How Do You RolePlay?

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How Do You RolePlay?

Post by Reynard on Sun Mar 20, 2016 5:00 pm

Greetings all,

First some background about me as a player:

I'm an experienced RPer, having been playing pen and paper RPGs for coming on towards 40 years (ouch, that makes me old!).  I know how to RP in MMOs, in terms of speaking in character, knowing only what your character knows, emoting, walking around not running all the time etc, etc.  That's all easy and straight forward.  I know how to make a character's backstory interesting and detailed.  I know how to work plot hooks into it - these are really useful in pen and paper RPGs as the DM can use them to tie your background into his story and make it more personal.   I'm an accomplished writer (I've published 2 novels).

What I have never understood is how people RP their toons in MMOs, in terms of what they do, day to day on the game.   I'm really struggling to get it.  If you're playing a pen and paper game then the DM lays down the story and plot and NPCs etc.  You deal with them and react to them in the way your PC would.   Now in WoW this is all laid out by the NPCs and quest system.  But obviously RPing in an MMO takes it a step further.  But this is the bit I can't get my head around.

Example:  I've a human warrior whose background indicates that he is an acomplished swordsman who found a book which described the way of the blademaster (think Kensai in Japanese tradition).  He has decided to take on this way of life.  He wears no armour, but just robes (took up tailor profession to make some nice looking robes) and he wields a two handed sword (I went for a katana-looking one to complete the effect).  All good so far.  

So I had it in my backstory that the last known Blademaster was an orc called Ang, who was believed to have died in the Third War.  He had an apprentice called Gorebag who by repute had purple skin and was a hermit.  So I had decided to try and track down this purple skinned orc called Gorebag and find out what he knew of the art and if he could tell me if Master Ang was truly dead.  Perhaps I could learn from Gorebag, or better still from Master Ang himself.

Okay, great backstory, but how do I make that work in WoW?  I told a few people about it IC (and got some "nice story" comments) but of course no one has heard of a purple skinned orc.  So where is this story going?   Do I just have it as an interesting tale for the pub, and when logged into this toon just level him as usual (he's currently 44th level)?   I'd like for this story/background to be what drives his every move but I don't know how to.  And I don't know how to include others in this story (for what is RP when you are doing it alone?)

Is my story too complex?  Do others have examples they can share?  Am I asking too much?

How to you Roleplay?  Smile

Cheers!

Reynard

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Re: How Do You RolePlay?

Post by Charlie Blazesong on Mon Mar 21, 2016 2:21 am

Okay, I'll try to at least make one point related this yours in this reply. Do excuse me if I fail. I have not slept yet.

Most people tend to leave the leveling experience in the game out of roleplay due to the reasons that it portrays you as the allmighty hero who can vanquish foes by simply flailing about with his mighty blade wildly.

It does however sound interesting to level through rping and make your decisions through such(I would still refrain from talking about such outside the group). Personally I never write down my characters background story before I start rping as I need to get a feel for the character and i'm also quite lazy. I know a few people on Alliance side who have written their characters quite well.

The main thing is get your head around what people who surround you consider IC and OOC. For example, most people I rp with consider a certain type of person who come around and dance and spam items OOC. Same with pvp, their accomplishments there and same with the PvE side of thing. Of course there are ways you can make the pvp work from an ic perspective but that is mostly world pvp and usually organised beforehand.

I would offer to rp through leveling with you and such or even just chill around and level with you but I currently dont have any characters around that level and it would take me quite a while to catch up(doesn't help that I'm at times very busy on alliance).

Hope you found some of my blabbering helpful. I wish you the best of luck. Perhaps I will even see you in game at some point, only time will tell. Peace.

PS: I recommend you finding a guild, they generally quite help. I'm personally not too up to date with which Horde guilds are up and about though. If anyone could clarify that I am sure it would help to some degree.

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Re: How Do You RolePlay?

Post by Reynard on Mon Mar 21, 2016 2:57 am

Hello and thanks for replying.

Just to clarify, that toon is Human so he is on Alliance side. I just have his backstory to make him searching for an Orc teacher. Smile I guess that is never going to get resolved.

So, how do you RP a toon who has no backstory? What is he trying to do, day to day? This is the bit I'm not getting.

