4. Roleplay the Kindred Way

Common Sense Role Play

The purpose of this bit is to list standing practices (*all info here is subject to change from anyone with a suggestion for improvements). For further, more indepth guides please see the "General Roleplaying" Links section on the Home page.

It assumes people reading it already understand basic role-play concepts:
– in-character (IC)
– out-of-character (OOC)
– player- and non-player characters (PC and NPC)
– main and alt(ernative to main) characters / avatars

IC and OOC do not mix, ever. In plain English, only play IC enemies with OOC friends. If you dislike someone OOC, do not roleplay with them. That way lies only silliness.

We place relatively few restrictions on what you can and can’t play; mostly we just want plausible characters who aren't rediculously epic and want to be in this group. (*Once a forum base has been created: Character profiles can if you wish be posted to the Character Bios forum – just start a topic with the character's name as a title.)

We believe in improvisation and co-creation. This means that while most of us love stories and continuity, we only allow players to control their own character. Basically: you can make a plot where your character is captured by some old enemy of theirs, then send word to the other players somehow, and let the rest figure out a reasonable rescue plan. You can not make a plot where your character is captured, and has to be rescued in the exact manner you have specified, disregarding other suggestions and character input.

We encourage people to make stories involving other people, not (just) their own alts. If you want a lover or major family member in your character's life, consider asking if someone else wants to play that character. It's okay for alts to share background, but they should still be individuals who interact with the rest independently, i.e. not just a private fan-fic that others get to watch, not touch.

The main way of distinguishing IC and OOC is chat-channels, or use of ((double brackets)) around OOC text. (*The TOR RP server policy and chat system has yet to be defined so the following is subject to amendment) All open/public channels, except /global (or zone/region/planet?) channels, are considered IC, and OOC messages should not appear in them.

Guild chat policy is completely down to the individual guilds preference and guildelines. Some believe they are not telepathic and therefore guild channel = OOC; some have worked a mystical link into their guild background story and/or others use this channel as a place a guild would converge IC thus guild = IC. DOT's guild channel is OOC.

Group chat and /tells are upon agreement of the parties involved. Often, on dynamic RP (questing / dungeons / exploration) group chat is IC, as it helps keep a group moving and RPing whilst not loosing the jist of the conversation due to distance limitations of the public /say channel

OOC channels can be used to aid role-play. Examples include...
1. Messengers of some form or another e.g. holonet, beggar children, force telepathy (?), whatever suits your character... anything that could plausibly carry a message within the gaming lore / environment. If you need to send an IC message to another character, simply /tell them, and begin the message with a brief statement of how the message arrives (i.e. "Your holonet pad flashes with a message...", or "A beggar-girl runs up to you and passes a note...", followed by the message itself. There is also of course letter via the postal system but may not be as instant as a /tell.

2. Metainfo. The character graphic doesn't show everthing, and at times you may have information that is either difficult to emote, or only apparent to some characters. It's perfectly acceptable to use /tells, /guild or /group channels in guild- or RP- group sessions to, for example, say your character appears feverish or drunk, to ask what the tone of some statement was, or to verify a detail of some previous conversation.

3. Special agreement. Utilise the chat system and your time flexibly; sometimes it can be convenient to roleplay one-on-one conversations in /g or /tell, under the agreement that you're IC in a private location someplace, while you're OOC actually soloing in level-appropriate areas.

Lets face it – typing is a totally unnatural way to have a conversation. Between the time going to reading and typing, it can get very slow. The following hints can make it go a bit smoother:

1. Keep it simple. Don't be tempted to do mighty prose: write one sentence at a time, send, write another. It won’t look as neat, but it will give people something to react to while you’re typing the next bit, and it's realistic. People get interrupted all the time.

2. Emote, emote. Emote more. 90% of a RL conversation is non-verbal input, just typing stuff makes it very hard to tell if a person is joking, serious, apprehensive... "/say *she quirks a brow in amusement*", tone can also be added with square bracket "/say [quietly] Famous last words...", and remember smilies ( ) are for OOC chat, not roleplay.

3. Macros are your friend. (*It remains to be seen what sort of chat system TOR will have, so the following is subject to amendment.) Not just for combat, but roleplay especially. A set of macro scripts with most common expressions, mannerisms and actions for your character may be invaluable.

4. English. Use It. Chat/leet-speak is not acceptable in IC channels. In Character you can use archaic English or typed accents if you really want to. However, not everyone on an English server speaks English as their first language, funny English is often difficult for non-natives. Also, while Tolkien style elvish, deep WarHammer dwarf dialects, a thick Stygian accents, or Yoda-style grammer are cool, most people aren't hardcore enough to study it just to play a better race. We're OK with that.

(last edited: 10th May 2007, Sable)
(modified for WAR, 2nd October 2008, Animatrix/Venia)
(adapted for AoC, 14th June 2009, Venia/Elsharla)
(updated for AoC, 30th August 2009, Elsharla)
(adapted for AoC HARP, 17th September 2009, Elsharla)
(adapted for SW:TOR, 13th May 2011, Elsharla)

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