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RP - Role-Play Basics

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RP - Role-Play Basics

Post  Hisao on Tue Aug 02, 2011 1:50 am

Hello there~

The reason you're probably checking this topic out, is because you're either curious, or new to role-play. This topic is mainly written for those NEW to role-play. The other nosy people have to adapt to my style of writing, because I am not going to write this for them.

So, let's get started!

It doesn't interest me WHY you want to role-play or WHAT genre you prefer, I'm just going to explain the things as I know them, and I'll probably write from my point of view on the use of role-play.

About this topic then... No, it's not meant to be gone through in one single hour. I am of the opinion most people can't actually learn RP from one day to the other, so my goal with this topic was to have you guys try out one "lesson" per time. Whether you do that one lesson per few hours, one lesson per day, one lesson per week, or even one per year, it doesn't really matter to me. As long as you don't start mixing things up, nor on the other hand forget about what you already learned.

So~ I'm putting a list of the several posts in this topic + what they talk about... I'm putting a link to each. Either click the link, or you'll just have to scroll down.

Love,
Hisao~

RP - Beginner's Guide

Lesson 1
What is role play? ||| IC, OOC, OCC, and RL. ||| Speed VS. Turn?

Lesson 2
The role-play character ||| 5 Basics ||| Practice, practice, practice!

Lesson 3
Did it happen? ||| -walks in-

Lesson 4
English language ||| Homonyms (or almost homonyms)


Last edited by Hisao on Fri Jul 27, 2012 10:18 pm; edited 13 times in total
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Lesson 1

Post  Hisao on Fri Aug 05, 2011 5:43 am

What is role play?

That's right: what is role-play? Role-play, as it is called, is infact 'playing a role'. It's as if you got a role in a movie, theatre piece, book, or whatever: you are a character who is not yourself, and you act and talk like them.

In role playing games (World of Warcraft, Dungeons and Dragons, Fable, Elder Scrolls, ...), you have an amount of choices that you can choose from. In written role-play, the kind I'm going to explain more about, and in LARP, the amount of choices depends almost only on your imagination.

In LARP, you just dress up and act as the character you play. The major goal of written role-play is to type out what your character does or says. There are many rules or methods to do this.


IC, OOC, OCC, and RL.

Maybe someone around you has used on of these abbreviations already... question is, do you know what they mean?

IC - In Character. In an RPG, you are IC when you are gaming. In other role-play, it is when you are in the middle of typing/acting out the character. IC, you walk around in taverns, forests, floating castles, post-apocalyptic cities overrun by zombies, etc. You don't usually go 'brb', you can't usually crash or have internet trouble, and so on.

OOC - Out Of Character. If you are role-playing, and you want to say something in between the posts, about yourself for instance, like telling you go 'have to take a pee' or when you 'have to entertain a visiting neighbor'. On forum RP, there is no need for this. This is mostly used in live RP, such as Yahoo RP, IMVU RP, Msn RP, etc. To make clear that you are not IC in those cases, you use brackets: () [[]] {} (()). It doesn't matter how many, or what kind, as long as you use them to make the difference clear.

OCC - Out Character Chat. The difference between OOC and OCC is only small. OCC however is mostly used on forums. Since it is completely separate from the ongoing role-play, for instance in different chat rooms or forum sections, there is no need to use parenthesis like you would for OOC. You can however easily talk about the role-play and offer new ideas, say you are going to change or need to use the bathroom, and so on.

RL - Real Life. You could think "Why is this abbreviation relevant?", but there is a clear difference between OOC/OCC and RL. While OOC/OCC mostly takes place online, on forums, on a messanger or ingame, RL takes place in the real world, away from your computer. Some stuff OOC is not relevant in RL, and most RL stuff is not relevant online.


Speed VS. Turn?

There are two big divisions in role-play: one is speed-based, the other is turn-based.

Speed role-play. As the name already makes you assume: the post entered first is the one that counts. It's like in real life: if you're faster to say or to do something, someone else can't do or say it. Since you don't want to have to change what you type halfway, you should post short sentences and type fast. Disadvantages are of course the lack of detail and the fact that you can't think your moves through.

