan's eyes widen as he says 'WOW.'
Poses affect your long description in the room, e.g. "Jobe is here." can
be modified to "Jobe is here with his arms stretched out.". Your position
is still shown while you pose - so you can sleep in a tent, then pose, and
it'll still show you in the tent.
Examples of poses:
Jalkut is sleeping here, curled up in a ball.
Mandun is here, picking at his nose.
Zepherleanic is here, standing on his head.
Props are things you use to add a personal touch to your character. An
example of this is a meat cleaver waving necromancer. As you explore the
world, you will find many, many items that are useful to use as props.
Wear them and incorporate them into your emotes, to create small little
entertaining routines. Walking sticks, juggling balls, you can even do
things like make an "emote curls into a ball" before sleeping.
Now as you're probably aware (and if you've just started playing, are hoping for)
the Abandoned Realms is a roleplaying enforced mud. The question is, what
is actually being enforced. Well besides the speech and emotes meeting
decent standards, the bulk of enforcement of roleplay is done on playerkilling
situations - and that's where alignments and ethos come into play. To put it
simply, if your character is not EVIL, and usually acts like he is EVIL, then he
will eventually be made EVIL, and punished severely. Choose alignment carefully.
NOTE: Our alignments and ethos are not "cookie cutters". Not many characters
can be expected to stick precisely to their ethos all the time - it wouldn't
be realistic if they did. These are guides for good roleplaying. Here are
a few accepted truths about the alignments, so that you can avoid the common
reasons for red cards:
Lawfuls don't attack other players in Seringale
Lightwalkers (Good alignment) don't attack other Lightwalkers
Neutrals don't attack other people unless they've wronged them
One's alignment is the path that one has chosen to follow: good, neutral,
or evil. It reflects one's nature, and describes how he reacts to
situations and how he interacts with others.
Goods consider the need of others in tantum with their own. Many good-
aligns will place the well-being of others above that of themselves.
A few have been known to shun violence and war altogether, but most
Lightwalkers will fight against evils when necessary, in order to
protect themselves and others. Goods who are overly bloodthirsty
against neutrals may be reprimanded, and raising one's hand against
a fellow Lightwalker without due cause is a sure way to incite the
anger of the gods.
Of all classes, paladins and healers are the ones most expect to uphold
Neutrals derive their name from the fact that their behavior is marked by
neither philanthropy nor malice, or perhaps both in equal proportions.
Although some may choose to engage in violence as part of their chosen
profession, no one who is truly neutral would have the callous disregard
for others to murder without a clear justification for the killing.
Neutrals who kill excessively without reason, or for reasons considered
purely selfish or malicious, will be turned to the path of Darkness.
Heedless of the well-being of others, evils selfishly and shamelessly
live to exploit others for their own advancement and power. Some who
are truly wicked even venture forth to spread suffering unto others
for their own amusement, or in service to their merciless gods. Evils
will lend aid to others only in proportion to what is received in
return, for the helping of others in growing stronger weakens oneself
in comparison. Note that they eliminate Lightwalkers only because
they are certain that goods will oppose their actions, not out of some
ideological concern. Any alliance among evils to eradicate all goods
is foolhardy, because they understand that they will betray each other
at a moment of vulnerability. No matter how much they attempt to
manipulate or control others, true evils strive to become powerful in
their own right and shun displaying or admitting weakness, for this
only invites aggression from their brethren.
Of all classes, dark-knights and shamans are the ones most expected to
uphold these ideals.
Ethos farther refines how one upholds his alignment.
Peace and cooperation are to be preserved for the good of all, according
to the beliefs of these individuals. Pacifists are of this path almost
without exception, although most lawful goods believe that certain
situations warrant action. They also believe in preserving the peace
within protected areas for the safety of the entire citizenry, so they
uphold the laws whether Justices are present or not.
Those who are lawful neutral preserve the existing order above all else.
Chaos and unpredictability can be dangerous, hence they seek to protect
the current system of laws and other forms of organization. Laws are
obeyed not out necessarily because one agrees with its ideology, but
because this is the way things must be done. Breaking the law goes
against everything that a lawful neutral stands for, whether they are
caught or not.
Deceptive and manipulative, lawful evils augment their own power
through their use of laws and circumstances. Direct confrontation
is seldom necessary when there are more efficient and clandestine
ways to solve one's problems. When pressed, however, lawful evils
are prone to violently shedding their guise of unwillingness, in
sudden and unexpected displays of force. They will not break laws
even when it appears safe to do so, both out of the possibility of
the abrupt arrival of Justices and to avoid the appearance of being
blasphemous to the gods of order.
Those of this path are strong followers of the Light, above all else.
The weak must be defended, and lawful neutrals act to ensure that right
triumphs over wrong, whether by assisting the law in a time of chaos,
or acting against an unjust government. Even if their actions will
sometimes bring about consequences to themselves, they are willing to
accept this in order to do what is good and right.
Whether through careful observation of the surrounding world or through
blatant indifference regarding the forces around them, true neutrals
live neither in laws or chaos, and their actions are neither good nor
evil. Those who are unconcerned with the struggles around them will
not ally themselves with any particular side in these conflicts, while
the more contentious followers of the Balance will impartially judge
which side is weaker and help them so that the natural Balance of Serin
is not disrupted.
