Watching Others Roleplay is Helpful

When you are beginning roleplay, there are some players who can be crude, insensitive, impatient people who aren't willing to give you the time of day just because you don't know the rules. Ignore those people. They forget that they were new at roleplaying once and if they met people like themselves when they first started, they probably wouldn't have continued to roleplay. Everyone has to start out as a "newbie," everyone does not roleplay like a pro when they begin. People still don't roleplay well even after years of doing it. It depends on how much effort you put into learning the game.

Another issue I found helpful when learning to roleplay was watching other player's posts. I still do this and this can be a very useful tool in improving your roleplaying. Again, it depends on who you pick up tips from and it doesn't help you to simply watch and not ask questions when you don't understand. Almost all advanced rpers that I have encountered are more than willing to explain and clarify things to anyone who doesn't understand. However, if someone is unwilling to help you, just move on and ask someone else. Don't let a few bad comments stop you from improving yourself.

RP Taboo: Mixing RT and VT

Now onto a big point: mixing r/t with v/t (ooc with ic). This is probably one of the biggest problems that exist in the world of roleplay. Most seasoned roleplayers are able to separate themselves from their characters, but I also know that when you're just starting out roleplay that it could be pretty difficult. When I started out roleplay I managed to mix the two up at some points (which I will explain a little later in this post).

Basically the key to keeping your real life out of your online roleplaying life is to remember that they're separate lives. You are not your character. When you go to turn off your computer, your character is turned off with it. You do not go around living a life with the mindset of your character. And when you go to put on your codes and your av and slip into the role of your character, you do not exist in that fabricated world that your character lives in.

I do realize that you cannot play your character completely objectively, else you'd have no passion for interaction but you have to remember that your character is not you.

What your character feels may not be what you feel and vice versa. Example: when I started roleplaying, 10-12 years ago, my character got involved with another character and we were happy. I was happy. But when his character went off with someone else, my character was hurt; I was hurt and I shouldn't have been. Why? Because this was roleplay; this wasn't real life. I wasn't being cheated on, my character was. I may have "felt" something for the typist but he probably didn't fee the same way. At that point in time, I hadn't fully realized and grasped the idea that this was a game. It wasn't real life. While I do acknowledge that online relationship are possible and do happen, because your character is attracted to another character does not necessarily mean you and the other typist are a couple outside of roleplay.
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Another point. What you, as the typist, know about another may not be what your character knows. Now this can be a little difficult to separate, because, say, you, the typist, found out that some hunter is going after you and is hiding out in your home to stab you to death the moment you fall asleep, your character may decide to spend the next several nights at a friend's house or camping, whatever. This is not exactly what I'm talking about because such information is hard to forget; not many of us make characters just so they can be killed by the next bob on the street. What I am talking about is when you're ooc and you find out some information, like a weakness, of a character; you cannot use that information about that character. When you obtain information ooc, you cannot and should not let this information leak into your character's knowledge. There is no magical link that connects your brain to your character's brain like that. This is not how it works in real life either. If your character needs information, they have to do their own homework: research, spying, asking people, whatever. Your character does not know what you, the typist, are thinking.

Character Personalities and Abilities

Okay, now you've got your character. Great, woot! ^^ First, a few things to consider when you're playing them.

like 'Ric said, you need to keep in mind how the character acts, speaks, thinks, their personality, their quirks, strengths and weaknesses. You need to be consistent with your character; if you wrote your character to be cool and aloof, then don't have them buddy buddying up with a complete stranger. Find some other way for your character to get to know another person. Also keep in mind, if you are using prewritten rules, what the book has described for the type of character you've chosen to take on. For example: if you play a pooka, 99.9% of the time, whatever comes out of its mouth will be lies, half-truths or anything else that would obscure what the pooka is trying to say.

Again, if this is a lot to remember, especially if you are just starting out, write it down somewhere and you can refer to it when you find yourself slipping.

I know some of you might be asking 'what about character evolution?' There's nothing stopping you from evolving your character as you play. However, change doesn't always happen in an instant. It's hardly possible that a once powerless creature would, suddenly, the next day achieve super abilities that would allow them to do this or that. Like in real life, you cannot learn to play the piano beautifully without first going through a least a few years of practice. You would need to play your character practicing and attempting to gain this new ability you want before you can actually call it your own. And I'm not saying practice for a few days either.

'And what about dormant abilities?' you might ask. Sure, they'll appear, seemingly, out of nowhere; that doesn't simply mean that they've already mastered it. Dormant abilities means they haven't been used either ever or for a while; this means that if your character has learned to use the abilities at one time, they should be rusty when it appears again. Of course, this doesn't mean you have to start from the bottom rung again; your character might just have to do a bit of tweaking and fine tuning to regain their skills completely. It's like playing a sport - you learn and you become great at it but then you don't play for several years and when you finally do try again, you aren't as good as you used to be.

