Sunday, May 8, 2011

How to Create RP

From Second Life's Lexie Lucas by an author who wishes anonymity (tell me is you change your mind, author!) but says, "feel free to post that note card on your blog".


(or: 'How To Avoid Standing About With Nothing To Do')
reprinted with permission of author

Huge sim-wide roleplays are all good and fun, but what happens on the side and in between? This is where your and others' characters come in. These are just some tips to help inspire players to keep roleplay evolving freely on a variety of levels.

1. Character flaws/habits/quirks.
Your character's strengths are, of course, ever useful to the land, to friends, in battle and other circumstances. But the fun can often arise from a character's weaknesses or flaws. Consider these carefully and how you might bring them into RP.
Your character may have a phobia... Try putting them in a position where this phobia can manifest itself. Perhaps they are an addict... perhaps they are prone to jealousy... store these facts in the back of your head and play on them.
Give your character a habit or quirk to flesh them out. Not only does this give more depth and insight into them, but it gives them something to do. Think about yourself or people you know in real life for inspiration.

2. Goals.
Set goals for your character, long term and day-to-day, from the most mundane routines of life to their grandest ambitions – this not only keeps them motivated, but gets them out and about in the sim where they may naturally bump into somebody and get into conversation. The smallest details in your RP can flesh it out. You are creating a life, and that life needs desires and purpose no matter how ordinary. Examples...
X is hungry. X wants to find a meal.
X is dabbling in potions and needs to find ingredients.
X has a friend who is unhappy. X wants to try to help them or cheer them up.
X ate some bad fish and seriously needs to find either a physician or an outhouse.
X is a demonic power-hungry being who ultimately wishes to overthrow the king. Today, X is going to work on turning the king's personal advisor against him.

3. Jobs.
Everybody has a guild they are affiliated with, their main job. However there are work opportunities in the villages which can give you more play and lead to more and interesting RP. Consider having a skill, craft or trade on the side which your character can perform in times of peace. A strong-armed warrior could double as a blacksmith or butcher... a herbal healer might also run a farm... an apprentice mage could sideline as a tavern maid... etc. If there are players already fulfilling these roles, go and make up some excuse to need their wares or craft skills and go RP with them.

4. Variety - the Spice of Life.
Be rounded and varied in your personal storyline. If others find you entertaining, they will enjoy RPing with you. RP isn't always about 'winning'.. it is about mutual entertainment.
Try not to make it kill after kill or tragedy after tragedy. If you are a 'dark' character, try to think of ways to be bad beyond relentless slaughter, as this can put some players off playing with you. Be creative and clever with it. How can you use people or play them off against each other? How can you trick an individual or make them conform to your whim?
Likewise, try not to find yourself in a cycle of getting captured/injured/in dire tragedy and having people rescue you all the time, as this too can become dull very quickly. If your character has been through a huge tragedy, try to find them a pleasant storyline.. see them happy. The more rounded the character's personal storyline, the more interesting they are for others to play with.

5. The Medieval Era.
Medieval fantasy is set in... whaddya know... the medieval era. This is not only for human players - if you are playing a fantasy character from medieval folklore, be sure to do some research about the era. We all create the authenticity of the medieval world we play in. More so, the medieval setting is there to inspire your play. Explore folklore of the time to inspire character. Medieval folklore is littered with fantastic, imaginative storylines, which are begging to be put to use in RP.

6. Help Each Other.
Take an interest in other people's characters and their personal stories and goals. Help each other's stories to develop. In a dull moment, why not share stories of your characters' pasts? Who knows... maybe some seemingly unimportant detail might inspire some further RP.

7. Go With The Flow.
RP is more like improvisational acting than creative writing. Anything can happen, simply because there are so many minds together at once. Know your character well enough to adapt to any given situation while still remaining consistent and always keep in mind that other characters have their own agenda and motivations and will not necessarily do what you expect.

8. Have Fun. ;)

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