I did have a dwarven warrior (Fenodyree) who was a member of the Wardens a while back, but at that time their membership dropped right off and I'd often be online on my own. They ran some interesting events/stories mostly driven by Carmtan, but I'm a very sporadic player with a busy RL who gets online in dribs and drabs so I could not join in.

I guess I'm trying to find out what the model is for RPing...

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Re: How Do You RolePlay?

Post by Ixirar/Kavalis on Mon Mar 21, 2016 4:23 am

RP on an MMO is a lot more open ended than RP in a P&P session. You don't actually need to have a long term ambition for your character. Though people do use DM Events as a vehicle to drive their characters'/guilds' plotlines and so on, it's typically a bit smaller scale than fulfilling a life ambition etc.

Whereas a P&P session typically can be read like a novel; There's a beginning, a middle and an end. Or at least a beginning and an end. MMO RP doesn't have an end point. Every time you resolve a plot point, you come up with a new one. And if you don't, then at least the players around you will. There's no "Congratulations! You have completed the Dragons of High Mountain adventure!" point.

Now as for your background story specifically, I'm sorry to be the one to break it to you: It doesn't work beyond being a story for your character to tell. The "last blademaster" wasn't named Ang, as in fact plenty of blademasters are still alive. Lantresor for example is currently residing in Outland and is very much a living blademaster. As well as Akinos, the Master of Arms of Orgrimmar, is also a blademaster. As is Gorn, the leader of Kargath and New Kargath (Orc settlement in the Badlands).

I'm having difficulty telling if, when you say Blademaster, you fully realise what the word means in a warcraft context, or if you're attributing some real life convention to the word. In warcraft, blademasters are a caste of Orc warriors, rather than just being somebody who is really good with swords. Most blademasters in the warcraft universe have been seen to also, to some extend, be able to manipulate spirits to help them in combat (similar to a shaman) and only one single non-orc blademaster has ever been named within WoW.

Obviously, I'm not saying your character can't aspire to follow the way of the Blademaster, but when he goes around talking about "The Last Blademaster" Ang, he's spreading truths that would be disputed by a simple look in any recent history book, as there are numerous blademasters alive and well currently.

As for the day-to-day stuff: You just play your character, day to day, and it's up to you to figure out what your character would be doing on a normal tuesday afternoon and so on. While in a P&P you would be playing your character while he takes part in some grand adventure, on wow you also play your character inbetween those adventures.

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Re: How Do You RolePlay?

Post by Reynard on Mon Mar 21, 2016 5:59 am

A great reply - thanks. Fair comment on the blademaster concept and, thinking back (it's been a long time since I played that example toon) he wasn't looking for the "last" blademaster, he was looking for one particular blademaster. A very significant wrong choice of word on my example, so apologies for that.

So do you guys have "goals" for your RP toons which are outside of the game mechanics.quest system? Sort of personal goals? And if so, how do you work towards them in an RP sense?

I'd just like to get my head around how everyone else out there "plays" their RP toons. Any examples would be massively appreciated. Smile

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Re: How Do You RolePlay?

Post by siegmund on Mon Mar 21, 2016 6:23 am

The "goals" depends from player to player, not really everyone feels the need to have a goal and just wings it or rather make it up as they go. Sometimes the same way with backstories and character developments. Well that's least how i went at it at the start.

But plenty of people do have secret agendas or "goals" icly some usually can be more general like a paladin protecting people and serving the light, becomming a better person and learning, which can stretch out longer over RP and various events. Other times it can be short goals like ... There is some bad guy terrorizing the city so find out more and capture him! Sort of like a quest you can take it as even. It can be varies though from a pandaren wanting to make a new type of tasty brew to enlisting in the army to defend your city or faction.

Some people play everyday characters and their mission is to do everyday things, well people rarely do that but markets and similar events happen that fit into that niche, since anyone joins those it creates a sort of small city feeling with a lot of various characters go about buying whatever they need armor, weapons, curios, food, magic items and much more.

The closest things get to DnD and so are usually specific events (kinda like quests) where you grab a force of people and go out into the world to stop something evil like a cultist which people usually help themselves with some imagination and raid markers and sometimes rolls or just storytelling or both, but it's not as focused on stats and all the micromanaging for DnD.