The main thing here is to keep things realistic; don't try to do things too fast or too much at once, like you wouldn't in real life.

Character Limitations

I found that sometimes people do not realize and keep in mind the limitations of their characters in a real world setting.

Say, for example, a disrespectful thief sneaks into a party.

It is understandable that, was someone looking right at the entrance at that time, and happened to know the guests invited to the party to notice that the thief wasn’t on the guest list and to alert an guard or the host/hostess. However, if there isn’t anyone looking at the doorway or everyone is engaged in their own conversations, it wouldn’t be realistic for everyone to suddenly notice that an uninvited guest had entered.

Or for the entrance of the thief to be ignored but as soon as the thief makes any act of disrespect towards the host, etc. the whole room turns upon the offender as if they had their attention on this one person the entire time.

I’ve seen characters having conversations with five or six people at once, and on top of that suddenly noticing that a stranger has entered the room. I’ve seen characters doing something on one side of the room and being able to spot another’s character show some sort of disrespect for another member and immediately responding despite the distance between them. I’ve seen characters that have abilities that they shouldn’t have.

Granted that some creatures will have great abilities that would allow them to do the entire above but, what I am trying to say here is that people do not seem to be able to keep in mind the limitations of their character.

For example, even having five or six conversations at once is a momentous task. While you can easily type the conversations to people on the screen, you should keep in mind that the character is ‘real’ and you need to think realistically what that character is able to do or not.

Just play your character as it is. Don't give it abilities suddenly just because you want to be superior. Don't do what you can't do, excluding abilities, in real life.

Character Personality Part 2

Alright, let me just do a reminder post about playing your character right. I know I've already talked about this one time before, so this I'll be brief, but I -cannot- stress this enough.

Basically you can choose: to create a character that easily could've been another person you met on the street Or to simply type words on a screen and not really expand yourself. Since you're reading this, I'm assuming you'd rather not end up as the latter.

Okay. Once you've gotten your character set up: name, history, personality, abilities, strengths and faults. It's time to play! ^^

When playing your character, you need to keep in mind the qualities that your character possesses. Try to keep consistent with your character, if your character changes personalities at times, like in a specific situation, then that's fine.

My character, Paige, changes her personality with each role she takes on. Avemano's mostly funny but she does have a darker, more serious side because she is mother earth and a golden dragon. What I'm saying is that you do not have to keep just one personality for one character, but you do have to keep it constant. Don't write up one way then suddenly change to another simply because it suits -your- mood at the moment.

Example: When I played Daeva, she is a very serious, very cold character. She would not suddenly, say, jump up and start doing the jig with a pooka...Ever. It's also hard for her to get close to people so she would not immediately become buddies with the first person that approached her and while she may protect those that she felt needs it, she may or may not call them friends. Just because I was feeling happy on a specific day does not mean I will have played Daeva in a happy mood. She’s hardly in a happy mood; in fact, her main moods are: neutral and angry very strict more military bound.

Again, character evolution. That happens, yes. Personality can change but rarely will it bounce around from 'a' to 'j' back to 'b' to 'd' and then back to 'a' not unless your character has multiple personalities, that usually doesn't happen in real life. But, like I said, personality can change; say if your character was a happy-go-lucky, laid back guy who worried about nothing and then one day suddenly saw their best friend killed in front of them. I would imagine they'd become a bit more paranoid, scared and withdrawn.

Nothing is impossible in the world of roleplay, that's true but on the get from point 'a' to point 'd' you have to go through the logical steps that precede point 'd'.

== Action vs. Speaking ==

Witch School in rp mode for paige's RP family kids

In roleplay, whether it is conducted through a chatroom, email, or any other number of roleplay mediums there will most usually, action/description and speech in each post. This means that part of your post will be descriptive, detailing what your character looks like, their thoughts, or their surroundings, etc. And the other part of your post would consist of your character speaking.

What needs to happen then is a way for people to distinguish what part of the post is action/descriptive and what part of the post is the character's speech. An example of that would be:

Avemano bursted through the rear entrance to the restaurant, having not seen her 'family' in a long time. She was excited to see them, to tell them what she has seen on her travels and, of course, to eat that delicious home cooked-style meal the restaurant was prized for.:: Mama! Guoguo! I'm home! ::She called out, regardless of whether there were customers in the restaurant or not. Most of the regulars were used to that sort of racket anyway.::

The use of double colons (::) bracketed the description, clearly segregated that post into their descriptive and speech parts. To be able to make the distinction between the spoken and descriptive parts of a post is incredibly important because it reduces the ambiguity of what a person is doing, saying or thinking. A post such as this:

Avemano wrinkled her nose at the man who clearly hadn't had a shower in at least a week. She then turned to the woman: She thought he was some crazy guy or something.