Turn-based RP. Each of the people present or participating in the role-play, gets a turn to write a reaction to what is ongoing. This results in the posts sometimes being long and very detailled. People get the chance to decently describe what their character does, says, or even what it thinks. Because the role-player has more time to write, the posts can become very literate or even turn into paragraphs up to small stories.
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Lesson 2

Post  Hisao on Fri Aug 05, 2011 7:41 pm

The Role-Play Character

The RPC, chara or chari, those words are mostly an abbreviation for the idea of the "Role-Playing Character". Since you're 'playing a role', you are being someone other than yourself. This person, or even just 'creation', is the role-play character. Usually, you create an RPC before you start RP'ing, but not everyone does this preparation equally in-depth.


5 Basics

The first things you usually decide upon, are what you can see instantly and what you can easily find out from a person:

* NAME. Your character needs a given/first name, of course, and most likely a family/surname too. You can give them as many middle names as you want.

* RACE/SPECIES. 'Race' probably makes you think of 'Caucasian' or 'Black' or 'Asian' or whatever you are, but it actually has to do with human/vampire/elf/... ; some races even have subdivisions, like indeed 'hispanic' or 'native American' for humans, or 'wood elves' or 'drow' for elves.

* AGE. It depends on the race usually how your character ages. Vampires or elves for instance don't age the same way humans do. You might need to look this up!

* LOOKS. Give them a basic clothing style - define the colors they like to wear or so, or the genre (punk, medieval, gothic, gangster, ...). For their own looks: the color of their hair, skin, and eyes, ...

* PERSONALITY. There is no need to already give them a very detailled personality. Try to settle with 3 adjectives for your character, that'll define their basic way of acting.
Example RPC:
Name - Wu, Shaoqing (family name first)
Race - Human, Asian (Han Chinese)
Age - 21
Looks - Black hair, Asian skintone,
Personality - Quiet, trustworthy, attentive
Sometimes, these five things go a bit together... Make sure they don't clash! Some examples:
- don't give your mermaid an iron armor: it'd rust under water, and it's way too heavy to swim with
- don't give your adult elf a hyperkinetic personality: most kinds of elves, after all, are quite serious people
- don't have an emotionless and stern person dress in bright-colored and playful fashion


Practice, practice, practice!

Yes, the best way to decently role-play a character is to think about them and practice to play them. I'll give you a few exercices here that you can try out, but if you find your own fun/original way, then sure share it with me. You can help your future colleague-RP'ers with it.

~ In what situations would they act differently than you? Write down at least 3 situations: what would you do, and what would they do?
~ Write some random "If ..., X would do ...". Think of some weird or extreme situations! Those are most fun to imagine.
~ What food/kind of people/animals/etc. would they like or dislike because of what/who they are?



Most important advice: WRITE IT DOWN. You can't just change from half-angel to moon elf or anything like that! Of course, you can still change what you wrote through the process of making your chari, but only details: the main info should stay the same.
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Lesson 3

Post  Hisao on Sat Aug 06, 2011 3:03 am

Did it happen?

In 'Lesson 2', you met Wu Shaoqing, my example character that you are now stuck with for the rest of the track. Just like you and your character, Shaoqing has got a past and a future life. As for the future... you don't know your chari's, just like you don't usually know your own. The past however is an entirely different story...

Character's birth --> Start of RP
You make this part up. Your fellow RP'ers and their characters aren't usually involved in this. Where did your character live during his childhood? What education did they have?
{Wu Shaoqing}
He was born in Beijing and went to school there. At age 6, he started training in martial arts such as kung fu, because his older brother was talented in it as well. Shaoqing was less talented, but he was a hard worker, so he improved fast. When he was 17, his parents died, and his brother took over the father's company. Since his brother was too busy to spend time with him, he left the house at age 18 to live on the streets, only coming home once a week or even once a month.
Start of RP --> Now
This part includes other people's role-play characters. This is the part for which my question 'Did it happen?' was put. Something can only have happened when it has been role-played out. Therefore, a few important remarks:

- you are only somewhere if you have entered or approached that place
- you only know someone's name when they introduced themselves to you
- you only know things you're told or you found out In Character (NOT what characters think or feel, or what real people tell you afterwards)

Breaking this rule has a name: META-GAMING. Meta-gaming is usually not allowed in role-play!


-walks in-

Yes, you guessed it from the title: this is about entering. Since I just stated that you can't be somewhere if you haven't entered it, I'll explain you now how to do so.