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Re: How Do You RolePlay?

Post by Skarain on Mon Mar 21, 2016 8:32 am

Fenodyree wrote:What I have never understood is how people RP their toons in MMOs, in terms of what they do, day to day on the game. I'm really struggling to get it.
I believe it largely depend on the character. Roleplaying in WoW is after all playing your character "as they were a living, breathing part of the Warcraft universe".

In case of a military character, that may be patrolling the city, reporting to a superior, hitting a tavern, perhaps even a romance going on in the background.

In case of a military commander (Inran), it was about making plans, giving orders for people, leading the force they were commanding - both in events and outside of them, meetings with your officers and leaders of other units.

In case of a tranquil spirit-warrior sworn to the House of Yore (Senrar) it was about sitting close to the Lamb on the grass, chipping away at blocks of wood as crafting wooden statues and carvings out of them. It was about being ready to respond to the call for action, anything for the good of Yore. It was about training righteously, in order to be constantly striving for greater combat proves (in PvP & RP). It was, at point that reached a higher position, about driving towards the benefit of Yore, entirely sworn to the cause, because the character saw that they can achieve something by doing so: Drill an organisation into becoming large, influential and ultimately "the best" fighting force there was (in RP & RP-PvP) in order to protect the Draenei kin from the grasp of the Legion (who were at this point a part of the Alliance, just as the House of Yore was).

In case of Skarain.... It was about living the life of a character, a Worgen Warlock who had been forced to leave their country, got into dark arts in order to get some power to control the course of their life, a brief service in military service to practice their skills in practice.... ultimately leading to enlisting into a mercenary company, as Fighting was the one thing the character deemed themselves at the time capable of.

Going on from that point, it's been a journey. A heck of a journey lasting for over 4 years and still going forward.

More of said journey:
To describe said journey more, it started off simply as being one mob in a mercenary band. You went together on missions with other mercenaries, earning coin for living, getting a chance to practice your magic. Such simple stuff.

Over time, you came across different kind of "turning points". Something changed. At one point, it was a promotion. More acknowledgement, more recognition by the leadership. At another, it was a very weird romance that did break off and came together more times than one can count.

Things really got interesting when the character - who sought to progress their magic, in order to have "power", power to control their own lives - sought a group of Death Knights in order to make dealings with them, to learn 'their' magic.

Suddenly, your character was in an unfamiliar environment, with no certainty that said dark people will let you leave alive. One has to rely to their wits to remain respectful, hence stay alive, and intelligent in their speak, in order to secure themselves said training in magic as they sought.

During that period of time, much did happen. Said order of Death Knights did barge in to the mercenary holdout, demanding payment for teaching one of their members. Then there was some internal strife among the Death Knights, coming to a breaking point as one Archmage type Undead character clashed with a Death Knight on back of a Frostwyrm using powerful Frost Magic. Said conflict you had the honor of witnessing from the side, even trying to aid your mentor (the Archmage) in the side - resulting you being inches of being killed and lobbed through a portal to Stormwind while suffering from a major case of Frostbite.

-And this is only the first 2-3 months of 4 years worth of MMO roleplaying-

Roleplaying for me is like writing a book. You write a story from the perspective of a single character. There are multiple people who are writing the story simultaneously - the same story. This story, this book have no end. Even if your character would die, the story would not end - for your character have existed, they have influenced the people around them, their passing will be a shock and their words will be remembered by those other characters for years to come.

---

To reflect to Charlies point, we usually do not write our characters to being 100% finished in the start. At least, I and Charlie do not. We create a "starting point", a simple background and possible some character motivation or goal. After that.... we simply go and roleplay said character, try to achieve our goals while interacting with the world - often coming across 'turning points', crossroads and surprises that we would have never expected to happen that do shape our characters.