Now, in this post, we know that Avemano is saying "She thought he was some crazy guy or something" to the woman. But if the post was written as such:

Avemano wrinkled her nose at the man who clearly hadn't had a shower in at least a week. She then turned to the woman. She thought he was some crazy guy or something.

In that same post, without the double colons, we are unsure whether she is speaking to the woman, or it was just a thought Avemano had. So you can understand and see how important it is to have those sort of distinctions.

There are many, many ways to make this distinction. Typically, for my characters, what I put in the double colons would be action unless surrounded by quotation marks (") which would signify thought. And speech would be outside the double colons. Here is a list of a few symbols that are often used:




Depends on what system "for speech, usually" in IMVU

Corrected terms was always -Speach- and action was "for an action"


Paige in Celtic Dressings



[ - ]

{ - }




Note: the common brackets [ ( - ) ] are not often used because when used as doubles [ (( - )) ] it signifies that the player is speaking OOC

Roleplay Mediums

I thought I'd introduce the different type of mediums that are used for roleplaying on the internet. There are several mediums to roleplay with. I'll try to cover all the ones I have been involved in and ones that I have some knowledge about.

The medium I am most familiar with is chatroom roleplay. I believe this is the most common form of roleplay. What happens is that, in the chatroom, one person will post their own post whilst the rest of the persons involved in that roleplay wait their turns. Usually, if there are more than two people involved in a roleplay, an order is established so that posting doesn’t get mixed up. The advantages to this sort of roleplay are that it is posted in real time so, potentially; a lot can get done in a short amount of time. It also allows for more players to get involved since, often, many people (not already involved in the roleplay scene) are also in the room and may jump in and have their characters react with something that has happened with your own roleplay. The disadvantages for this roleplay medium is that while it is possible to get a lot done in a short amount of time, depending on how fast the other parties in your roleplay type and get a post done, it can actually take a few hours to get a short scene finished. Also, if a character has to leave the roleplay, due to some r/t reasons, then the roleplay may be halted indefinitely, or the direction of the roleplay was heading in may shift (which may or may not be a good thing). You may also feel the pressure (although you shouldn’t let it try to get to you so bad) to respond quickly, and as such, you may not post as good a quality as you might have were you not feeling the need to respond quickly.

The next medium that I am familiar with is message board roleplay. This is another popular one. Instead of posting in a chatroom, participants are posting in a message board. The advantages of this medium are that each post can be incredibly detailed, as much as you want and can contain more actions/interactions than in a chatroom post. There is also not the pressure to reply immediately and replying can easily fit into your r/t schedule; which means that, even if you are unable to find a huge block of time to roleplay in a chatroom, you are still able to roleplay through the message boards. The history (depending on how the board you roleplay on is set up) is saved so anyone who wants to know what has been going on has the option of going back and reading up. The disadvantages are that it doesn’t always get as much traffic as chatroom so trying to get other people involved is always a little more difficult. Responses won’t happen immediately. It may even take weeks for some people to respond due to difficulties in r/t interruptions. This means that despite being able to write a lot in each post, it may not progress as quickly as a roleplay conducted in a chatroom.

Another medium with roleplay is email based roleplay. This is essentially the same as a message board roleplay except posts are written as responses to emails rather than in a message board. The advantages are it’s very private. Only those who are on the emailing list will be included in the roleplay. It, like message board roleplay, can work with your r/t schedule and can also be very detailed. The disadvantages are that unlike message board or chatroom, it often doesn’t allow for players to jump right in unless they know of the roleplay already. Also, like the message board roleplay, it can take some time to get a scene done. I haven’t done any sort of roleplay with email so I don’t know how the actual format goes but I think it is generally a “reply all” situation so I would imagine your inbox could, potentially, get quite cluttered.

The last sort of medium I will be talking about is messenger roleplays. This is, essentially, a combination of chatroom roleplay and email based roleplay. It’s conducted over messengers like MSN or AIM in a chatroom like format. The advantages are, like the email based roleplay, that it is very private so only those who you invite into the chat conversation will be allowed to join in. And like the chatroom roleplay, a lot in the scene can get done, potentially. The disadvantages are that again, if one has to leave, then the scene may be stopped indefinitely and it make take some time for other players to type up a post so there may be a long waiting period.

== RP Taboo: Multi-Posting ==
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Try not to multi-post. This is when you post more than one post in your turn. For example:

Mary: she emerges from her building wearing a nice soft pink jacket, skirt and a cute hat. She heads down the street towards the coffee shop.

