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Roleplaying 101

"Acting is not being emotional, but being able to express emotion." Kate Reid

Some of you who come here to Roma Aeterna may not be familiar with roleplaying at all, and some might know roleplaying but be interested in what tips there are to make it an enjoyable experience for all involved. If you follow these guidelines you will not only be having a good time but your partners in roleplay as well.

Roleplaying is the act of showing the actions and words of a imaginary person you are portraying while you are on this place, instead of your own actions or words. Yet it is still possible to show your own words or actions, for example when real life is intruding. To make that easier the concepts of ic (in character) and ooc (out of character) are used. If you speak in character you show the actions or words of the person you are portraying, who is imaginary,and who lives and moves in the environment that the mux provides. For him or her there are no such things as code or commands, no such things as interruptions, no such things as work or computer problems. To him or her there is only the world on the mux. Because it is the standard way of speaking on Shades there is no sign 'ic' before this way of speaking, but if you wish to speak your own words (I am going offline, do you know that or that code, and such matters) then you can use the letters 'ooc' before your speach or pose. This will make sure the others involved in your scene know it's you yourself speaking and not your character.

"I love acting. It is so much more real than life." Oscar Wilde

If you roleplay try to keep ic and ooc apart as much as you can, it makes it easier on those around you to keep apart what you say and what your character says. If you just want to chat ooc you can do that in the ooc meeting area for example. We probably do not have to help you with tips on how to be yourself (I hope) but we will give some tips on how to pose (show what your character does) in a way ic that makes it interesting for the ones you play with.

First important thing, since we are on a cooperative roleplaying mu* is that you cannot harm or push around any character without their agreement. That means that if you do pose such and they object you will both have to find a way out of it. It is easier to pose -trying- to harm someone and let your fellow player decide how much they will allow you to do. To 'forcepose' is a form of power playing, any roleplay that does not allow your fellow players to react as they would want to. A desc that tells you what to feel is another example. To keep it realistic though, because the game system allows situation in which people are forced, you should only refuse to be forced if the rules say your character would not be forced (you could make sure with the other player they agree on that) or if this would ruin the roleplay for you completely.

But many of the players here, probably the best of them, will not mind giving you leave to do overreach or force their characters and if you are sure of that you do not have to keep on posing to 'try' of course. You can find out if they object and pose stronger if you ask ooc if they agree to what you are planning. But especially in conflictual type situations it is important to not 'forcepose' others.

"Acting is merely the art of keeping a large group of people from coughing." Sir Ralph Richardson

The second thing to remember is to react to the poses that your fellow players have given before you. Bring at least one mention of something another did before you and react to it. This is especially important in poses that do not use many spoken words. This way you are not both 'in your own tower' but really interacting.

Third which adds a lot of enjoyment to roleplaying is to bring depth of emotion and environment to the poses. See yourself as -being- your character,and imagine what emotions you would have, what you would look like, how your environment influences you. -See- yourself standing in the room you are in, and place yourself in your pose, knowing where the furniture is you see, the items used, the other persons you see. If you describe that well the others will find it easier to follow. Make these descriptions not much deeper then the others who you play with but also not much shallower. If you make them much better and longer people will feel they need to match it but might not be able to. And if you make your poses much shorter and more superficial people will feel you are not really putting effort into it. But be careful here not to put too many emotions of your character in your poses that the other player could not see or guess from how you look or react.

"Memory feeds imagination." Amy Tan

These are the most important issues, and I will repeat them in short. Keep to these and your roleplaying will be enjoyable both for you and your fellow players. Try to keep ic and ooc apart, do not forcepose, react to others and react to your characters emotions and environment on the same level as your fellow players. Now for a tip for the more experienced roleplayers.

We have just spoken about ic and ooc and to keep them apart. But there is also another concept called meta-ic. If you speak in meta-ic you speak about your character from your own point of view, for example 'my character is very scared now'. Meta-ic is always a good thing to use when discussing what scene to do or which way to go in roleplaying when strictly ooc (for example discussing who won the ballgame tonight) is not always of interest to the roleplaying. This way you can create more interesting situations for your character and bring challenges and depth to your roleplaying. I wish you all good roleplaying on here!