Again, I agree with Charlie about Leveling. Most players do not treat the Leveling process as Roleplaying, for reasons mentioned. In my case (Skarain), It was a worgen from gilneas (later came up it being a thief in Gilneas) who ended up first to Darnassus, then to Stormwind as result of the Cataclysm. That is hardly the full story that the game itself try to put you to follow, and while you reach maximum game-mechanical level as soon as possible, the "RP levelling process" itself took over 4 years and is still going on. (From a low-level thief, to a high-level thief. To a low-level Warlock, to a medium-level Warlock - class/swap to Mage, starting medium-level mage, going steadily towards high-level mage character)

Character Class and Character Level in my opinion only affect to 1.) What are your skills and spells you can use for visual effects in RP. 2.) What gear you can wear. 3.) What gear you can wear in PvP and how your character plays out in Game Mechanics (if you fancy RP-PvP or other things that involve Game Mechanics).

Fenodyree wrote:Okay, great backstory, but how do I make that work in WoW?  I told a few people about it IC (and got some "nice story" comments) but of course no one has heard of a purple skinned orc.

So where is this story going?
No-one knows. That is the beauty of it. You are at the starting chapter of your book. Will said character join a group in the city they visit the tavern in? Will they head back out into the world to search for said purple Orc. Will they end up swished into a long and elaborate plot because they went to protect a woman at need who were being harassed by a group of Paladins?

Only time will show and results are often greater than you could ever have planned yourself.

That is the beauty of Roleplaying (in MMO's).

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(A) Skarain - Skarain Feirand: Outlawed Worgen Arcanist, Magi of the Underworld and Speaker of [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.].
(H) Nakris -  Nakris Sin'voth: Captain of [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
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Re: How Do You RolePlay?

Post by Reynard on Mon Mar 21, 2016 9:04 am

Skarain - awesome response and an interesting read.

Can you add to that history of your character some OOC comments which reflect what was going on at these times?

e.g. right at the start you were a "mob in a mercenary band" - was this because you were a part of a Guild and that was your role in that Guild?   Or was this the story you had for your toon and that whole mercenary band was made up in your mind?

If it was the former (I assume it was) then I think my problem may stem from an utter lack of joining any guilds.   As I posted earlier I had one toon who was RP'ed as a Dwarven Smith - Fenodree.  I posted on here asking if anyone wanted to get me an (IC) contract to do the smithing for a merc company or similar.  Had a little success there and ended up joining the Wardens - though not as their smith as such (clearly smithing is so common in WoW that everyone has easy access to that skill).

Anyway the point of that is that I had a plan for the toon (just literally being a smith) and I really enjoyed that role but it was really hard to find RP opportunities for my toon outside of being in a guild.

Maybe what I need to do is find a Guild idea I like and then make a toon who is specifically tailored to that guild?

Or is it common for PCs to change guilds as they progress through their RP life?

Sorry for the millions of questions but I've never got this and I'm slowly starting to understand (I think!).  So thanks for any and all input into this thread.

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Re: How Do You RolePlay?

Post by Helmut on Mon Mar 21, 2016 9:29 am

Defias Brotherhood RP has the last years become very guild driven. It is hard for people, specially newer players, to find RP or get into the community without being with a guild or organisation. Few characters, like my character Helmut, can manage to be guildless because he is very established in the community and his "guild" is actually the military/government.
What I advise you to do is to make a character and then find a guild. Having a character that serves a purpose for a guild can be fun first but can also be very limiting if you don't expand on the character. The character should serve your needs, not the needs of a guild.

If having a hard time finding a guild that fits your character then you can always make your own guild based on the beliefs and code f your character. Warning, though, is that even if it is easy to start a guild and recruit some people early on it is very hard to maintain in the longer run. There has been countless of guilds with brilliant concepts that only lasted one month tops. If you don't have the time, energy or interest to create and maintain a guild that will provide RP for its members and possibly be apart of the community then don't. Don't waste your own or others time with it.

So rather than tailoring a character to a guild you should instead make a character you like and then find a guild that intrerests you. Maybe you know someone in it, maybe you've read about what they do and if you need to tweek your character a bit to fit in then thats fine.

And finally: Yes, it IS common for people to have characters who switches guilds during their RP life. Many of my favorite people and characters has done plenty of guildhopping. It is the logical step to take if your character develops new ideas, new morals, new interests or gain other reasons to leave the current guild to switch to another. Maybe it is not your character, maybe it is you who want to switch? Easy! Just do it! Characters are expendable and should not be played two dimentional. I once left a guild because I didn't like what the second in command posted on his personal facebook wall and by that came up with a reason which my character had to leave the guild. Good ol' Coppersocket is a great example of someone who has jumped from guild to guild. She has been in the Forlorn Cartel (shady criminal guild) to the Wild Tempest (Strict military guild) to the Disciples of the Light (Holy guardians of Stormwind) and has found IC reasons to do so.