Joe: He caught sight of the girl, his mouth watered.

Joe: He silently moved towards her, sneaking up behind

Joe: He grabs her from behind and pulls her into the alley. Intent to have his dinner.

Joe: Quickly he sinks his fangs into her neck and drains her of all her blood.

Mary: She screams as the man grabs her and pulls her back, she struggles and kicks in an attempt to free herself from his grasp.

Now you see that because of the rapid posting of Joe that Mary's post, while completely valid, is out of sequence. This makes it confusing for Joe, Mary and anyone else that is involved or wanted to join in because now they do not know whose post they should respond to. Mary will think that Joe has ignored her post and get frustrated and Joe may feel that Mary had interrupted his actions when he wasn't finished yet.

Because of all that it is better to put continuous actions in one post and let the other player respond before you continue on. Usually two or three actions are in one post, sometimes there are more, depending on how you like to write.

Playing a Character of the Opposite Sex

I'm going to touch on a topic that is still relatively new to me: playing a character of the opposite sex.

Most of the time now, many people are alright with playing characters of the opposite sex but for those of you who aren't .. read on.

Let me start by saying I definitely recommend each and every one of you to try creating a character of the opposite sex. If you don't want to play them, that's alright but think about the character, how they would act in different situations. Not only will it give you a completely different perspective but it will give you a sort of gauge at how well you are developing depth in your characters.

If you are completely new to roleplaying, you might want to hold back on this project until you get comfortable with the whole idea of roleplaying. Now, creating a character of the opposite sex is just like making any other character. You build up their look, their abilities and then their personality.

The major mistake I see when people try to play a character of the opposite sex is people taking the common stereotypes and using that as a base for the personality and actions of their character. This usually does not work out too well. If you take a look at your friends and strangers and even yourself you will notice that not everyone follows all the stereotypes exclusively. When a character is based solely off of stereotypes it makes the character seem comical and lacking in depth of personality. I have yet to see a character played exclusively on stereotypes that is anything but .. even novels .. the only time I have read a book where a character is composed of such is only for humor or exaggeration value. Each person in this world has a unique combination of personality traits and, because your character is a real being in the rp world, that character needs to have that same quality. This "rule" applies to all and any characters that you create.

If you find creating a character of the opposite sex difficult at first, you might want to try creating a character of the same sex first. Write up everything you want then when you are finished, adjust the character to the appropriate sex. Maybe even get a friend to look it over and see if they are able to tell whether the character is male or female. I also suggest watching how people act whenever you are around someone.

Actually playing the character is a different matter. Again you could do more practice. Write out a scene, or a post your character would make. Read it and see if you could tell whether it was a post made by a female or male typist. Let a friend read and see if they could tell either. Another good practice is to make a character of the same sex (you are) and give it characteristics that are opposite to the physical sex. Eg: If you have a male character, they would be very effeminate. etc. It takes a bit of practice to it right (not to mention to get over the habit of typing "his" when you mean "hers" etc.) but the more practice you get and the better handle you get of your character will make it more believable.

If you want to see a good example, go to dwbn and look for Sacrifice Valshea.

This can also apply to other characters. Eg: if you only play vampires, you might want to try playing a werewolf or a mage. Or if you've only played powerful characters, you might want to try playing a weak character or a mortal. Not that you have to, of course, but it is a good experience to try different types of characters.

== Paying Attention to Other Posts ==
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Pay attention to other people's posts even if they aren't directing it to you. You don't have to read them thoroughly but you should skim them over. Reason being that while they may not be addressing events directly to you, what they do may affect your character. How much is mostly left up to you. Because in real life you are often aware of your surroundings and you would be aware of events that would affect you. The same applies to your character. In the RP world, your character is a Real Person/Being and should act as such.

Example 1: A loud explosion in the street. Now you may decide that your character is just a street or two over and this will certainly draw your attention; or you may decide that your character is quite far from the explosion and they're standing outside a nightclub so they may not hear it or just attribute it to something mundane like tires bursting, etc.

Example 2: In New York at the moment, there is an RP going on where a chaos mist blankets the city (sidenote: I am not too sure if this is still on or not and the RP going on around this. If you're interested, you'll have to check out for yourself). Now, this is something only supernatural beings or beings that could sense chaos can notice. If your character isn't one of those then they won't be able to notice it; but if your character is, depending on the sensitivity, your character could sense it to varying degrees. Avemano, for example, in her human form would only notice a constant stink wherever she went. While in her shadow form she would be able to define it as a supernatural "smell". It is, again, up to you and what type of character you have. Not only does this put you more realistically into the scene by making you and your character more aware of what is happening in their surroundings but if you are a new player starting to RP, it presents an opening for your characters to enter an ongoing RP more naturally.

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