Living by the phrase "by any means necessary", neutral evils use any
and all methods at their disposal to achieve what they want. Honor
and scruples exist only as weaknesses to exploit, and cruelty is but
another means of coercion. Whether through taking advantage of laws
or breaking them while their prey is lulled by its false security,
neutral evils are bound only by the power they have and their lust
Rebels and revolutionaries, these idealists strive to improve society
through upheaval. They are the over throwers of tyranny and the fighters
for freedom. They are not afraid to attack the law if they believe that
the establishment is corrupt, or if the system is protecting wrongdoers.
They believe in change for the betterment of all, even by violence if
The alignment of gamblers and rogues, chaotic neutrals serve only their
whims and strive to live life to its fullest. Random chance and Lady
Luck are what guide their lives, as they realize that they have little
control over the world outside of their own selves. Existing systems
which tell them what they can and cannot do are their natural enemies,
and they are often branded troublemakers by authorities. Although they
lead relatively carefree lives, they are watched closely by the Dark
Gods, for should their whims grow cruel or their professions grow overly
bloodthirsty, their hearts will be turned to evil.
From the common bandit to powerful warrior-lords, many choose to
follow the path of chaotic evil. These are the ones prone to violence,
the scoundrels and murderers, the curse and bane of society. Their
only law is the belief that might makes right. Power in its rawest,
purest form is the only order among this type, as they only obey those
capable of crushing them. Yet true chaotic evils will not
be content to serve their master for long, as it is their nature to
fight and overthrow, to compete in the eternal struggle to become
the most powerful.
To surpass others in roleplaying is the most surefire ways
of creating a memorable character, and also ensures that rewards
like con quests and cabal inductions will easily fall your way.
But to surpass others, you are going to need to be original. Listing
ways to be original is obviously going to make them unoriginal so
I can't offer a lot of help with that. To go beyond the top tier
level, you must invent stuff on your own - original stuff.
If its been done before, especially recent enough the other character
is around, you're wasting your time. Compete, don't copy. If you're
not a creative person, and you don't get forum threads about being
the best ever, don't be surprised - but you can still make a
memorable character just by borrowing from what other people have
Here are some examples of things which those who have been well-known
for good roleplaying have done (I reserve my opinion of these, but I've
tried to list them in order of easiest to most hardcore):
Sat in the same place for a long period of time, usually a tavern. Socializing.
Wrote their own emotes to add a personal touch to their character (e.g. nose picking)
Carried personal trademark items, e.g. smoking pipes, trinkets, brooms
Created phrases they say as often as they can (e.g. laddie, indeed, people do this IRL)
Killing people. This gets people looking at you. Then they notice your roleplay, if there is any.
Played moody characters, that get annoyed easily, even with their friends.
Played "goofy" characters e.g. insane, drunks, whores. Note: Too many at once sucks, especially whores. *peer*
Worshipped gods (very good to do with healers and shamans)
Got outcasted, and roleplayed the concept of being an outcast.
Talked in dialects. Obviously this is easiest with a human or a human-friendly race like storm giant.
Employed racial mannerisms, e.g. lewd duergars, rapier-witted elves, giants that easily let secrets slip.
Always do as much as you can, and no more than that. If its in your capacity
to be one of the best around, you should be showing it off. But if you suck
at emotes, or dialects, refrain from doing them, go read logs and things to
get practice. If you are having difficulty you will likely give up trying,
and then people will lose interest in your character because you've been
inconsistent. You should develop your character's roleplay, for example by
adding new emotes to your repertoire as it ages, but not making drastic
changes at least until something goes majorly wrong for him (like suffering a
holy gangbang of doom). In the low ranks, expect to see people using the
socials. In high ranks, you'll see people using socials frequently, and
because they're so overused by that point that they're common as muck. Also,
you'll see people who have made up their own emotes. By the time you've
spent a few weeks on AR, you will have seen enough emotes to know how to
make a good one.
Have fun trying to do something original. There's plenty new things that
have not been done on AR yet. There's plenty that has too, though.
Pitfalls and OOC
Your character is basically a greatly advanced version of the game's mobs,
but its still a part of the world, and stuck with the same restrictions.
Has a mob ever told you its hit points, or its damroll? Essentially all
you get from mobs is its appearance (via description), and a rough idea
of its level through considering it. Player characters are not that different,
you write the description, and you choose what your character does and says.
Try not to treat it like your manhood, and you will avoid most the serious
breaches (hoarding and powermongering are the biggest killers of good roleplay,
and its difficult not to get dissuaded when everyone is doing it around you,
but it can still be done, and done well).
Here are some other common things done that risk smites and slays:
Misusing channels, like using auction to yell to sleeping people
Using abbreviations like AFK, or WTB in auctions
Selling rares with your Lightwalker that are requestable
Hoarding rares with Lightwalkers. Make those items useful.
Profanity, especially in yells
Abbreviating place names, like SS for south square. Doing this is n00b.
