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Old 01-05-2006, 12:59 AM
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Default Re: Into Your Character's Skin Role Playing Guide

Getting Into The Heart of It

Before you get started with making your own role plays, you’ve got to know yourself how to role play very well if you even want to get started with that. And there’s quite a few things you need to know before you should jump right into the thick of it.

Sign Up Sheets Mean More Than You Think – Indeed, this is the life of your character, the path they’ve walked on from the beginning until now. This is who they are and how they have become the person you see now. A person who takes a sign-up sheet seriously, writes excellent and intricate details when it comes to description and history, and makes a believable character and life-like will already be contributing a lot once they start getting into the role play. Already they’re making the role play that much more realistic by contributing a believable and realistic character into the storyline. A person that thinks that a sign up form is merely just to get into the role play and writes only the minimal amount will be taking away from the role play, submitting a two-dimensional character in a world that should be rich with possibility. Think about that carefully the next time you fill out a sign up sheet. Take your time with them and don’t be so hasty about getting in the role play.

Take sign up sheets seriously – Think thoroughly when it comes to selecting what you would like to put for your character’s description. Give them a face, think about the clothes they wear, their height and weight, and their personality as well as their attributes and skills. Make them unique, don’t make them a cookie cutter replica of someone else’s character or of another character from a TV or movie series that people are going to already know about. Also, think of a strong and unique history for your character. People’s attitudes are greatly shaped by how they were raised, and this is a very good lead to making other people aware of events that happened to your character earlier in their life lead up to now and what they’ve become today.

A first sign up sheet – If you’ve only started role playing and you have trouble thinking of a good character to create, why not try modeling one after yourself? Sure, not everything is the same, but if you keep their personality consistent with yours, it makes it very easy for a beginning role player to imagine themselves in the role play itself and make decisions and choices based on the choices they would make if it really happened to them. Once you get enough practice, then move on to characters that have different personalities than your own and imagine what you would do in their place given their conditional attitude. This will help train you into taking on different roles. But be careful what kind of personality to decide to select. Don’t make a character’s personality change quickly on a whim or it will quickly degrade your character’s realism and quality.

Get Descriptive! – The more you describe the world around you, the more believable it begins to become. Creating and describing the environment around you makes it easier for other role players to imagine and interact with the scene and environment you’ve just created. Take these two examples and tell me which one you think is better:

”James and I were sitting down at a table and suddenly the window broke. Zombies, everywhere. I got up and pulled James from his seat before the zombies could grab him. I then ran to the back of the room to get away from them.

‘Zombies, help!’ I shouted.”

And now this one…

“James and I had been having dinner at the Blue Moon Diner that night. Just before I bit the tail off one of my fried shrimp, suddenly the window had burst open and the both of us were suddenly bathed with a million shards of glass. I winced and shielded my face from the blast before turning back and seeing what had been the cause of it. Then, my worst fears were confirmed. Zombies, almost a hundred of them out in the streets and surrounding the diner, and now only a few feet away from my face. Frantically, I pulled James away from the wooden table while he was completely paralyzed with horror, only moments before a pair of shriveled and tattered arms came within inches of grabbing him. While James kept a safe distance away from them, I looked back to the rest of the diner’s patrons, totally in disbelief.

“Somebody help me!” I shouted to them all, hoping at least one of them would stand up to support us.”

Now, even with this kind of fictional setting, which of the two seems more believable? What kind of RP would you rather be in, one that is crammed with posts like the first one, or another, where every role player contributes to the best of their ability to make the setting as real and enjoyable as possible?

It’s easy to decide. You just need to contribute and do your part. Arm your role play posts with more description, more powerful vocabulary words, and more actions, emotions, and a carefully and thoughtfully planned sequence of events. Pretend that the role play is a movie and you’re one of the characters. If this is a movie, what should it look like to be the most entertaining to the viewer? How can I create a realistic environment for other people to interact with, and how can I interact in a realistic manner with the settings that other role players have created and described? Believe it or not, the key to a great role play is teamwork. Even a role play that has a basic and unimaginative storyline can turn into something excellent if the role players involved compromise for the RP’s lack of story with their own imagination and involvement. However, the best role plays start off well and continue well and role players shouldn’t need to improvise greatly on what the creator left out. Be an active contributor, and don’t just hang around for the ride.

Contribute As Much As You Can – I’m not saying to go hyperactive and constantly hit the refresh button waiting for someone else to post, but the more you take part and get yourself involved with the role play, the more important your character will become in the developing storyline. Contribute to build your character’s experience with their surroundings, their leadership and involvement with the other characters, and their personality, but don’t post again and again only to bring attention to yourself without actually driving the storyline.

Know when to act – There are three kinds of people, those who make things happen, those that watch things happen, and then those that wondered what happened. Undoubtedly, don’t be the kind that falls into the third category no matter what. You’ll just humiliate yourself and make your character useless. But also, don’t become too much of a watcher either. Don’t be a spectator too often, get into storyline and be a hero among your peers, but avoid trying to make your character a showoff. On a scale from 1 to 10, 1 being severely inactive and 10 being hyperactive, your best place to be is around a 7.

Creating Conflicts – An RP without challenges, threats, and obstacles becomes boring super-quickly. Most of the obvious threats should trace their roots back to the original storyline of the RP. However, throwing in new threats and challenges adds spice to the situation and gets the action more interesting.

Know what you’re getting into – You’re about to take a step that may alter the storyline a little, or take a step that could turn the entire story around. You should be timely when coming up with new challenges for your character and his companions to overcome, and don’t be surprised if the outcome of the situation is different than what you expected. This is just one of the major things that makes a role play very different from a fan fiction when it comes to crafting a storyline.

Against other role players – This can simply be achieved by taking an offensive measure against another role player, something that is very common in the War RP, when one team plots and attacks another. The attack should be unique, not a standard brute force assault on the enemy headquarters. Prepare something that the defender shouldn’t expect.

Against the entire group – In times when all the role players are working together as a team, throwing in a third party threat against the entire group can be beneficial for the action to heat up and get people more involved. Just don’t over abuse it, keep the threat and the conflict realistic and situational to the RP, and don’t be too quick to kill off your own created threat before other role players can act upon it.

Last edited by Dog of Hellsing; 05-08-2010 at 06:22 PM.