Tuesday, October 06, 2009

How to Roleplay

Last night at a meeting of the Elders, someone asked the question, "What is the best way to roleplay?" Well I have some experience with this so -- bear with me, I'm gonna write some more LOL

Roleplay is a serious performance medium. It's acting! There is only one minor difference between RPing and method acting, and that is that for RPing, the actor is responsible for the story line. This means you, as an actor, carry the full weight of making it interesting RP - or boring RP.

  • You are given a stage and for us, it's Second Life...

  • There are other players to interact with in RP.

  • You must make or abide by a few basic rules (generally speaking, they are about (1) RP etiquette, and (2) maintaining a specific theme).

  • Other than that -- it's all up to you.


How to RP:

1. Create your character - and make it richly detailed:
  • Make your character believable (a few flaws, a quirk or two, a hobby, etc)
  • Give your character some history and a past.

  • Bring your character to life using favorites such as favorite color, beer, writer, movie... in other words, give your character some likes and dislikes - in sum, build a rounded character that you can mine for interesting RP later on.


  • 2. Reveal your character in RP. Don't read from your character description, or expect people to read your profile in order to understand your character. Talk and walk like him, play him out, reveal him over time. You do this using:
  • Dialogue (type full sentences)

  • Voice (when using voice in SL - use a dialect or accent)

  • Expressions (emotes can be useful!)

  • Sentences that tell what you are doing, thinking, and being.


  • /me mumbles, "I am feeling a deep thirst, one I may not be able to control."
    Raidon, bent over and tying his boot, grins, Apollo! I am thinking of going on a hunt, do you want to come with me?
    /me glides to her feet and smiles, "Just in the nick of time. Let's Goooooooooo!"

    (What is that "/me" you are thinking... in Second life, when you type /me, it is replaced by your name! This is for RP purposes. Try it!)

    The richer your description, the better the RP. It is that simple. People love to envision stories.. you want to feed them visual imagery. What are you doing, what are you wearing, where are you going, what does it look like, what did it sound like, how did you sound, taste, smell, look.... get really SENSUAL about your senses and the RP will be awesome.

    How do I go out of character for a minute? Use parentheses (like this), or use IM's. But never EVER just jump out of character and spill your real self into a RP situation.

    3. Create story. This is as easy or challenging as you choose. You can "ride the RP' and be a bystander, listening and going about your business, or you can jump in and get messy LOL

    When you create story, you are giving your character something to chew... give him a quest, a challenge, a magical ability - and share it with the RP group. For example, you - a vampire - have always yearned for a trip to your homeland in old Russia, and to this end, you have obtained notice of a vessel that is leaving for the homeland in six days's time. Unfortunately, vampires are not allowed aboard Royal Merchant Ships and so you are busy devising some way to stow aboard. Wow that's a lot of storyline!! What are you making/plotting, and is it magic? does it involve biting anyone? Reveal your story by telling it in RP as you act it out. Others will jump in and twist and turn your story for you -- and that is what RP is all about.

    4. Make GOOD RP. What is good RP? It is filled with story, enriched by others, interesting to play and to listen to, and takes the group into the next story -- that is, it is memorable enough to be a reference or jumping off point for sub-plots and future RP.

    It is not unusual for people to thank you for "good RP" when a scene has finished. When that happens, everyone wants more, and your friends you RP with become forever woven into your Second Life.

    Yours in bitemarks,
    Lucia, aka Apollonia Corleone

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