Yelling "leave for repop" is completely OOC. Cover up any terms like this.
Discussing numbers, like your hp, hitroll, from your score. Keep it personal or anonymous on forum.
Quitting out to avoid consequences of any kind (e.g. after full looting)
Actions with no roleplayable justification (e.g. paladins selling to shamans, "friends of Legion" for gangbanging,
Obviously you don't spew off into a rant about football, or politics, or
any other unwordly stuff, while you're cleansing the realms of Lightwalkers.
Avoid letting the other players meet the player behind your character - that's
what the forum is for. There are AOL and Yahoo Chatrooms for talking about
that sort of thing, if you can't get satisfaction from there.
If this is asking too much of you, seriously, pursue a different hobby.
Keep in mind this is the "Good work, you won't need to be transferred for bad RP"
level of play. To really fit in properly, and dare I say, get great roleplaying
rewards like cabals and custom titles, your character will need to be a
It is perfectly acceptable (and in fact advisable) to sidestep the existing
background of the game and make up ficticious immortals and homelands you
came from, but make sure that if you do these, that they're original and
fit the setting, to be sure that they're free of any pre-conceptions.
Here are some examples of other commonly made errors in background writing:
You're the son of Hyando, Mashadar, etc. Related is possible, but not directly.
You're a member of an NPC clan, like the anti-paladin Legion. Imms might change it on you.
You're a demi-god or something similarly "extremely powerful". Looks bad when you guildsit.
You chose the old "my parents were kidnapped/murdered" cliche.
Mobs that are too out
of place eventually get fixed or deleted. Same goes for players. If
you come up with a unique kind of character, you may want to get help
from the imms in the align/ethos you should be choosing for it. It
will hurt your character to have it changed later - penalties range
from the outcast flag to your character being killed, deleted, etc.
Another VERY common roleplaying error is making the mistake of utilizing
information your character don't know. You learned things about others,
be it with your alts or otherwise, and you let it leak into your other
characters. This is textbook OOC. A character's knowledge does NOT
extend beyond his PERSONAL in-game experiences.
There are a few things your character is allowed to be aware of:
The contents of ALL helpfiles it can access
Lore, for example immortal histories, and your own history
Everything else must be discovered through experience in game. If that
sounds like too much to handle, play one character at a time, and turn
your messenger programs off.
Making friends is almost inevitable, and there's a good chance you
might get to know them better than just from the game as well,
especially if you frequent the chat or visit the forums. Since this
form of OOC is quite rife, there is a responsibility on everybody to
put some care into how they play their characters. The roleplay on
the MUD should not be harmed by out of game relationships. Here are
some simple things to know:
If you're a murderous evil, don't pretend your friend's healer does
not exist, you'll end up on the radar mighty quick.
If you and friends intend to fight commonly, but never each other, at
least make sure you're in the same cabals, so there's a reasonable explanation
for why you never fight. Especially evils.
Check the LEVEL of objects before you give them to people you
know from out of game. If they don't meet it yet, you may be suspected
Ridiculous one-side gangbangs make other people not want to play
with you, unless they have the means and desire to attempt the same thing
back. Sooner or later you'll be playing alone.
Judging other people
Unfortunately, many people will skim this guide and then believe themselves
to be a guru on roleplaying. They're wrong. In fact, even if you read this
guide thoroughly, you're probably STILL wrong. There is not enough information
here to be an expert on this subject. So many people come from different
backgrounds with different ideas of what roleplaying is - good roleplaying
environments are able to accommodate all kinds of people with different views.
So just because somebody has a different view than you of what's "good"
roleplaying, doesn't mean they're wrong, or you're right! There is going to
What follows is a few simple rules to remember, that will help you
avoid making a fool of yourself when you try to be critical of others.
1) another character isn't doing what you want
For example, the player is a paladin and you're a lightwalker, but he isn't
automatically giving you free equip/summoning training mobs etc. Or
he's pretending to be a King of some kingdom when he's in fact just a thief,
and you think its bullshit.
Or (and this is the most common "or) he is trying to pk you. In all these
examples, YOU are unhappy with the outcome of what the other player is
doing. THIS DOES NOT MEAN HE IS NOT ROLEPLAYING.
2) Bob the drow warrior is going around slaying elves silently
When picking a race like an elf, or a storm giant, its pretty much obvious
to every evil on the game that you're a lightwalker. It isn't going to
require an interrogation - your appearance is enough. Don't expect much
verbal exchange from evils (if at all, it'll be unpleasant) until after someone
is dead, when you play alignment-restricted lightwalkers. There is a time
for talking and a time for fighting based on your values - talking may
mean you don't get that fight.
Read the helpfiles to learn the values and strongest biases.
Players that have exhibited interesting and fresh roleplaying will
recieve attention from other players. This opens doors for you - it
makes it quicker to get into cabals and other groups, and to progress
politically through the ranks. Even the Immortals themselves will
turn their attention towards a good roleplayer - the world may be
reshaped or even the class skills themselves.
Above all remember the book analogy. Think of your character as something
you have created to go within a fantasy book or movie of some sorts, and then
act it out in real time. You will have few problems if you hang on to that