In short: You do you. Play a character that you want to play and not what is needed by others. You can form your own guild but it is a lot of hard work. Join a guild you seem to like and if you want out for whatever reason just do it.

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Re: How Do You RolePlay?

Post by Skarain on Mon Mar 21, 2016 9:46 am

Fenodyree wrote:e.g. right at the start you were a "mob in a mercenary band" - was this because you were a part of a Guild and that was your role in that Guild? Or was this the story you had for your toon and that whole mercenary band was made up in your mind?

Starting point of my RP career. Saw a RP guild that looked interesting. Had a level 44 Worgen Warlock laying around. They were searching for spellcasters specifically. I enlisted, I got in. The story starts from there.

Being in a guild helps. It is however Not Required.

In case of Fenodree being a Smith. A way to play such out in WoW without joining a guild is 1.) Make a nice, elaborate In Character forum post. 2.) Actively seek out different groups In Character and sell out your services out as a Smith.

The point 2 alone is enough to generate infinite roleplaying for you. It gives a 'reason' for you to go out and interact with different groups, even without joining said guilds. Perhaps you find other Artisan and craftsman who you can work together with in order to create something grander (for example, an epic master-smith axe with extensive enchantments on it).

Smithing also probably won't be the only thing in said character life. While 2 is a 'reason' to go there, once you are there, you can do a variety of things (if they do not need anything forged). Ask who they are, what they do, share some stories, go together to hit a tavern, get drunk. Many things.

Roleplaying in MMO's is also largely about "making a name about yourself". At the start, you are a nobody no-one have ever heard about. Do said smithing-service selling for a couple of weeks, people start to remember your character. Post some things on forums; people who do not interact with you get to know you. Reputation helps in a great deal of things, be it a guild idea, selling out services, getting involved into plots - the list goes on.

---

Belonging into a guild changes said "reputation path" into "guild progression path". It is considerably easier, as it requires less effort = simply log-in to your guilds events and RP your character in that environment. Playing "solo" or with only a few people as your friends requires more initiative from you, but it can also be more rewarding as you are not limited to the RP of one guild = you can involve yourself in every RP Circle that exist out there, one you learn of their existence. That is how you become "The" Dwarven Smith.

---

In the topic of changing guilds, it depends on the character. I've had some that started in a guild and have stayed there since. Then I've had characters who have belong to at least 10 different guilds. It depends. More commonly those characters who were not 'made' for a guild are more prone to change guilds as time goes on. Even those who were 'made' for a guild may change it later. I made Skarain for said mercenary group. She left them half by accident. I had not even intended to leave, but it sort of.... happen, in RP. For being away for so long.

---

I don't mind your questions the slightest. I do quite enjoy talking of roleplaying in an Out of Character context, almost as much (and occasionally even more) as roleplaying itself.

_____________________________________________________
(A) Skarain - Skarain Feirand: Outlawed Worgen Arcanist, Magi of the Underworld and Speaker of [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.].
(H) Nakris -  Nakris Sin'voth: Captain of [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
Also known as Mahruon, Halisi, Reljen, Senrar, Inran, Flickÿ and Grimfeather

Contact: Skarain#2346(Btag), Skarain#8885(Discord), inejaro(Skype)

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"Roleplaying....is beautiful. And it may take your heart and soul. Entirely..."

Skarain

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Re: How Do You RolePlay?

Post by Reynard on Mon Mar 21, 2016 9:53 am

See, now I needed that post about a year ago when I was looking at how to role play Fen and what to do with him. Smile

I'm really tempted now to transfer the character back to Defias once more and try and become "The" Dwarven Smith.

It seems to me one way is simply to engage in the community. Skarain is known everywhere simply because you post loads on the forums and are always helpful in /lfrp (and you know loads about the RP community which obviously helps).

Hmmm, much food for thought. Thanks so much all of you.

I'm going off to look up how much it will cost me to transfer Fen... Smile

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Re: How Do You RolePlay?

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