The most simple form to enter is indeed by writing something like -She enters.-, or ~walks in~, or *he knocks on the door*. However, depending on where and in what situation you're role-playing, you might need a little more like that. An example:
Shaoqing grabbed the edge of the rooftop. He had climbed the entire 20 floors up by the iron fire escape, to get to the roof where his friends usually sat. His hair had grown quite a bit in the last months, and he was wearing it in a little ponytail now. He tensed his arm muscles, that showed off the martial arts training of the past, to push himself up and take a seat on the edge of the rooftop. He raised his hand to wave at the three that sat there, before he got up and walked towards them.
Be creative! You can add anything in your entrance: elements of the environment, the looks of your character, sometimes references to their past or to what they think, and so on. It makes an entrance dynamic and fun to read. Try however not to bore your fellow role-players either, by details about all bits of grass crushed by your chari's feet.
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Lesson 4

Post  Hisao on Fri Nov 11, 2011 7:34 pm

English language

Yes, English language. This Belgian person will teach you how to write your language. Why? Because many people, and maybe you are one of them, I don't know, have difficulty writing their own language. Most of the problems concern homonyms, punctuation or capitalization. Therefore, I will give you this list of most common mistakes. Skim it through, even if you think your language is perfect, because you just might have studied or used something wrong in the past. It's never too late to change it.


Capitalization
- every sentence starts with a capital
- all names (people and pet names, locations, names of certain technology)
- the word 'I'


Punctuation
A sentence ends with [ . ], [ ! ] or [ ? ]. This means that the [ , ], [ ; ] or [ : ] are NOT followed by a capital letter.
'He nodded: Yes; That seemed a fair reason to him. He then turned around, to face the others and announce them his thoughts.'
'He nodded. Yes, that seemed a fair reason to him. He then turned around, to face the others and announce them his thoughts.'


It is also important not to overuse commas:
'As he turned around, he nodded to the others, agreeing that they had to move out to fight, he then drew out his sword to point it in the sky to start his battle speech, as he was their leader, and it was his duty to encourage them.'
'As he turned around, he nodded to the others in agreement that they had to move out to fight. He then drew out his sword to point it in the sky, to start his battle speech. As he was their leader, it was his duty to encourage them.'

As you see, it is fairly important to indicate which are the separate sentences. As soon as it can stand alone, out of the context, it is one sentence. No need to place it between commas. It is also useful to make your sentence in a way that your thoughts or side notes don't constantly interrupt the main clause.


Quotation marks...
"Greetings, my friends," he said, "I suppose you all know why we are here tonight..."
A few voices in the crowd answered, "We do."
"We," he continued, "are going to war."

I believe this example includes about all ways of quotation. Pay attention to the use of commas instead of periods/full-stops in case of an ending quote. In case of a beginning quote, use a comma before opening quotation marks.


Homonyms (or almost homonyms)
This little part gets a separate title because SO many mistakes are made against it.

Where - wear - were
Where - question word that needs a place indication. [ Where is he? ]
Wear - verb that indicates what you put on. [ I'm wearing a black sweater. ]
Were - past tense of 'to be'. [ They were tired, so they decided to rest. ]

Dare - there - their
Dare - a verb or noun that has to do a bit with courage. [ Truth or dare? ] [ I dare you! ]
There - place indication. [ Your keys are there, on the table. ]
Their - indication of possession. [ Their car is much pricier than mine. ]

Since - sense
Since - because; from this moment on. [ Ever since they broke up, they haven't spoken to each other. ]
Sence - DOES NOT EXIST.
Sense - to feel, your five senses. [ She sensed the presence of someone else. ]

Two - to - too
Two - the number 2. [ The king and queen have two children. ]
To - preposition. [ To be or not to be, that's the question. ] [ They're taking the hobbits to Isengard. ]
Too - as well; overdoing something. [ That happened to me too. ] [ It's too much to handle. ]

Off - of
Off - away from. [ We're miles off the English coast. ]
Of - possession, about, extra information. [ I can't stop thinking of you. ] [ It's the house of the Wu family. ]

It's - its
It's - short for "it is", in some cases also for "it has". [ I think it's wrong to do that. ]
Its - possessive: of it. [ Its color was a faint blue, quite pale - not a very happy color. ]
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